सीधे मुख्य सामग्री पर जाएं

50% of AFSPA human rights complaints from J&K: Monetary relief in 3% cases

By Venkatesh Nayak*
Last week, the media reported on the likelihood of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) being withdrawn from certain parts of Arunachal Pradesh and adjoining parts of Assam. On 4th May, 2017, AFSPA was reimposed for a period of three months in the districts of Tirap, Changlang and Longding in Arunachal Pradesh and in the adjoining areas of Assam falling within the jurisdiction of nine police stations or police outposts. Media reports indicate a line of thinking within the Government of India that favours phased withdrawal of AFSPA from these areas. AFSPA has been imposed in the States of Meghalaya and Nagaland as well. The Government of Tripura lifted AFSPA from the State in May 2015. Parliament enacted the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act (J&K-AFSPA) in 1990. J&K-AFSPA covers all of Jammu & Kashmir except the districts of Kargil and Leh.
Towards the end of May this year, the media reported some macro statistics presented by an unnamed senior officer about how people’s complaints of human violations against defence personnel had been handled. It was claimed that only 66 of 1,695 complaints of human rights violations received since 1994 were found to be true. Apparently 150 defence personnel were punished and compensation awarded in 49 cases during the last 23 years. Details of individual cases or the place of origin of such complaints received and disposed were not provided. Similarly, information such as the rank of the personnel punished, the nature of punishment given to each person, size of the compensation paid and the names of recipients were not placed in the public domain. Overall, the impression that a reader would gain from these assertions is that an overwhelming majority of complaints of human rights violations were not true at all. Meanwhile it must be remembered that The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case involving more than 1,500 complaints of human rights violations committed by the defence forces and the paramilitary forces operating in the State of Manipur alone.
The purpose of this email alert is to share official data obtained under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding the number of complaints of human rights violations received and disposed between 2012-2016 (up to January). These figures provide a much larger picture of the number of complaints of human rights violation as they include data pertaining to the actions of paramilitary personnel as well.

The RTI Intervention

On 8th December, 2005, five Lok Sabha MPs demanded detailed information about the number of complaints of human rights violations received against the armed forces – crime-wise and State-wise, including disposal and pending figures. They also sought to know the mechanisms put in place for addressing such complaints. The Union Home Minister provided some information about the areas covered by AFSPA laws and the mechanism put in place for handling complaints of human rights violation. The Minister assured that data about specific complaints of human rights violation and action taken on them would be collected and laid on the table of the House.
While researching issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, I came across this query and partial reply. As there was little information available in the public domain as to whether the data about crime-wise human rights violations were eventually tabled in the Lok Sabha or not. I submitted an RTI application in April, 2017 seeking the following information:
“Apropos of the web printout of the reply to the Unstarred Question #1533, presented in the 16th Lok Sabha on 8/12/2016, I would like to obtain the following information from your public authority:The detailed information that has been collected till date as per the reply of the Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs given to paras #(b) and (c) of the said Unstarred Question;
An year-wise list of complaints or communications regarding allegations of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir received by the human rights cells specified at para #(e) of the said reply from 01 January, 2009 till date;
Details of action taken in relation to complaints or communications of human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir received by the human rights cells specified at para #(e) of the said reply from 01 January, 2009 till date.”
Surprisingly, the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) furnished the crime-wise data of human rights violations in both English and Hindi within 30 days, free of charge. It is not clear as to when this data was tabled in the Lok Sabha as the date of tabling is not mentioned in the document that the CPIO sent.
The MHA did not send any information about details of complaints received by the human rights cells. I have already submitted a first appeal on this issue.

Human rights violation complaints- receipt and disposal: preliminary data analysis

