Saturday, 18 December 2010

'Kashmir Valley excesses down but haven't stopped'

'Kashmir Valley excesses down but haven't stopped'

SRINAGAR: While there is no denying International Committee of the Red Cross's leaked report of security forces resorting to torture in Kashmir, the view across the spectrum here is that such excesses have reduced compared to the 1990s. But, even though notorious detention centres like BSF's Papa-2 have closed down, with thousands of people still missing and around 110 deaths this summer, there's still a long way to go towards ensuring all civil liberties.

JKLF leader Yasin Malik, who spent long years in detention, says he's a living testimony of the torture described by the ICRC. Displaying his scars from beatings in the jail, Malik says that while torture of suspects during questioning is still common, it's no longer as widespread as it was in the 1990s.

Interestingly, the ICRC report refers to 2002-05 when the PDP was in power — a period in which many in Kashmir saw then CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's "healing touch". "We stopped crackdowns. We stopped indiscriminate picking up of people. In the first meeting of the unified command, we laid down the policy that excesses must stop, torture must stop," says PDP's Mehbooba Mufti.

And yet allegations of maltreatment surface every now and then. People are picked up and later shot as militants. The recent encounter in Srinagar, in which three young men and a cop were killed, is a case in point. The police claim those killed were Jaish militants, but many people, including some in the National Conference, say it was a staged encounter.

Read more: 'Kashmir Valley excesses down but haven't stopped' - The Times of India

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