24 soldiers terminated for HR abuses
Srinagar, June 23: Government of India has revealed that 24 army personnel were terminated from the service for committing human rights violations in JK during past 18-years.
In a reply to an RTI query filed by Khurram Parvez of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, Army has disclosed that 24 soldiers were dismissed from services in JK since 1994, for committing crimes like “rape, molestation, deaths.”
According to the information furnished by the Army, at least 12 soldiers were dismissed on rape charges, three for molestation and an equal number for deaths and five others were dismissed for harassment. Surprisingly, a soldier was also terminated on the charges of robbery.
However, the Army has refused to reveal the names of soldiers dismissed from the services, saying it would cause undue invasion into the privacy of individuals.
“Information sought by you is a third party personal information, disclosure of which would cause undue invasion into the privacy of the individual concerned and does not serve any public activity or interest and is therefore, exempted from disclosure under provisions of section 8(i) (j) of RTI Act 2005,”Rajesh Raghav, Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of Indian Army has said.
While queries like number of soldiers reinstated after suspension, investigation reports of the suspension / termination cases were referred to Public Information Officer of Northern Command.
Although the cases of termination/suspension of Army personnel who are involved in rights abuses is never made public by Government of India, but action regarding a few high profile cases has come in public domain.
Major Rehman of 30-RR accused of raping a woman of Badrapayeen Handwara on September 7, 2004 was terminated from the service.
Similarly one Major Tewatia of 12 RR was, terminated from the service and awarded 10 years of rigorous imprisonment. However, Tewatia challenged the court martial verdict and was reinstated by the order of Jammu High Court.
In 2010, Army had claimed 1514 FIRs were registered against its men in cases related to human right violations in Jammu and Kashmir over the last two decades,
The Army had said that out of these 1,508 cases were investigated while probe is continuing in the remaining six cases.
Earlier both, Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defence had not given a single prosecution sanction under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in any of the human rights cases since the 1990 until 2011.While Army works under the command of MoD, paramilitary forces including CRPF worked under the command of MHA.
Meanwhile, Khurram Parvez, of JKCCS said that response of Army is inadequate and evasive. “The MoD seems concerned about the identity of those people who have been charged with serious offences thereby denying information about the personnel. It is totally against the values of transparency and accountability,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 23 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 24 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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