Omar Responds To AI Report22 March 2011
Srinagar: A day after Amnesty International slammed government for using Public Safety Act (PSA) to create a parallel or informal criminal justice system in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday said the report by human rights watchdog deserves to be examined before any comments. “The Amnesty report deserves to be examined in its totality before comments are rushed in to. So don't expect knee jerk reactions from me,” Omar said on the microblogging site Twitter. “I have not been given a copy so what do I comment about,” he added.The report- A Lawless Law- released here yesterday by a two member team says that the “state officials often implement the Public Safety Act in an arbitrative and abusive manner… Detaining authorities fail to provide material on which the grounds of detention are based to detainees or their lawyers. Detainees can approach (often successfully) to the High Court to quash their order of detention, but Amnesty International’s research clearly shows that the J&K authorities consistently thwart the High Court’s orders for release by re-detaining individuals under criminal charges and or issuing further detention orders, thereby securing their continued incarceration.’’ “The ultimate decision as to whether PSA detainees are allowed to go free lies with an executive Screening Committee made up of government officials, police and intelligence officials whose deliberations are not open to any public scrutiny,” it adds. The report further says that the PSA has been used to detain up to 20,000 people during the last two decades. “Between January and September 2010 alone, 322 people were reportedly detained under the PSA,” it says. Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has termed Amnesty International (AI) report as “black spot” on the fair name of India’s democratic system while pro-freedom leadership hailed as fair.