According to the official figures supplied by the MHA
i) A total of 186 complaints of human rights violations were received against the armed forces (defence forces and paramilitary forces) deployed in the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura during the period of a little over three years between 2012 to January 2016. However data for Tripura is up to 27th May, 2015 when the State Government ended the application of AFSP across the State
ii) By January 2016, more than 2/3rds of these complaints (127) are said to have been disposed of. The data supplied by MHA under RTI does not indicate whether these complaints were found to be true or false. Perhaps this is because of the manner in which the queries raised in the Lok Sabha were drafted. They only sought information about the receipt and disposal of complaints rather than the manner of their disposal. Interestingly, more than 57% of the complaints of human rights violations received from Assam are shown as pending. The manner of disposal of human rights complaints and the pendency of cases for more than a year are issues which readers, human rights advocates and mediapersons need to probe further by filing more specific information requests with the MHA.
iii) J&K accounted for almost half number (49.5%) of the human rights complaints received against the armed forces during this period. A little more than 31% of the complaints were received from people in Assam. Manipur accounted for a little more than 11% of the total number of complaints received. Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura accounted for less than 10 complaints each. Only one complaint was received from Nagaland during this period.
iv) There are 12 categories of complaints of human rights violation ranging from “abuse of power” to causing deaths”. The most number of complaints seem to have been received against the defence forces rather than the paramilitary forces of the Union such as the CRPF, Assam Rifles etc. deployed in the seven States. About 40% of the complaints are clubbed under the category- “defence forces” without any detailing as to what kinds of complaints they are. However when the distinct categories of “death in army encounter” and “death in army firing” are added, the proportion of complaints received against the defence forces goes up to more than 61% of the total number of complaints received against all armed forces operating in the seven States. As mentioned before, the manner of handling of these cases is not disclosed in the data compiled by MHA except to say how many were disposed of.
v) 10 of these complaints relate to the crime of abduction and rape- received from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, J&K and Tripura. The data does not specify whether these were committed by the defence forces or the paramilitary forces deployed in the seven States. 50% of these cases are said to have been received from Assam alone- four of which were sent in 2015-16 (up to January)- all of which are shown as pending. Overall 6 of the 10 cases received from were not disposed of until January 2016. The current state of these complaints is not known. In the remaining cases of rape that were disposed of, the data does not indicate the manner of disposal.
vi) MHA data shows that monetary relief to the tune of Rs. 6.47 crores was recommended in 117 cases during this period. It is not known whether this was ex gratia relief granted or compensation awarded. Further, it is not known how many complainants or victims actually received the monetary relief and which Government (Central or State) made the payments. (It must be pointed out that while ex gratia payment is only an interim relief, compensation amounts to admission by the State that the perpetrators were indeed guilty of committing these human rights violations.)
vii) The MHA data indicates that while J&K accounted for almost 50% of the complaints of human rights violation in various categories, its share in the monetary relief recommended was 3% at Rs. 21,00,000. Only five cases were found to be eligible for monetary relief in J&K. On the other hand, Assam which accounted for less than a third of the complaints, received the largest proportion (48%) of monetary relief recommended by the Government. In 57 cases from Assam, monetary relief was recommended to the tune of Rs. 3.10 crores.
viii) The second largest share of monetary relief was recommended for Manipur- at Rs. 2.28 crores in 38 cases followed by Arunachal which accounted for only three complaints but monetary relief to the tune of Rs. 36 lakhs was recommended. Meghalaya and Tripura received recommendations of monetary relief to the tune of Rs. 22 lakhs against six and eight cases respectively. No monetary relief was recommended in the case of Nagaland in the lone complaint of abuse of power received in 2015-16 (up to January, 2016).
According to MHA data, some of the cases where monetary relief was recommended pertain to the previous year as well (carry forward). The status of pending cases as of now also need to be ascertained by making further information requests under the RTI Act.

What are AFSPA laws intended for?

According to repeated assertions by the Central Government, the defence forces and the paramilitary forces (such as the CRPF, Assam Rifles, BSF etc.) have been empowered by AFSPA laws in order to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India and overcome any insurgency. In those parts of the States declared as ‘disturbed areas’, under AFSPA laws, the armed forces personnel (defence and paramilitary forces) have the power to open fire to the extent of causing death of any person, conduct searches to flush out militants of groups (sometimes named in the notification itself, arrest them and hand them over to the local police, search any premises and confiscate arms and ammunition or explosive substances and stop and search any vehicle and apprehend any proclaimed offender or any person who is suspected of committing or is likely to commit a non-cognizable offence (under the ordinary criminal law the police cannot arrest any person accused of committing a non-cognisable offence without a warrant from the appropriate magistrate).

RTI can be a tool for greater transparency and accountability

There is an urgent need for advocates of human rights, transparency and accountability to demand access to more detailed information about these and other complaint cases received from areas under AFSPA laws. The RTI Act can serve as a valuable tool for this purpose.

*Programme Coordinator, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, New Delhi

टिप्पणियाँ

ट्रेंडिंग

हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

ગુજરાતના સ્થાપના દિવસે યાદ કરીએ ભારતના વિશ્વપ્રસિદ્ધ ગુજરાતી પુરાતત્વવિદ્ ને

- ગૌરાંગ જાની*  આજે કોઈ ગુજરાતી એ કલ્પના પણ ન કરી શકે કે વર્ષ ૧૮૩૯ માં જૂનાગઢમાં જન્મેલા એક ગુજરાતી વિશ્વ પ્રસિદ્ધ બની શકે! પણ આપણે એ ગુજરાતીને કદાચ વિસરી ગયા છીએ જેમણે ગિરનારના અશોક શિલાલેખને દોઢસો વર્ષ પૂર્વે ઉકેલી આપ્યો.આ વિદ્વાન એટલે ભગવાનલાલ ઈન્દ્રજી. ૭ નવેમ્બર, ૧૮૩૯ ના દિવસે જૂનાગઢના પ્રશ્નોરા નાગર બ્રાહ્મણ પરિવારમાં તેમનો જન્મ થયો હતો. જૂનાગઢના એ સમયે અંગ્રેજી શિક્ષણની સગવડ ન હોવાને કારણે તેમને અંગ્રેજી ભાષાનું જ્ઞાન ન હતું પણ પાછળથી તેમણે ખપ પૂરતું અંગ્રેજી જાણી લીધું હતું.

