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Institutional denial of justice

January 04, 2020 | Abul Haq  

 


Civil society actors from India repeatedly urge their counterparts in Kashmir to exhaust all remedies at the local and `national’ level before approaching international institutions. The Kashmiris civil society has been telling them that Indian institutions including the civil society behave like charlatans when it comes to Kashmir. In 1947 Kashmiris were promised stars by New Delhi. But what they have got till date is nothing but mud. Institutions like human rights commissions may be credible Delhi or else where but in Kashmir they have no credibility. Over decades of abuse and misuse, the credibility of these institutions has been eroded systematically over the past six decades to such an extent by the state and its agencies that a common Kashmiris feels it difficult to repose trust in them. The report of CBI in Shopian case is virtually the last nail in the coffin of Indian institutions in Kashmir. Today the view point of the pro-freedom camp stands vindicated.
My days with Nehru by an Indian intelligence sleuth, BN Mullick is a good read. The sleuth was sent to Kashmir by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru after the theft of Holy Relic from Hazratbal shrine in December 1963 to “save Kashmir for India”. Mullick discusses everything in the book. What he does not discuss is the outcome of his investigation. “It was an intelligence operation never to be made public”, he makes clear while concluding the book. To this day people of Kashmir do not know who the culprits were.
New Delhi and its agencies have been shielding the armed forces by feeding blatant lies to the gullible Indian people, by tampering evidence, by coercing witnesses and by misusing institutions otherwise meant for ensuring effective administration of justice. The theft of Holy Relic and its recovery tells a lot about how the `largest democracy’ functions in this neglected land. The relic is stolen; it is recovered as well but nobody is booked. People rush from Delhi to help the investigating agencies but to this day general public is unaware of the facts. It happened five decades ago but has anything changed now? When it comes to safeguarding `national interest’ the media, NGOs, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies join hands to project thieves as custodians and rapists as upholders of honour.
In the 20 years of conflict, there have been many allegations of rapes and molestations particularly against the men in uniform. A 1994 United Nations publication (E/CN.4/1995/42, pp.63-69) says that 'during 1992 alone, 882 women were reportedly gang-raped by Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir'.
In November 2004 rape of a mother-daughter duo by forcesin Langate Handwara dominated the headlines. The incident sparked protests across the Kashmir Valley. The Langate incident was preceded by another in Mattan Anantnag where a woman was gangraped .
Surprisingly successive state governments have always ordered probes into abuses. Since 1996 more than 125 probes have been ordered. Action has been taken only in six cases. In four of them the action taken shocked the survivors. The involved officials were reinstated.
Following the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chittisinghpora, the police claimed killing of five `foreign’ militants involved in the massacre at Panchatalan in Anantnag district. The DNA samples of the slain youth were taken to ascertain their identity when the people contested the police claims. The reports were fudged.
The leak of fudging created uproar in the Valley. Dr Farooq responded by making a suo motto statement in the Legislative Assembly. He said Justice G A Kuchey will hold inquiry into the matter and submit his report within two months. "We will convene a special session of the House and place that probe report before the members," he added. Neither was the special session of the legislature convened nor were the findings made public.
Another important event that took place in his regime was the killing of two Dutch nationals. The duo was killed in Srinagar by the BSF when they argued with them. The irresponsible electronic media linked the slain Dutch nationals to Al-Qaeda. As usual a probe was ordered and till this day the Dutch government is waiting for the findings of the probe.
Similarly findings of probes and enquiry commissions constituted during PDP-Congress Coalition, NN Vohra’s brief regime have not been made public. Justice Jan Commission constituted by Omar Abdullah led coalition government came out with his findings but had the character of the victims’ relatives assassinated.
In the Shopian case the observations of the Chief Justice of the State merit special mention and consideration. On July 23 the High Court adjourned the hearing. The learned CJ said: “Either the arrested policemen are involved or know the guilty.”
On August 19, the CJ remarked: “Based on the evidences which were available, the court felt that the puzzle could be cracked, there is a conspiracy to shield someone.”
Again on August 26 the CJ while commenting on Shakeel’s (Neelofar’s husband) involvement observed: “As soon as the fudging of vaginal swab came to light it immediately came to our mind that it cannot be done by the husband of Neelofer. It is not that easy.”
These observations were made by the Chief Justice in his capacity as Chief Justice of Jammu Kashmir and that too in an open court. Can an investigating agency supposed to present the case dairies on a regular basis afford to ignore such observations? However, notwithstanding the observations, the CBI has the gut to give a clean chit to the police, para-military forces and the army. As usual, the CBI sees a conspiracy by the witnesses and the survivors to malign the image of the police and the security forces.
This reminds me of my only friend in the Indian army, late Major Purshotam who got killed in a fidayeen attack on the Badami Bagh cantonment. Whenever I contacted him for his comments to `balance’ my reports, he would say `Yaar likh do wohi’ (Dear friend write what I have already told you). And what he had told me also merits special mention here. “At the behest of the militants to malign the image of the security forces.”
Fudging, assassinating the character of the victims and their families has been aptly used in the past as well to quell demands for justice. This has slowly but surely led to what the human rights defenders now call institutional denial of justice. The way this goal has been achieved reflects the commitment of the Indian state to democracy and transparency. It also reminds Kashmiris of their worth. It tells them what type of izzat aur aabiro ka muqaam (honour and respect) they have got in India.
There is no denying the fat that the armed forces and the intelligence agencies have succeeded in holding Kashmir at gun point for the past sixty-years but they have lost the battle for India at the psychological front. India has lost Kashmir if not geographically then certainly where its heart is concerned. The state has saved an erring official or an unscrupulous politician but at what cost?

