Jobs @ MG
Rising custodial deaths
|The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
has taken serious note of rising custodial deaths in Jammu and Kashmir.
Taking Suo-moto action on the basis of newspaper reports, the NHRC has
issued notices to the state government, Defence Ministry and Home Ministry
to explain the rise in custodial deaths.
The Commission has asked the Chief Secretary Ashok Jaitly and Director
General Police A.K. Suri to send their detailed investigation reports within
two months on the reported killings.
A spokesman of the NHRC said the Commission was reacting to news reports
which said there had been a rise in deaths in custody in Kashmir. The deaths
had triggered public protests in the Valley, he said.
The NHRC has listed six custodial deaths. It has particularly mentioned a
newspaper report on the death of Aijaz Ahmad Khatib, allegedly arrested and
killed by the Special Operation Group (SOG) in a ‘fake encounter’ on May 20.
The State Police Chief had, however, said the man was listed as a militant
and was killed in an encounter.
The Commission has also got complaints from residents of various localities
in Kashmir Valley. They had sent newspaper clippings to the NHRC
headquarters at Sardar Patel Bhawan in New Delhi. According to these reports
one Gulzar Ahmad Ganie was taken into custody by troops and later tortured.
He succumbed to his injuries in hospital after being released. Another man,
Ghulam Mohammed Bhatt, is being treated in hospital after being allegedly
tortured by the Border Security Force (BSF). The NHRC also mentioned the
deaths of two school students, Shiraz Ahmad Khan and Syed Malik, in similar
circumstances. Two other civilians died when they were allegedly asked to
neutralize a landmine planted by militants. q