Jammu and Kashmir press statements
1. J&K State Human Rights Commission & Accountability Commission
The J&K state government should seriously look into the issues raised by Justice AM Mir while submitting his resignation from the post of Chairman of the State Human Rights Commission instead of criticising his person. There is no denying the fact that there are a number of shortcomings in the institution and the working of the Commission which need to be attended to. The appointment of his successor and other members of the Commission should strictly follow the provisions of the J&K State Human Rights Commission Act and not the whims of the executive as has been the practice so far. Every report of the Commission with the ATR should be regularly presented in the next session of the State Assembly. The practice of submitting every recommendation of the Commission for further enquiry by the Deputy Commissioners is an affront to the dignity of the Commission. The delay over the appointment of the Chairperson of the State Accountability Commission following the resignation of Justice RP Sethi is deplorable. Leaving two important institutions of the State headless for a long time reflects the attitude of indifference of the state government to the plight of the people these institutions were meant to provide relief to. Balraj Puri, Convenor, J&K PUCL, August 29, 2006
2. Killings of Civilians in J&K
The recent killings of civilians in the state by the security forces and by the militants are deplorable. The killing of three innocent civilians mistakenly by the security forces in Kupwara and of a young person of controversial identity are deplorable acts. These should be an independent probe into these killings. The attack by the police on the protest meeting of students in Amar Singh College should be condemned by all. Peaceful protest is a democratic right of the citizens.
There should also be an inquiry into the killing of a civilian in cross firing in Mendher. Balraj Puri, Convenor, J&K PUCL, August 29, 2006
3. Human Rights Watch Report
[ HRW Report:
"Everyone Lives in Fear" Patterns of Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir ]
The security forces, the militants, and other concerned agencies and persons should take a serious note of the report of the Human Rights Watch recently released in Srinagar. While one may disagree with it on a particular fact, it would be unfair to accuse it of bias and being one sided. It is in the fitness of things to demand in this respect that the Government of India should remove restrictions on the visit to the State of International human rights organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International so that accuracy of their enquires into all incidents of human rights violations could be further improved and they could meet all interested persons. Balraj Puri, Convenor, J&K PUCL, September 19, 2006 .