Posts Tagged ‘Forced disappearance’

Peoples’ Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)
Cordially invites you

for a
Public Meeting/Discussion
“Impunity for Alleged Perpetrators and Quest for Justice in Jammu & Kashmir”
On the 24th Jan 2013, Thursday
Between 1pm—5pm at Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi.

Speakers and Discussants:
Pervez Imroz, Arundhati Roy, Nivedita Menon, Karthik.

Asish Gupta & D. Manjit
Secretaries, PUDR

(N.B: Please see the following statement of PUDR)

People’s Union for Democratic Rights
Press Statement

PUDR welcomes study on ‘Alleged Perpetrators’ on the culture of impunity in Jammu & Kashmir. Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) welcomes the release of the
study “Alleged Perpetrators” by the International Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-Administered Kashmir (IPTK) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP)   on the culture of impunity ubiquitous in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. PUDR acknowledges that this is the first ever study in India which has broken the cover of anonymity which protects the perpetrators by raising the principle of ‘individual criminal responsibility’ which is well established under International Criminal Law starting with Nuremburg Trials and several UN tribunals.

Equally it raises the principle of Command Responsibility and principle of Joint Criminal Enterprise which too forms part of International Criminal Law. The Indian State ‘authorizations’ to armed forces to carry out every kind of operation, often without adherence to laws and norms under draconian legislations such as AFSPA  on the pretext of combating militant violence while simultaneously being in breach of bringing India’s domestic laws in line with International Conventions such as against Torture, Enforced Disappearance and Genocide compounds the impunity extended to India’s security forces because certain crimes are non-justiciable under Indian’s domestic law.

The study exposes the state of impunity through a study of 214 cases, using information garnered from official State documents. The documents include FIRs, statements before police and /or magistrates, police final reports, High Court petitions, objections, other documents forming a part of the court record such as compliance reports, status report, judicial enquiries, SHRC documents from complaints to objections, police submissions and final orders; the documents in custody of the State itself arraign the armed forces and the police of culpability in specific crimes. But the study also supplements these documents with testimonies of victims and other witnesses.

The study successfully refutes the claim of the Indian state that commission of crimes is an aberration than policy. It indicts the Indian State for pursuing a policy which engenders the state of impunity by listing 500 individual perpetrators, which include 235 army personnel, 123 paramilitary personnel, 111 Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel and 31 Government backed militants/associates. The list of perpetrators includes 2 Major Generals, 3 Brigadiers, 9 Colonels, 3 Lt. Colonels, 78 Majors and 25 captains of the Indian army as well as 2 Additional Director Generals of central para-military forces, 2 DIGs and 12 commandants. It also indicts a DG of Police and a serving IG of police.

The study shows how State violence is institutionalized through a culture of institutional impunity to the state forces where the police, the judiciary and other organs of the government perpetuate the state of human rights violation. This has resulted in enforced and involuntary disappearance of an estimated 8000 persons, besides more than 70,000 deaths, and disclosures of more than 6000 unknown, unmarked and mass graves as of November 2012. There is hardly any prosecution and conviction of the perpetrators. The unwillingness of the Indian State is revealed in the mass grave issue where the Kashmir Home Department on 19 October, 2012 expressed inability to carry out DNA tests because there are no more than “15-16 recognised labs in the Government as well as Private Sector”.  And then turns the entire issue into a farce when they ask that the blood relative should indicate “with fair amount of certainty the exact location of the graveyard and the grave”!

The study highlight that the state structure specifically sanctions commission of crimes through provisions such as the system of cash incentives, awards and out of turn promotions for anti-militancy operations, and prioritizing for the victims the system of monetary compensation over justice. The venerable Supreme Court has also ended up shielding criminals by upholding in the Pathribal fake encounter case denial of sanction for prosecution under AFSPA thereby raising yet another wall to protect the perpetrators.

The recent Universal Periodic Review by UN agency tasked with human rights, on India, revealed that Indian Government has rejected 67 recommendations out of 168 made by the committee which had among other things asked the Indian State to repeal AFSPA, and to ratify and bring domestic laws in accordance with International Convention Against Torture, Enforced Disappearance and Genocide. This blatant refusal by the Indian state currently engaged in taking its claim to a permanent seat in the UN Security Council only lends credence to the study which concluded by indicting India State and establishing that victims of armed conflicts stand little chance to get justice from Indian state institutions because they are themselves implicated in the perpetuation of impunity.

