J-K Seeks Centre's Sanction To Prosecute Armymen26 October 2010
The Indian Express
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government has sought sanction from the Centre to prosecute Armymen under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in 41 human rights violation cases in the state. 'The Jammu and Kashmir Home department has sought the sanction from the central government to prosecute Army persons under AFSPA in 41 cases since 1990,' a senior Army officer of Northern Command said. A total of 41 cases have been received by the central government since 1990. Out of this, 36 cases have already been investigated. 'No prosecution sanction has been accorded by the central government so far. Out of the 36 cases investigated, sanction was not accorded in 14 cases, 2 were settled and 1 case was referred back to the J-K government,' the officer said. He said the remaining 19 cases are under process at the Army Headquarters and Ministry of Defence. 'As many as 1,514 cases have been registered against the Army concerning human rights allegations in the last 20 years of militancy,' he said, adding 1,508 cases had already been probed. 'In as many as 1,473 cases, nearly 97 percent of them were found false and baseless.' However, 35 cases (2.3 percent of total cases) were found true. 104 Armymen, including 48 officers and 56 other ranks, have been punished for human right violations in Jammu and Kashmir, he said. 'Our accountability is very strong. Our investigation and punishment in human rights cases are very fast,' the officer said. There is no room for mistakes. Army has alway maintained zero-tolerance for human rights violations, he added. Army follows certain edicts while conducting counter-terrorist operations under the AFSPA. It ensures that a police representative is present as part of the operational team. Exception may be in remote areas where the strength of the police force may not be sufficient for deployment in more than one operation going on simultaneously, army officials said. All operations are conducted jointly with the police and recoveries made or bodies of terrorists killed are immediately handed over to the local police. No unilateral arrests or searches are made. All actions are based on hard actionable intelligence, Army officials said, adding, 'Searches of women are not conducted until women police are present during the operation.'