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PUCL Bulletin, September 2004

Status of children in India

United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRCC) receives reports from Governments on the implementations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

India submitted its Initial Reports on the implementation of the CRC in 1997. The CRCC was to consider this first periodic report in January 2004.
According to the Asian Centre for Human Rights, the report of the Government of India ignores many observations made by the CRCC in January 2000. Its first periodic report submitted in 2001 ignores many critical observations made by the CRCC.

The Asian Centre for Human Rights put together an ‘ Alternate Report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’ on India’s first periodic report.
We excerpt some important portions of the Alternate report of the Asian Centre for Human Rights.

IV. General Principles

Article 2: Non-Discrimination
In its periodic report, the Government of India refers to various legislations prohibiting discrimination in India. While the Government of India has enacted constitutional safeguards and special laws to combat the crimes against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, implementation of these laws remains a problematic area.

According to statistics presented to the Parliament on 20 February 2003, atrocities against the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes have been increasing exponentially. 34799 cases were registered in 1999, 36,971 cases were registered in 2000 and 39,157 were registered in 2001 under SCs/ STs Prevention of Atrocities Act

The Government of India states that “several trends such as urbanization, positive discrimination, growing literacy and economic growth have been whittling down caste barriers, especially in urban areas.” It is actually skin deep. The advertisements in the matrimonial columns of the daily newspapers – which give preference to castes - provide testimonies to prevailing caste consciousness in the Indian psyche. In addition, the majority of the populations of India live in rural areas where caste discrimination is alive and kicking.

Out of 28 States and 7 Union Territories only 10 States have established Special Courts under SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities Act), 1989. The remaining States and Union Territories of India have notified the existing Courts of Sessions as Special Courts.

The caste system is the most visible and degrading form of discrimination in India. People of higher castes discriminate against people of lower castes. Within the circle of caste discrimination, comes discrimination based on economic means; people of lower castes have been confined to certain jobs at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.

In a letter to the Prime Minister of India in August 2003, National Human Rights Commission requested to instruct the concerned agencies to end the manual scavenging practice within a specific time frame. NHRC Chairman Justice (Retd) A.S. Anand stated, “Despite your assurances that the need to end the practice of manual scavenging was included as part of the 15-point initiative on 15 August 2002, it is a sad commentary that the inhuman practice still continues in several states… The practice of manual scavenging is an affront to human dignity and a major social evil which needs to be eliminated.”

While Dalits are considered as “untouchable” - too polluted to be touched by the upper castes - the rape of Dalit women and girls, who represent the honour of the community - by the upper caste Hindus is commonplace. In their daily lives, untouchability results in widespread discrimination. The Dalit women and girls are paraded naked in villages. If a Dalit touches pots and pans, upper caste Hindus sprinkle ‘holy water’ around to purify all that has been touched by the Dalit.

In some villages, Dalits are not allowed to wear shoes; if they wear shoes, they will be forced to take them off when coming into the presence of a dominant caste person. In rural areas, Dalits are not allowed to cycle through the dominant caste area of the village. In most places, Dalits live mainly in separate villages. Dalits are not allowed to enter many Hindu temples, for fear of polluting the temples. Dalits have been chased out, abused and beaten up for daring to as much as set foot inside a temple, even though it is a temple for their religion. Yet, nothing explains more lucidly the atrocities faced by the Dalits than the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) adopted on 11 September 1989. Article 3 of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act describes the atrocities faced by the Dalits:
“3. Punishments for offences of atrocities