PUDR in extending solidarity with IPTK/APDP demands:
•         Adherence to domestic and international obligations and punishment to all perpetrators of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.
•         Withdrawal of security related legislations that are in contravention of international humanitarian laws and norms.
•         Ratification of Convention Against Torture, Convention Against Genocide and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by the Government of India.

Asish Gupta and D. Manjit


Posted On November 10, 2012

KL Desk


The organization of the parents of disappeared persons (APDP) revealed on Saturday that out of all the cases documented by it, so for, from Srinagar district, 82.25% have eyewitness accounts of the direct involvement of the security forces. APDP alleged that despite proofs no action was taken till date against culprits.

Relatives of disappeared person in Partap Park Srinagar. The protest is organised every month on 10th by APDP. Photo By: Bilal Bahadur

“Despite having the documental evidences against the security forces that are responsible for the enforced disappearances, justice is still awaited,” alleged APDP in a statement issued here.

APDP which organized a yet another sit in on Saturday demanded that India should ratify the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance and repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“Ridiculous statements  are being issued by the governments from time-to-time about the number of the enforced disappeared persons from the state of J&K, which gives clear picture of their frustration and non-seriousness about the issue. Instead of delivering justice to the already existing cases, where the perpetrators are roaming freely, both the state and the central government are busy hushing up this issue and safeguarding the perpetrators, using the draconian laws like AFSPA, PSA, etc,” the statement said.

The statement added, “the suppression and oppression resulting out of over two decade long conflict has rendered the family members of victims of enforced or involuntary disappearances economically crippled, psychologically bruised and socially ostracized”.

Over the years Kashmir witnessed  innumerable cases of human rights violations ranging from tortures, extra judicial killings to enforced disappearances. The endless wait, immense pain and unexplained silence describe the pathetic conditions of family members of those who have lost their loved ones.

“The denial of justice has added to the plight of the family members of the disappeared people, APDP said and added, “the impunity provided to the security agencies through laws like AFSPA, DAA, PSA, etc gives them license to kill, disappear, torture, harass and ransack the possessions without being questioned and the tragedy is that the burden of proof shifts on the victims,” it added.


The kashmir Reader

Published: Sat, 08 December 2012 08:47 PM

The most consistent discourse in Kashmir for the last 22 years has been about allegations of grave human rights violations inflicted on the people by various actors in the armed conflict over the territory. We have seen non-state armed combatants have often been punished through court trials as well as by a system that ensures the rebels or dissidents don’t live dignified lives even though in no circumstances does the international human rights law take that right away.
However, when it comes to crimes allegedly committed by members of the government forces not only do we see lack of political will to subject the accused to the rule of law, but also on the contrary some accused personnel have been rewarded in various ways for actions that could have resulted in those crimes.
This is one of the significant concerns raised in a report released by human rights groups in Srinagar on Thursday. Apart from naming 500 alleged perpetrators who, according to information available with the government and in many cases the courts as well, have not been put through a legally desired process or prosecution to prove them guilty or otherwise beyond any reasonable doubt. These accused personnel mostly belong to the central armed forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, the state police and government backed gunmen active in Kashmir at various points in time since 1990.

In absence of laws under which crimes like enforced disappearance and torture could be tried the government has squarely failed the victims and their families. The issue cannot be ignored or responded to by silent indifference

The list of crimes includes extra-judicial killings and rape besides enforced disappearance and torture. It is the latter two crimes that pose a challenge to both the government of India and Jammu and Kashmir as well as the affected people – the victims and survivors. The Indian state has not legislated on crimes of enforced disappearance and torture, which means that there exist no laws in the country under which such grave crimes can be tried.
What this has meant for the wives, children and families of an estimated 80000 victims of alleged enforced disappearance is that they have no access to legal instruments they could use to ensure a legal process for securing justice. This is precisely the reason why Thursday’s report calls upon the international community to press for the use of existing international humanitarian law to address issues of justice delivery in Jammu and Kashmir.
Any government, duly elected or not, has the paramount responsibility of securing the lives of citizens and ensure a legal environment in which no victim goes unheard by means of a due process.
The issue at hand is a serious one which cannot be ignored or responded to by silence