January 2008 News

Human Rights: NC, JKLF Contest Govt Claim

9 January 2008
Kashmir Watch

Srinagar: Several separatist organisations, including the Hurriyat Conference and the JKLF, have sharply reacted to the government claim that there was total adherence to the zero tolerance on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. The APHC chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has sharply reacted to the Governor Lt-Gen S K Sinha's (retd) address to the joint session of the State legislature in Jammu on Monday and expressed concern over the statement on human rights violations. He claimed that 14 persons had been killed in custody, 20 others in fake encounters, 12 others disappeared while five cases of rapes at the hands of security forces had taken place during the past few months. Reacting to the Governorís speech in the Legislative Assembly in Jammu on Monday, the JKLF chairman, Mohammad Yasin Malik termed it an attempt to hide atrocities and crimes allegedly perpetrated by the troops. 'Ignoring a number killings of civilians and atrocities on people at various places during 2007, the Governor seems to be living in a make-believe world of dreams', Malik said. He claimed that 677 persons were killed by troops up to December 10 in 2007 and alleged that 44 persons were killed in custody. He added that 210 'residential houses were destroyed, chastity of 70 women outraged, atrocities were perpetrated on thousands of people during crackdowns and search operations', Malik stated. Malik said that during Safar-e-Azadi programme he visited 8000 villages and saw villages transformed into virtual concentration camps by the Army. Sinha had yesterday said that 2007 witnessed lowest number of militancy- related incidents and civilian killings. 'We acknowledge excellent work done by the police, para-military forces and the army with the cooperation of the people', he said. Saying that the commitment of the government to the protection of human rights remains firm and unshakeable, he said, 'we have practically achieved the goal of zero tolerance to violation of human rights and prompt action has been taken whenever complaints received'.

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