Jobs @ MG
License to kill
By S Ubaidur Rahman
|Home Minister LK Advani’s recent
announcement to grant universal amnesty to police officials and army
personnel who have been facing trials in human rights violation cases has
come in for sharp criticism from all corners. People have not only
criticized the proposal as illogical and anti-secular but have also called
the proposal as fascist.
Home Minister had announced recently in Jalundhar that the centre was
considering a form of general amnesty for soldiers and other security
forces personnel accused of human rights violations while fighting
terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir and the Northeast areas of the country.
Human rights activists, political parties and even common people have
called the move illogical and have said that the implications of the
announcement will be far reaching and detrimental for the national
integrity. Human rights activists are blaming the home minister of making
an outrageous and illogical statement without doing any home work. They
have claimed that the idea is politically dishonest, administratively
untenable and intellectually indefensible.
The move seems to be outrageous. India is a signatory to the International
Convention on Civil and Political Rights, and the International Convention
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. India signed these accords in
1979 thirteen years after it being adopted by the United Nations. All the
human rights listed in these conventions have been guaranteed under the
Indian Constitution and the government of India, therefore is bound under
the international law and the law of the land to protect human rights
guaranteed to the people.
Justice R Sachar, former justice of the Delhi High Court told this
correspondent that the proposal shows shades of Hitler in Advani’s
proposal as it will allow security forces behave like Hitler’s army. He
said that India is governed by a Constitution and Advani is the home
minister of this country and not the home minister of a kingdom that
existed in the middle ages.
Ms. Maja Daruwala, director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative
says, ‘Is Mr. Advani asking for rape and torture to be allowed in the
line of duty? She says that instead of making such announcements why the
home minister doesn’t stress over more accountability and efficiency and
better service conditions along with a more wholesome police culture-not a
subculture of violence and abusive attitudes towards public. Ms Daruwala
adds that ‘his work is to uphold the majesty of the law in the whole
country and the rights of every citizen under the Constitution. To suggest
that it is all right under some circumstances to violate the law is
amazing.’ Ms Daruwala said that it seems the home minister has not been
able to give enough thought on the proposal.
GM Bhat, a Hurriyat Conference leader, told this correspondent that Mr.
Advani was trying to give a sort of license to security personnel to kill.
He said that the security personnel were doing everything to destroy the
Jammu & Kashmir and people have already suffered enormously at the
hands of the security forces. He said the move if implemented will provide
a blanket cover to the security personnel and they will be free to do
whatever they want with impunity. Bhat said that the security personnel
have not spared anything and never any security personnel has been
punished for atrocities inflicted upon the common people in the state. He
said that a prominent lawyer of the Valley Jalil Andrabi was killed by the
security personnel and the joint interrogation team formed to look into
the matter also came to the same conclusion and indicted an Army Major,
Avatar Singh. But the guilty has not been punished for what he did to
Andrabi. He is still roaming freely.’
Molvi Abbas Ansari, a prominent Kashmiri leader and a member of Hurriyat
Conference’s Executive Council was also of the same opinion. He told
this correspondent that proposal is aimed to give total freedom to the
security personnel to do whatever they want with no fear of punishment.
But he says that instead of supressing the independence struggle in the
Valley it will give it a boost as even those people who are not in favour
of our demands will be forced to rethink their stand. He says that it will
strengthen the struggle in Kashmir and help the cause of the separatist
movement in the Valley and elsewhere.
There are people who think that if the proposal of amnesty gets its way
through legislation it will endanger the security of the country. People
fear that the proposal will not only create havoc in Northeast areas and
J&K but also make the whole country unsafe for common people. Police
and some paramilitary forces like the PAC are dreaded by common people for
their behavior during riots. The partiality of these paramilitary forces
is an established fact and it is very rare when they have ever been
punished. Even personnel who have been indicted by the commissions set up
to look into the matter are still either serving in the forces or enjoying
their post retirement days.
Maulana Muhammad Jafar, secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, says
‘that the proposal is absurd and in total violation of the Indian
Constitution. He says that it will be a license in the hands of the
security personnel to do as they please and there will not be any fear of
accountability or punishment.’ He adds that ‘it will prove detrimental
for the secular and democratic face of the country’.
Even common people are of the view that it will give tremendous power to
the Army and the paramilitary forces and amnesty will take away
accountability and the human rights violations will increase. It is a
common perception that Mr. Advani in the name of the dreaded ISI is
seeking to set in place a powerful security apparatus that draws its
directions from the home ministry but which can beat and kill in the name
of counter insurgency operations. Though it is unlikely that the move will
ever see the light of the day, it amply shows how Advani & company