 

 

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Institutional denial of justice

January 04, 2020 | Abul Haq  

 


Civil society actors from India repeatedly urge their counterparts in Kashmir to exhaust all remedies at the local and `national’ level before approaching international institutions. The Kashmiris civil society has been telling them that Indian institutions including the civil society behave like charlatans when it comes to Kashmir. In 1947 Kashmiris were promised stars by New Delhi. But what they have got till date is nothing but mud. Institutions like human rights commissions may be credible Delhi or else where but in Kashmir they have no credibility. Over decades of abuse and misuse, the credibility of these institutions has been eroded systematically over the past six decades to such an extent by the state and its agencies that a common Kashmiris feels it difficult to repose trust in them. The report of CBI in Shopian case is virtually the last nail in the coffin of Indian institutions in Kashmir. Today the view point of the pro-freedom camp stands vindicated.
My days with Nehru by an Indian intelligence sleuth, BN Mullick is a good read. The sleuth was sent to Kashmir by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru after the theft of Holy Relic from Hazratbal shrine in December 1963 to “save Kashmir for India”. Mullick discusses everything in the book. What he does not discuss is the outcome of his investigation. “It was an intelligence operation never to be made public”, he makes clear while concluding the book. To this day people of Kashmir do not know who the culprits were.
New Delhi and its agencies have been shielding the armed forces by feeding blatant lies to the gullible Indian people, by tampering evidence, by coercing witnesses and by misusing institutions otherwise meant for ensuring effective administration of justice. The theft of Holy Relic and its recovery tells a lot about how the `largest democracy’ functions in this neglected land. The relic is stolen; it is recovered as well but nobody is booked. People rush from Delhi to help the investigating agencies but to this day general public is unaware of the facts. It happened five decades ago but has anything changed now? When it comes to safeguarding `national interest’ the media, NGOs, autonomous and semi-autonomous bodies join hands to project thieves as custodians and rapists as upholders of honour.
In the 20 years of conflict, there have been many allegations of rapes and molestations particularly against the men in uniform. A 1994 United Nations publication (E/CN.4/1995/42, pp.63-69) says that 'during 1992 alone, 882 women were reportedly gang-raped by Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir'.
In November 2004 rape of a mother-daughter duo by forcesin Langate Handwara dominated the headlines. The incident sparked protests across the Kashmir Valley. The Langate incident was preceded by another in Mattan Anantnag where a woman was gangraped .
Surprisingly successive state governments have always ordered probes into abuses. Since 1996 more than 125 probes have been ordered. Action has been taken only in six cases. In four of them the action taken shocked the survivors. The involved officials were reinstated.
Following the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chittisinghpora, the police claimed killing of five `foreign’ militants involved in the massacre at Panchatalan in Anantnag district. The DNA samples of the slain youth were taken to ascertain their identity when the people contested the police claims. The reports were fudged.
