Amnesty International calls for trial of Indian troops
The Amnesty International, the London-based world human rights organisation, has said that Indian army personnel facing charges of serious violations of human rights must stand trial.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the Amnesty International, citing India’s Supreme Court February 4 order, stated that the Indian army could not invoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to avoid the prosecution of eight officers charged with the March 2000 killing of five Kashmiri villagers at Pathribal.
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s statement that there should be no need to obtain prior approval for prosecuting security personnel charged with having committed grave human rights violations such as rape and murder,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Director on Asia-Pacific in a statement posted on the AI website.
“While the Court’s remark opens the chance for the prosecution of the eight army personnel Amnesty International reiterates its demand for the repeal of the AFSPA, which has been in force in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990,” Sam Zarifi said.
“For far too long, Indian security forces have used the AFSPA as a cover for serious human rights violations. The Supreme Court’s statement should finally allow some light to be shed on some of the army’s most gruesome violations – providing some hope for justice for the victims and a step forward imposing the rule of law,” the AI Director maintained.
The Supreme Court’s statement in the case has pitted the army against India’s premier investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Indian armed forces had claimed that the five were Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) guerrillas involved in the shooting of 35 members of the Sikh community at Chhattisingpura in the valley prior to the visit of the then United States’ President Bill Clinton to India in the same month. The CBI’s investigation showed that the five people killed were in fact villagers from Brariangan, Halan and Islamabad town.
“The AFSPA has provisions giving protection to personnel engaged in armed operations in designated areas from any legal proceedings unless it is approved by the Union government,” he said, adding that “this rarely happens in practice, as a result of which these laws have provided impunity for perpetrators of grave human rights violations.”
this is the disgraceful face of Indian occupation that needs to be highlighted for the sake of Human rights and Freedom of Kashmiris from the Indian occupation