SRINAGAR, Jan 8: A sketchy annual assessment report about civilian killings and other rights abuse compiled by Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a local human rights group, belies government claims that year 2012 was one of the most peaceful years in the state.
“…In 2012, a total of 148 people have lost their lives due to violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir. Out of 148 persons, 35 were civilians, 75 were alleged militants, 36 armed forces personnel, one was an unknown person and one a retired police officer. Out of the total 35 civilians killed in 2012, six were children and nine were women, amongst whom four were tourists,” reads the JKCCS assessment report.
During this ‘one of the most peaceful year’, eight people were killed extra-judicially by the armed forces and police, says the report, adding that in all these cases of extra-judicial killings, the government has failed to either prosecute or conduct an impartial conclusive investigation.
“…Whether it was the killing of Altaf Ahmad Sood, a 21 year old boy allegedly shot dead by CISF at Boniyar in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district, or Hilal Ahmad Dar, a 25 year old a resident of Lahipora, Aaloosa, Bandipora who was killed in a fake encounter by army (27 RR) or Ashiq Hussain Rather, a resident of Rafiabad, Baramulla killed by the army (32 RR); the armed forces continues to kill civilians with the impunity provided under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and so far in none of these cases as well any meaningful investigations has been carried out, which could have led to the prosecution of the armed forces personnel,” reads the report.
On the other hand, year 2012 was not also peaceful for the political workers as their killings remained unabated phenomenon. “In the year 2012, we have recorded killings of 5 civilian political workers. 3 out of the 5 political workers killed belong to ruling National Conference party, 2 were independent Sarpanchs. In the last several years the political workers who have been killed no one has been prosecuted,” reads the JKCCS report.
Year 2012 also witnessed suicides and fratricides by the personnel of the armed forces. “This year, nine armed forces personnel committed suicides in Jammu and Kashmir due to unknown reasons and one personnel was killed in fratricidal incident of violence,” reads the report prepared by JKCCS.
Around 225 persons were detained under Public Safety Act in 2012 while three persons lost their lives due to unexploded shells, says the report. “…Even in 2011 and 2012, when there was no apparent street uprising, hundreds of boys were detained on the pretext of being stone pelters. These young boys are subjected to torture, intimidation and harassment. In many police stations boys are illegally being detained; sometimes for few hours and sometimes for few days. Some boys are regularly being called to police stations on one pretext or the other. There is complete disregard towards the juvenility of the boys being detained. This year many minors were arrested on charges of stone pelting,” the report reads further.
During the year 2012, three persons have lost their lives in explosions, which were caused due to unexploded shells used during counter insurgency operations. “Two out of the three persons killed are minors.”
Adding salt to the injuries, the government ordered probes in eight cases of human rights violations during year 2012. “…So far only two inquiries have concluded and officials have been indicted but no prosecution proceedings have been initiated, which is nothing unprecedented as even in the past probes have been announced by the government to neutralise the public pressure. From 2003 to 2012, different governments have appointed 163 probes but justice remains elusive.”
-Kashmir Times

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