The leak of fudging created uproar in the Valley. Dr Farooq responded by making a suo motto statement in the Legislative Assembly. He said Justice G A Kuchey will hold inquiry into the matter and submit his report within two months. "We will convene a special session of the House and place that probe report before the members," he added. Neither was the special session of the legislature convened nor were the findings made public.
Another important event that took place in his regime was the killing of two Dutch nationals. The duo was killed in Srinagar by the BSF when they argued with them. The irresponsible electronic media linked the slain Dutch nationals to Al-Qaeda. As usual a probe was ordered and till this day the Dutch government is waiting for the findings of the probe.
Similarly findings of probes and enquiry commissions constituted during PDP-Congress Coalition, NN Vohra’s brief regime have not been made public. Justice Jan Commission constituted by Omar Abdullah led coalition government came out with his findings but had the character of the victims’ relatives assassinated.
In the Shopian case the observations of the Chief Justice of the State merit special mention and consideration. On July 23 the High Court adjourned the hearing. The learned CJ said: “Either the arrested policemen are involved or know the guilty.”
On August 19, the CJ remarked: “Based on the evidences which were available, the court felt that the puzzle could be cracked, there is a conspiracy to shield someone.”
Again on August 26 the CJ while commenting on Shakeel’s (Neelofar’s husband) involvement observed: “As soon as the fudging of vaginal swab came to light it immediately came to our mind that it cannot be done by the husband of Neelofer. It is not that easy.”
These observations were made by the Chief Justice in his capacity as Chief Justice of Jammu Kashmir and that too in an open court. Can an investigating agency supposed to present the case dairies on a regular basis afford to ignore such observations? However, notwithstanding the observations, the CBI has the gut to give a clean chit to the police, para-military forces and the army. As usual, the CBI sees a conspiracy by the witnesses and the survivors to malign the image of the police and the security forces.
This reminds me of my only friend in the Indian army, late Major Purshotam who got killed in a fidayeen attack on the Badami Bagh cantonment. Whenever I contacted him for his comments to `balance’ my reports, he would say `Yaar likh do wohi’ (Dear friend write what I have already told you). And what he had told me also merits special mention here. “At the behest of the militants to malign the image of the security forces.”
Fudging, assassinating the character of the victims and their families has been aptly used in the past as well to quell demands for justice. This has slowly but surely led to what the human rights defenders now call institutional denial of justice. The way this goal has been achieved reflects the commitment of the Indian state to democracy and transparency. It also reminds Kashmiris of their worth. It tells them what type of izzat aur aabiro ka muqaam (honour and respect) they have got in India.
There is no denying the fat that the armed forces and the intelligence agencies have succeeded in holding Kashmir at gun point for the past sixty-years but they have lost the battle for India at the psychological front. India has lost Kashmir if not geographically then certainly where its heart is concerned. The state has saved an erring official or an unscrupulous politician but at what cost?

 

 


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Owner, Printer, Publisher, Editor: Farooq Ahmad Wani
Legal Advisor: M.J. Hubi
Printed at: Abid Enterprizes, Zainkote Srinagar
Published from: Gulshanabad Chraresharief Budgam
RNI No.: JKENG/2010/33802
Office No’s: 0194-2451076, 9622924716 , 9419400056
Postal Regd No: SK/135/2010-2019
Administrative Office: Abi Guzer Srinagar

© Copyright 2018 brighterkashmir.com All Rights Reserved.