(1) Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe,
(i) forces a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to drink or eat any inedible or obnoxious substance;
(ii) acts with intent to cause injury, insult or annoyance to any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe by dumping excreta, waste matter, carcasses or any other obnoxious substance in his premises or neighbourhood;
(iii) forcibly removes clothes from the person of a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or parades him naked or with painted face or body or commits any similar act which is derogatory to human dignity;
(iv) wrongfully occupies or cultivates any land owned by, or allotted to, or notified by any competent authority to be allotted to, a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or gets the land allotted to him transferred;
(v) wrongfully dispossesses a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe from his land or premises or interferes with the enjoyment of his rights over any land, premises or water;
(vi) compels or entices a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to do ‘begar’ or other similar forms of forced or bonded labour other than any compulsory service for public purposes imposed by Government;
(vii) forces or intimidates a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe not to vote or to vote to a particular candidate or to vote in a manner other than that provided by law;
(viii) institutes false, malicious or vexatious suit or criminal or other legal proceedings against a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;
(ix) gives, any false or frivolous information to any public servant and thereby causes such public servant to use his lawful power to the injury or annoyance of a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe;
(x) intentionally insults or intimidates with intent to humiliate a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe in any place within public view;
(xi) assaults or uses force to any woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe with intent to dishonour or outrage her modesty;
(xii) being in a position to dominate the will of a woman belonging to a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe and uses that position to exploit her sexually to which she would not have otherwise agreed;
(xiii) corrupts or fouls the water of any spring, reservoir or any other source ordinarily used by members of the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes so as to render it less fit for the purpose for which it is ordinarily used;
(xiv) denies a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe any customary right of passage to a place of public resort or obstructs such member so as to prevent hint from using or having access to a place of public resort to which other members of public or any section thereof have a right to use or access to;
(xv) forces or causes a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to leave his house, village or other place of residence, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to five years and with fine.

(2) Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe,-
(i) gives or fabricates false evidence intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to be convicted of an offence which is capital by the law for the time being in force shall be punished with imprisonment for life and with fine; and if an innocent member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe be convicted and executed in consequence of such false or fabricated evidence, the person who gives or fabricates such false evidence, shall be punished with death;

(ii) gives or fabricates false evidence intending thereby to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, any member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe to be convicted of an offence which is not capital but punishable with imprisonment for a term of seven years or upwards, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years or upwards and with fine;

(iii) commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance intending to cause or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause damage to any property belonging to a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to seven years and with fine;

(iv) commits mischief by fire or any explosive substance intending to cause or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause destruction of any building which is ordinarily used as a place of worship or as a place for human dwelling or as a place for custody of the property by a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life and with fine;

(v) commits any offence under the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) punishable with imprisonment for a term of ten years or more against a person or property on the ground that such person is a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe or such property belongs to such member, shall be punishable with imprisonment for life and with fine;

(vi) knowingly or having reason to believe that an offence has been committed under this Chapter, causes any evidence of the commission of that offence to disappear with the intention of screening the offender from legal punishment, or with that intention gives any information respecting the offence which he knows or believes to be false, shall be punishable with the punishment provided for that offence; or

(vii) being a public servant, commits any offence under this section, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year but which may extend to the punishment provided for that offence.
The Ineffectiveness of the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
In its first periodic report, the Government refers to enactment of SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, “to provide for special courts for the trial of such offences and for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of such offences and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”.
The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Mr I D Swami informed the parliament on 23 April 2002 that over 28,000 incidents of crimes, including murder and rape, were committed against Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes across India during 2001.

Mr Swami further informed that while 24,792 cases were reported against Scheduled Castes, as many as 3,691 crimes were committed against Scheduled Tribes. The maximum numbers of 4,892 cases against Scheduled Castes were reported from Rajasthan; and Madhya Pradesh topped the list in atrocities against Scheduled Tribes with 1643 cases. The statistics pertaining to calendar year 2001 show that the States of Uttar Pradesh (7356 cases), Madhya Pradesh (4336 cases), Rajasthan (1996 cases), Gujarat (1760 cases), Andhra Pradesh (1288 cases) and Orissa (1125 cases), collectively accounted for 82.39% of total number of 21,678 cases charge sheeted in the courts in the country.
Caste Offences & Convictions: The Government of India states the courts disposed of respectively 12,864 cases in 1999, 11,237 cases in 2000 and 16,203 cases in 2001 under the SCs/STs (Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989). The rate of conviction is extremely low.

Increase of caste violence

The statistics are tip of the iceberg. Most caste offenses in rural areas are not registered. Nonetheless, the statistics provided by the Government of India clearly establish that caste violence has been increasing. 34799 cases were registered in 1999, 36,971 cases were registered in 2000 and 39,157 were registered in 2001.

