Kashmir: Victims have no faith in the army

Srinagar: Describing an offer of tracing missing persons by the Army’s 15 Core Chief, Lt. Gen. Hasnain as a ‘despicable public relations stunt,’ Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP), said that only an international and independent investigation would be acceptable to family members of the disappeared.

“The recent claims by Lt. Gen. Hasnain are nothing but propaganda for hoodwinking public opinion. Investigations by perpetrators aren’t acceptable to family members of disappeared. The perpetrators can’t themselves be judges of crimes they’ve perpetrated,” said Ghulam Nabi Mir, spokesman of the Association, during a monthly sit-in organized here on February 28.

He added “APDP believes only an international and independent investigation would be impartial and acceptable to family members of the disappeared. If the army somehow wants to cooperate in the investigations, they should begin granting sanctions under AFSPA and stop hiding behind legal immunity,”

The spokesman further said, “Macchil fake encounter is a recent case of human rights abuses by the army as well as of how police is forced to register false FIRs. Despite media exposé the army continues to refuse cooperating with police and civil administration in investigations”.

The spokesman alleged that “the army has a history of frustrating investigations conducted by police in enforced disappearance cases and also refusing to handover its personnel to police for trial in cases where investigations have indicted perpetrators. In the last 20 years, Indian Defence Ministry has refused to grant sanctions for prosecution of Army personnel under AFSPA. Army has called AFSPA a holy book, which provides legal impunity to its personnel”.     

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 15

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