The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)- an India based group, has welcomed the report “Alleged Perpetrators” released by the International Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-Administered Kashmir (IPTK) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) about the continuous impunity enjoyed by the paramilitary forces and the police in the Jammu and Kashmir.
PUDR, in its statement, acknowledges that this is the first ever study in India which has broken the cover of anonymity which protects the perpetrators by raising the principle of ‘individual criminal responsibility’ which is well established under International Criminal Law starting with Nuremburg Trials and several UN tribunals.
“It raises the principle of Command Responsibility and principle of Joint Criminal Enterprise which too forms part of International Criminal Law. The Indian State ‘authorizations’ to armed forces to carry out every kind of operation, often without adherence to laws and norms under draconian legislations such as AFSPA [Armed Forces Special Powers Act] on the pretext of combating militant violence while simultaneously being in breach of bringing India’s domestic laws in line with International Conventions such as against Torture, Enforced Disappearance and Genocide compounds the impunity extended to India’s security forces because certain crimes are non-justiciable under Indian’s domestic law,” PUDR said in the statement.
It said that the study exposes the state of impunity through a study of 214 cases, using information garnered from official State documents, which include FIRs, statements before police and/or magistrates, police final reports, High Court petitions, objections, other documents forming a part of the court record such as compliance reports, status report, judicial enquiries, State Human Rights Comission (SHRC) documents from complaints to objections, police submissions and final orders. It furthers added that the documents in custody of the State itself arraign the armed forces and the police of culpability in specific crimes but the study also supplements these documents with testimonies of victims and other witnesses.
It acknowledged that the report indicts the Indian State for pursuing a policy which engenders the state of impunity by listing 500 individual perpetrators, which include 235 army personnel, 123 paramilitary personnel, 111 Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel and 31 Government backed militants/associates.
While highlighting the findings of the report the PUDR said: “The study shows how State violence is institutionalized through a culture of institutional impunity to the state forces where the police, the judiciary and other organs of the government perpetuate the state of human rights violation. This has resulted in enforced and involuntary disappearance of an estimated 8000 persons, besides more than 70,000 deaths, and disclosures of more than 6000 unknown, unmarked and mass graves as of November 2012.”
Extending their solidarity, PUDR demanded the adherence to domestic and international obligations and punishment to all perpetrators of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. It also demanded the withdrawal of security related legislations that are in contravention of international humanitarian laws and norms and ratification of Convention Against Torture, Convention Against Genocide and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by the Government of India.