97% Rights Abuse Cases Against Troops False: Army20 October 2010
Jammu: Over 100 army men including 48 officers have faced punitive action in cases related to human right violations in Jammu and Kashmir over the last two decades, Army said Wednesday. “As many as 1,514 FIRs have been registered against army personnel for alleged human rights violations in the last 20 years of militancy”, Brigadier General Staff (BGS), Northern Command, Sanjay Verma told PTI. He said that out of these 1,508 cases have been investigated while probe is continuing in the remaining six cases. “As many as 1,473 complaints - nearly 97 per cent of the cases- were found false and baseless,” Verma said. However, 35 cases (2.3 per cent of total cases) were found true, he said, adding that 104 army men including 48 officers have been punished for human rights violations in J&K. “Our accountability is very strong. Our investigation and punishment in cases related to alleged human rights violations is very fast,” the Brigadier said, underscoring that there “is no room for mistakes.” “Army has always maintained zero-tolerance to human rights violations,” he said. Army officials maintained that they were following certain strict edicts, including presence of police representative during operations and immediate handing over of detainees to police, while conducting counter-terrorism operations under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Army ensures that a police representative is present as part of the operational team though an exception could be made in remote areas where the strength of the police force may not be sufficient to be deployed in more than one operation going on simultaneously, they said. All operations are conducted as joint operations with the police, they said adding that recoveries made, detainees and bodies of those killed are immediately handed over to the local police. “No unilateral arrests or searches are made. All actions are based on hard actionable intelligence,” they said, adding that army has discontinued crowd control measures and has left the task to the state police. “No women are searched until women police personnel are present during the operation,” they said.