Special Courts under SCs/STs Prevention of Atrocities Act
The Committee on the Rights of the Child after consideration of India’s initial report in January 2000 recommended “the full implementation of the 1989 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the 1995 Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Rules (Prevention of Atrocities) and the 1993 Employment of Manual Scavengers Act.”
However, majority of the States have failed to set up Special Courts under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. As of 2 February 2003, exclusive Special Courts have been set up only in Andhra Pradesh (12), Bihar (11), Chhattisgarh (07), Gujarat (10), Karnataka (06), Madhya Pradesh (29), Rajasthan (17), Tamil Nadu (04), Uttar Pradesh (40) and Uttaranchal (01). The remaining States and Union Territories have notified the existing Courts of Sessions as Special Courts for the trial of offences under the Act.

As the courts in India are already overburdened with 3.5 million and 40 thousand cases at the High Courts level in 2002 according to the report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, designation of the Court of Sessions as Special Courts helps little and further adds to judicial delay in India. While the statistics provided by the Government of India state that the courts disposed of respectively 12,864 cases in 1999, 11,237 cases in 2000 and 16,203 cases in 2001, the conviction rate remains extremely low. Out of the 31,011 cases tried under the Prevention of Atrocities Act in 1998, only a paltry 1,677 instances or 5.4% resulted in a conviction and 29,334 ended in acquittal. Compare to this, under the Indian Penal Code 39.4% of cases ended in a conviction in 1999 and 41.8% in 2000.24

The ineffectiveness of the existing laws primarily due to non-implementation stands exposed. The state Government of Maharashtra announced on 16 July 2003 that it would invoke provisions of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), 2002 to tackle atrocities against Dalits. This is despite the existence of the SCs and STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and the Maharashtra Organised Crimes Prevention Act, 1999.

Ultimately, as the Governments do not apply the existing laws, they resort to draconian measures, which once again fail to address the crimes.
The primary obstacles to implementation are intended to be the primary enforcers of the Act—the lowest rungs of the police and bureaucracy that form the primary node of interaction between state and society in the rural areas. Policemen have displayed a consistent unwillingness to register offenses under the act. This reluctance stems partially from ignorance. According to a 1999 study, nearly a quarter of those Government officials charged with enforcing the Act are unaware of its existence.

Dalits are considered as “untouchable”, too “polluted to be touched”, by the upper castes. But, the rape of Dalit women and girls - who represent the honour of the community - is a commonplace.

Despite consistent and systematic discrimination against the Dalits, in its periodic report (pages 54-64), the Government of India fails to make any reference to discrimination faced by children belonging to Scheduled Castes and indigenous peoples. It focuses only on the “girl child”. While the condition of “girl child” in general remains deplorable, Dalit and indigenous/tribal girls face discrimination because of their caste or ethnic origin and religious beliefs. Therefore, the focus on girl child alone fails to present the actual status of the Dalit and indigenous/tribal girls.

Some of the atrocities against Dalit children are given below:
Case 1: Killing of Dalit Children in Bihar
On 9 April 2003, three members of a Dalit family - a pregnant woman and her two children - were gunned down by suspected Ranvir Sena men at Jhikatia Tola of Azad Nagar village under Kinjar police station in Arwal district of Bihar. Over a dozen Ranvir Sena activists, all armed with sophisticated weapons, raided the house of Mr Lorik Paswan, an alleged member of the underground Peoples War Group (PWG) activist. Not finding him in the house, the Ranvir Sena activists, in sheer revenge, killed Mr Paswan’s pregnant wife, Asha Devi (36 years) and their two children, Master Manoj (9 years) and Ms Leela (8 years).

Case 2: Burning of a Dalit Girl in Madhya Pradesh
Mr R S Tomar, an upper caste Hindu, burnt a Dalit girl to death for daring to file a complaint against his son, Raju. Raju was accused of raping the girl on 27 February 2003 and had been arrested. According to the police, Mr Tomar barged into the house of the 16-year-old girl in village Kachnoda, Madhya Pradesh, doused her with kerosene and set her afire.

