By Karen Diep
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia
NEW DELHI, India – On Thursday, a 354 page report published by human rights groups, International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian Administered Kashmir (IPTK) and Srinagar-based Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), alleged that more than 500 members of India’s armed forces are in violation of human rights in India-administered Kashmir.
Specifically, the report entitled “Alleged Perpetrators – Stories of Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir” names nine colonels, three brigadiers of Indian Army, three lieutenant colonels, seventy eight majors, twenty five captains, and thirty seven senior officials of the federal Paramilitary forces as agents of countless human rights violations: rape, torture, custody deaths, and abduction.
“While we believe in fixing the responsibility on the individuals, we have highlighted the culpability of the Indian state in shielding the perpetrators,” stated APDP’s chief Parvez Imroz.
According to BBC News, human rights lawyer Kartik Murukutla and an author of the report relayed that India’s urgency in Kashmir was to “control the territory, not pursue justice.”
“For the victims, the wait for proper justice seems perpetual. In its approach to justice, the Indian state has not moved beyond cash relief or the promise of re-investigation. The state has willfully lowered the standard of justice as well as the crimes perpetrated,” shared Mr. Murukutla.
IPTK and APDP had gathered information through India’s new freedom of information laws from the police and interviews with families and others.
“This report prepared over two years using information gleaned mostly from official State documents, portrays the state of impunity prevalent in J&K where identities of the individual perpetrators of crime are known,” read an executive summary released four days in advance of World Human Rights Day.
According to BBC News, an army spokesman relayed that he was unaware of such a report. “If they have sent it to the defense ministry we have not received it so far. We can respond after proper perusal of the document,” said Lt-Col HS Brar.
Since 1989, thousands have died in a separatist insurgency in Kashmir, a disputed region claimed by both India and Pakistan.
For more information, please see:
The Hindu – Top Army, police officials involved in human rights abuse in Kashmir – 7 December 2012
BBC – India Officials accused of Kashmir rights abuses – 6 December 2012
Kafila – Full report: Alleged Perpetrators – Stories of Impunity in Jammu & Kashmir – 6 December – 2012