We’ve come to study latest developments: AI team
Srinagar, Apr 17: The 2-member Amnesty International team, which is on a 12-day visit to Valley, has started holding deliberations with the various sections of the society, including separatists, lawyers, NGOs, various officials and members of the civil society.
The 2-member team comprising Septarsahi Mandal and Sahana Basavapatna, called on the Chairman of Hurriyat (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani at his Haiderpora residence here on Monday and sought his views about the prevailing situation. Geelani, according to Hurriyat insiders, apprised the team about the present situation in Kashmir. “Geelani made them aware about plight of hundreds of detainees languishing in various jails who were arrested on the name of preventive custody and other human rights violations taking place in the state,” the insider said.
The team on Tuesday called on the Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at his Nageen residence here. Mirwaiz, according to the Hurriyat (M) spokesman said, “On one hand Prime Minister of India is claiming that situation in the Valley is improving but on the other hand grave human rights violations continue to haunt Kashmiris with youth being booked and arrested everyday.”
Mirwaiz said, “Military and paramilitary forces are enjoying black powers. Army is against the repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as it provides impunity to it and gives it license to book or kill anyone.”
He urged the AI team to play its role in the representation of cases like unmarked graves and disappearances.
The team also visited Jammu and Kashmir High Court wherein it took notes of latest proceedings of cases regarding PSA and AFSPA. The members also visited State Human Rights Commission. Secretary SHRC Tariq Ahmad Banday told Greater Kashmir that the AI team had been misinformed about the functioning of the commission. “They had certain misconceptions that the commission was working under the influence of the government but we made it clear that it (Commission) is free and whatever they have heard is incorrect,” he said.
The team members also met the President of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) Parveena Ahanager besides visiting the victim families.
Parveena said the team must represent their suffering and press for an independent commission in the disappearances. “We have only grief to share and we just asked them to represent us. The team is doing what I have been also doing for the past 20 years and we will not stop till justice is given,” she said.
Septarsahi Mandal told Greater Kashmir that they had come to study the latest developments regarding PSA, AFSPA, disappearances and unmarked graves and talk to people. “Earlier we had published a report on PSA. Since then lot has been talked about the things in Kashmir regarding AFSPA even government had announced that the law shall be lifted from certain areas. We are here to see the ground situation,” he said.
“We are talking to victim families and studying cases. In fact Bar Association provided us some of the recent cases of PSA. We are collecting information,” Mandal said, adding that they had to talk to every stakeholder in valley.
About the change Kashmir has undergone since their last visit, Mandal said he cannot comment on the issue yet. “It is only after collecting information and studying the developments it will be clear what has changed and what remains to be changed. Things will come to fore after the report is prepared,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 17 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 17 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 18 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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