Case 3: Rape of a Dalit Girl in Gujarat
On 17 December 2001, a 15-year-old Koli girl was kidnapped at Khambala village near Barwala town, Gujarat by the upper caste Hindus in the village and repeatedly raped her. She was kept in captivity for 15 days. Although four persons were arrested, the police set them set free even before they could be produced before the court. This is despite the fact that the girl was taken to the Botad Civil Hospital, the nearest to Barwala where the doctors confirmed that she was raped. She even identified the victims before the police.

Case 4: Dalit Teenager Raped in Rajasthan 30
On the night of 5 April 2003, when a young Dalit girl stepped out of her home in Jaipur’s Guda Vaas village, Rajasthan she was kidnapped by four Brahmin youngsters of her own village. “They forcibly grabbed me and took me away. They threatened me with a knife and stopped me from shouting for help. I was totally scared as they said that if I shout, they would kill me,” narrated the traumatized girl before New Delhi Television (NDTV). She was brutally gang raped.

The rapists finally dumped her outside the village on 8 April 2003. But upper caste Hindus in the village prevented her family from even filing a report by threatening them with a social boycott.

Chotu Lal, one of the girl’s relatives told NDTV, “The village elders said we must not file any report. They said if we did so and tried to fight a case, we would not be allowed to stay in the village. They said they would not maintain any relations with us and would not allow even our cattle to drink water from the village sources. They threatened us very badly.”

However after pressure from some women’s groups, the police have finally registered an FIR. But with the entire village involved in a conspiracy of silence, the police were finding it tough to collect any evidence.

Case 5: Dalit Girl Tortured, Paraded Burnt to Death in Uttar Pradesh
Eighteen - year old Guddan, belonging to a backward caste was not only forcibly taken away from her home to a neighbouring village by an armed band of lustful Thakurs, the upper caste Hindus, from Gorath village under Sidhari police station, Azamgarh district, Uttar Pradesh, but was also subjected to the worst possible physical humiliation before being burnt alive in broad-daylight on 30 July 2000.

Guddan was alone in her house, when Shyampari Chauhan of the neighbouring village barged in with over a dozen armed muscle men. They dragged her out and took her to their village. According to eyewitnesses who could not dare to intervene, Chauhan first got the girl’s hair chopped. And as she struggled and screamed to be let off, he and his toughs tore off her clothes and then paraded her naked in full view of everyone. It was reported that Chauhan crossed all limits of barbarism and even ran scissors over her bare breasts.

But the upper caste Thaakur’s sadistic lust was still not satisfied. So he dragged the helpless Guddan back to her village, where he allegedly poured kerosene oil over her badly bruised body and set her ablaze, perhaps to destroy all evidences of the physical torture. Yet the girl managed to dash up to her doorstep where she fell unconscious. Her father, who had, by then returned home, rushed to the nearest public telephone booth to call up the Sidhari police station. In a belated response, the cops accompanied the father to the Azamgarh District Hospital where she was admitted. However with more than 80 percent burns, she died shortly thereafter.

As the Chauhan’s family used all its political and money power, the local superintendent of police described the girl as “characterless” and “having illicit relationship with Chauhan.” He told India Abroad News Service, “The girl was at Chauhan’s back and call, but on Sunday when he came to call her over to his place, there was some altercation between the two and the girl threatened to get him beaten up; this naturally provoked the Thakur, who returned after a while with his men and took Guddan away to his village in the neighbourhood.”

Living in abject poverty, Guddan’s family earned a living out of dishwashing. Their condition could be gauged from the fact that her father did not even have money to purchase drugs and ointments prescribed by the doctor in the Government hospital. Local villagers were stated to have contributed for the girl’s last rites.

Article 6: The right to life, survival and development Despite 16 out of 28 States being afflicted with internal armed conflicts according to the Annual Report 2002- 03 of Indian Home Ministry, “female infanticide” is the only form of violation of the right to life referred to in the first periodic report of India.
In its first periodic report (pages 65 to 71), the Government of India only refers to female infanticide on the violation of the right to life. The right to life certainly includes survival issues such as shelter, food, safe water and medical care as provided in the first periodic report but the Government of India’s periodic report fails to refer to extra judicial executions and custodial death of the children.

