September 2005 News

131 Army Men, 68 BSF Personnel Punished For Rights Violations

27 September 2005
The Tribune

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed here today said that 131 Army personnel, 68 BSF men and 17 police personnel had been punished for violation of human rights during the past 15 years of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Of the 131 Army personnel two had been awarded life imprisonment, 59 rigorous imprisonment, 11 dismissed from service with one year's imprisonment, four others dismissed and 55 awarded other punishments. Mufti Sayeed was replying to the discussion on an adjournment motion on human rights violations tabled by the leader of the Opposition, Mr Abdur Rahim Rather, in the Legislative Assembly today. He asked the Director-General of Police to ensure assistance of the local police to the security forces during any anti-militant operations. The Chief Minister also asked the Law Minister to look into the powers of the State Human Rights Commission in view of certain points raised by the opposition National Conference. The NC members expressed concern over the human rights violations and described the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) as a 'toothless body' and sought to ensure that due cognizance was given to complaints of rights violations. Giving details, the Chief Minister stated that there were 1385 complaints against the Army from 1990 to 2004, of which 1311 were found false, 32 substantiated and 42 others were under investigation. In case of the Border Security Force (BSF) the Chief Minister said 206 complaints had been registered between 1990 and April 2004. Of these 162 were false, 41 proved, three were not proved while punishment was given to 68 personnel. He stated that 17 police personnel were also punished for rights violations during the past two years. They included one SP who was suspended, one DSP who was dismissed, one Inspector and two Sub-Inspectors who were suspended, one ASI who was dismissed, six constables who were dismissed and two suspended while three SPOs had been disengaged. The opposition National Conference members staged a walkout followed by noisy scenes from the Assembly over the issue of human rights blaming the coalition government for excesses and human rights violations at the hands of security forces. Earlier the Speaker, Mr Tara Chand, adjourned the House for 25 minutes when the National Conference members created noisy scenes over the alleged recruitment in government departments made by the coalition government since it assumed office. The proceedings were adjourned when noisy scenes were created during the first question taken during Question Hour. Intervening on the question, the Chief Minister challenged the opposition to bring before the Assembly a single case of irregularity in the recruitment to government departments made by the coalition government since it assumed office. Replying to the adjournment motion on human rights violations, Mufti pointed out that Jammu and Kashmir was a complex situation to handle. However, consistent efforts made by the government brought about an atmospheric change, he said. He said infiltration, too, was on decline with 192 persons infiltrating this year up to August as compared to 500 last year. The Chief Minister said when the coalition took over in November 2002, there were 1197 persons under detention while there were only 376 detainees now. He said the situation on the human rights front had also improved even as some isolated incidents of violation do take place. He said any human rights violation was condemnable and if an innocent was killed the government felt as much pain as the opposition. He said the complaints of human rights violations have also come down adding in 2002 there were 142 complaints that came down to 25 in 2003, 16 in 2004 and six so far this year.


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