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Amnesty is ‘assassination’ of the constitution

The Indian Home Minister L.K.Advani’s recent statement that the Indian government was seriously considering to grant general amnesty to the defence personnel who have violated human rights, has received sharp criticism in Kashmir valley. Both anti- and pro-India politicians have shown unanimity in reacting against the announcement.

The All-Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), while criticizing the Indian Home Minister’s statement has termed this declaration as issuance of license to the forces to kill Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir, with no accountability. The conference is of the opinion that Mr. Advani has taken the line to gain political ground within the country.
What has added to surprise is the statement issued by National Human Rights Commission chairman Mr JS Verma that the commission has no objection, if Center withdraws cases against those uniformed men who are charged with human rights abuses.

The Hurriyat Conference appealed to the world community to take cognizance of Mr. Advani’s statement, which is a clear-cut encouragement of further human rights violations.

Some pro-India parties and their Valley based leaders have expressed similar views. Former Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Syed has said that Mr. Advani’s statement indicated that he is heading a counter insurgency group and is not the Home Minister of 1050 million Indians.
The Kashmir Bar Association has viewed on the same lines. The Bar president Nazir Ahmad Ronga said that Mr Advani’s statement is politically motivated and he has failed to estimate the dangerous implications of such a move, if put into practice.

Shahid-ul-Islam, a senior leader of Awami Action Committee (AAC), headed by Mirwaiz Ummar Farooq, said that Mr Advani was trying to gain more popularity in India at the cost of blood of Kashmiri people. Shahid, a lawyer by profession, said that such decisions would not deter people of Kashmir to give up their demand for freedom. Agha Syed Mehdi of Anjuman-e- Shariee Shiyaan said that Advani’s statement is a green signal to Indian army and other forces to kill one and all in Kashmir.

The ruling National Conference leader GN Shaheen, the communist party of India (M) state secretary M. Yusuf Tarigami, The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leaders Abdul Rashid Kabuli and Deen Mohammad Cheeta, PDP vice chairperson Mufti Mehbooba and others have termed Advani’s announcement as ‘unfortunate’ and against human values.

On the other hand, two former chief Justices of Jammu & Kashmir have sharply reacted against the home minister’s statement and have termed it as an attempt to supercede the constitutional guarantees granted to common people. they added that nobody could be placed above the law. The two opined that no law in the world gives undue protection to the guilty as the Indian home minister proposes to do.

The former chief justice of the state Mian Jalal-u-Din termed the move as ‘assassination of the Constitution itself’. Justice Jalal said that such a decision by the Government of India is likely to tarnish the image of India in the world.

Another retired chief justice of the state Mufti Bahau-Ddin Farooqi expressed almost similar views: “Every citizen at whatsoever position and level has to follow the procedural law and none should be treated to be above law”, Mr. Farooqi said.

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