Killings legalized Section 4 (a) of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958, imposed in North East India and Jammu and Kashmir empowers any commissioned officer to “fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death”. The security forces and armed opposition groups have killed many children.

India is afflicted by large number of internal armed conflicts. According to the Annual Report 2002-03 of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India, 16 out of 28 states are afflicted by internal armed conflicts. While Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are afflicted by armed conflicts with various groups seeking autonomy or secession, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and parts of Uttar Pradesh are afflicted by left wing Naxalites movement against economic inequity and social injustices. The killing of children by the security forces and the armed opposition groups is common in armed conflict situations.

In a specific reply in the parliament on 16 July 2002, Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Ch. Vidyasagar Rao stated that no separate data is maintained for children killed in custody.

Legalized extra-judicial executions
In 1958, the Government of India enacted the Armed Forces Special Powers Act to tackle the Naga insurgency. The draconian Act, which was supposed to have been in the statute book for one year, is still applicable in Jammu and Kashmir and North East India.

Section 4 (a) of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 provides that any commissioned officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned office or any other person of equivalent of rank in the Armed Forces is empowered “fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death against any person who is acting in contravention of any law or order for the time being in force in the disturbed area prohibiting the assembly of more than 5 or more persons or carrying of weapons or of things capable of being used as weapons or of fire arms, ammunition or, explosive substances” if he opines that it is necessary for maintenance of law and order. He may shoot to kill after giving such due warning, as he may consider necessary.

These broadly defined provisions of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 give a “license to extra judicially execute” innocent and suspected persons under the disguise of maintaining law and order. It violates every norms of civilized society where it is primary responsibility of the State to protect the lives of the people living within its geographical boundary.
Article 21 of the Indian constitution provides that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”. However, Article 21 loses its meaning the moment the State establishes a law which provides a procedure in an Act to deprive a person of his life or personal liberty. The expression “procedure established by law” in the Article 21 has been judicially construed as meaning a procedure which is reasonable, fair and just.

The expression “reasonable, fair and just” is vague and broad unless the Court determines it. However, to empower even the non-commissioned officer to fire upon even causing death by any standard is “unreasonable, unfair and unjust”. It seriously violates the United Nations Principles on the Prevention of Summary Executions adopted by the Economic and Social Council in resolution 1989/65 of 24 May 1989.

While one appreciates the constraints the law enforcement personnel face in abnormal circumstances, the test of any country’s commitment for protection and promotion of human rights is reflected under such trying situations. Enactment of broad provisions empowering summary executions is not the way a modern civilized State ought to act, rather the Government should set strict limits to the circumstances in which the firearms could be used to prevent arbitrary killing by the security forces.

Principle 2 of the UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra judicial, Arbitrary and Summery Executions states, “In order to prevent extralegal, including a clear chain of command over all officials responsible for the apprehension, arrest, detention, custody and imprisonment as well as those officials authorised by law to use force and firearms”.

Moreover, Article 6.1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states, “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life”.

The Human Rights Committee expressed concern at the continuing reliance on special powers under legislation such as the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, …and at serious human rights violations, in particular with respect to articles 6, 7, 9 and 14 of the Covenant, committed by security and armed forces acting under these laws as well as by paramilitary and insurgent groups”. The Committee endorsed the views of the National Human Rights Commission that, “the problems in areas affected by terrorism and armed insurgency are essentially political in character and that the approach to resolving such problems must also, essentially, be political, and emphasizes that terrorism should be fought with means that are compatible with the Covenant.”

The Supreme Court in a judgement in the case of Naga People’s Movement of Human Rights, etc. vs. Union of India upheld the constitutional validity of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. The Supreme Court held that “The powers conferred under clauses (a) to (d) of Section 4 and Section 5 of the Central Act on the officers of the armed forces, including a Non-Commissioned Officer, are not arbitrary and unreasonable and are not violative of the provisions of Articles 14, 19 or 21 of the Constitution.” The Supreme Court further held that “while exercising the powers conferred under Section 4(a) of the Central Act, the officer in the armed forces shall use minimal force required for effective action against the person/persons acting in contravention of the prohibitory order” and that “while exercising the power conferred under clauses (a) to (d) of Section 4 the officers of the armed forces shall strictly follow the instructions contained in the list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts” issued by the army authorities which are binding and any disregard to the said instructions would entail suitable action under the Army Act, 1950.”

If “Do’s and Don’ts” instructions were effective, the petitioners would not have been forced to approach the Supreme Court. In practice, the army violates “Do’s and Don’ts” instructions with the knowledge of the senior officers who shield them from prosecution. The draconian provisions that empower to kill without free and fair trial still continue.

The flagrant violation of right to life is not restricted to armed conflict situations. Across India, police are responsible for violation of the right to life of children.
Case 1: Drunken Cops Kill Boy in Punjab
On 1 August 2003, an 11-year old boy, Gurmeet Singh alias Kaka was shot dead by a police constable, Ranjit Singh at a tea stall in front of the Netaji Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala, Punjab. Two policemen, both Head Constables, Ranjit Singh and Balwinder Singh, were on patrol duty.
According to an FIR registered at the Sadar police station by a witness, Miyan, the Head Constables, Ranjit Singh and Balwinder Singh, were drunk when they came to the shop from a police cabin across the road after it had started raining. The cops asked the boy for glasses and tea. One of the cops, Ranjit Singh, asked Gurmeet to come to him saying, “I will show you how a revolver is fired”. According to the FIR, the boy said he was frightened and refused to do the bidding of the cop.

Following this Miyan said Ranjit fired in the air saying, “See it is a fake weapon having only sound”. Miyan further said Ranjit again asked the boy to come to him. But when the boy refused to do so, the other cop, Balwinder Singh, caught hold of a hand of the boy and brought him to Ranjit. The witness said that Balwinder then asked his colleague to put the weapon on the chest of the boy. Ranjit then fired the weapon, which struck the chest of the boy. The police then bundled the boy on their motorcycle and took him to the local Government Rajindra hospital. There they claimed that the boy had been hit by an accidental shot from one of their revolvers. Doctors declared the boy brought dead.

Case 2: Killing of Masood Ahmed Shah
On 16 June 2003, Peer Abdul Qayyum Shah, 50, was returning from the mosque at Wara Kreri, under Baramullah district of Jammu and Kashmir after offering the evening prayers with his 11-year-old son, Masood Ahmed Shah. Then, the members of paramilitary forces, the Rashtriya37 Rifles opened fire on them killing Abdul Qayyum and his son, Masood, instantly. The army personnel claimed that they were ambushing alleged militants on a tip off.

Case 3: Killing of Javed Ahmad Magray
On 30 May 2003, Mr Javed Ahmad Magray, a Class XII student was allegedly dragged from his house at Soiteng locality of Lasjan, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir by the army. The security forces allegedly shot him at several times. He was rushed to the Soura Medical Institute where he succumbed to injuries on 1 May 2003. The army claimed that he was killed in crossfire.

Case 4: Killing of Mohammad Ashraf Malik
On 19 May 2003, the army arrested Mohammad Ashraf Malik from his house at Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir. His mutilated body was handed over to his family next day, on 20 May 2003. A powerful blast was heard in the township, several hours after his (Malik’s) arrest. The Army claimed that the blast took place when he was leading the troops to a hideout for affecting some recoveries. Malik was allegedly killed during interrogation and later his body was blown up to cover up the murder.

Case 5: Custodial death of Chetan, Punjab
On 5 February 2003, the Additional District and Sessions Judge of Chandigarh, Mr J.P. Mehmi rejected a bail application of Dr Sikandar Lal, his son Vikramjit and his son-in-law Sanjeev Kumar. They were arrested for their involvement in custodial death of Chetan (8 years) who used to work in their house. Chetan was mercilessly beaten to death by cops during illegal police custody in mid January 2003.

 

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