Under Modi, democracy is regressing and economy is also growing slowly

By Avyaan Sharma*   India is "the largest democracy in the world", but now its democracy is regressing and its economy is also growing slowly. What has PM Modi's ten years in power brought us? Unemployment remains high. Joblessness is particularly high among India's youth - with those aged 15 to 29 making up a staggering 83% of all unemployed people in India, according to the "India Employment Report 2024", published last month by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Institute of Human Development (IHD). The BJP-led government did not provide jobs to two crore youth in a year as was promised by Modi in the run up to the 2014 general elections.

नफरती बातें: मुसलमानों में असुरक्षा का भाव बढ़ रहा है, वे अपने मोहल्लों में सिमट रहे हैं

- राम पुनियानी*  भारत पर पिछले 10 सालों से हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी भारतीय जनता पार्टी (भाजपा) राज कर रही है. भाजपा आरएसएस परिवार की सदस्य है और आरएसएस का लक्ष्य है हिन्दू राष्ट्र का निर्माण. आरएसएस से जुड़ी सैंकड़ों संस्थाएँ हैं. उसके लाखों, बल्कि शायद, करोड़ों स्वयंसेवक हैं. इसके अलावा कई हजार वरिष्ठ कार्यकर्ता हैं जिन्हें प्रचारक कहा जाता है. भाजपा के सत्ता में आने के बाद से आरएसएस दुगनी गति से हिन्दू राष्ट्र के निर्माण के अपने एजेण्डे को पूरा करने में जुट गया है. यदि भाजपा को चुनावों में लगातार सफलता हासिल हो रही है तो उसका कारण है देश में साम्प्रदायिकता और साम्प्रदायिक मुद्दों का बढ़ता बोलबाला. इनमें से कुछ हैं राम मंदिर, गौमांस और गोवध एवं लव जिहाद. 

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

ભારતમાં જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટના દર્શન, ખ્રિસ્તી ધર્મના આગમનને કારણે સમાજ વ્યવસ્થામાં પરિવર્તન

- ઉત્તમ પરમાર  મારી કિશોર અવસ્થામાં કેટલાક ચિત્રો અને મૂર્તિઓએ હૃદયમાં એવું સ્થાન જમાવ્યું છે કે આજદિન પર્યંત  ઉત્તરોઉત્તર વિકસતું જ રહ્યું છે. પ્રેમ કરુણાના મૂર્તિમંત અવતાર  જિસસ ક્રાઈસ્ટને વધુસ્તંભે ચઢાવેલી મૂર્તિ  મારી કોઈપણ ધર્મ વિશેની સમજ નહોતી ત્યારથી મારા હૃદયમાં સ્થાપિત થયેલી છે. મારા ઘરની દિવાલ પર વધસ્તંભે ચઢેલા જીસસની પ્રતિમા જોઈને કોઈ મને પૂછી બેસતું કે તું ક્રિશ્ચન છે?

रैंकिंग: अधिकांश भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिरा, इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी

- प्रमोद रंजन*  अप्रैल, 2024 में भारतीय विश्वविद्यालयों की अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर उच्च रैंकिंग की चर्चा रही। मीडिया ने इसका उत्सव मनाया। लेकिन स्थिति इसके विपरीत है। वैश्विक विश्वविद्यालय रैंकिग में अच्छा स्थान मिलने की खबरें, कुछ संस्थानों को इक्का-दुक्का विषयों में मिले रैंक के आधार पर चुनिंदा ढंग से प्रकाशित की गईं थीं। वास्तविकता यह है कि हाल के वर्षों में हमारे अधिकांश विश्वविद्यालयों का स्तर बहुत गिर गया है। इस साल भी यह गिरवाट जारी रही है।

नोएडा में मैन्युअल स्कैवेंजर्स की मौत: परिवारों को मुआवजा नहीं, प्राधिकरण ने एफआईआर नहीं की

- अरुण खोटे, संजीव कुमार*  गत एक सप्ताह में, उत्तर प्रदेश में सीवर/सेप्टि क टैंक सफाई कर्मियों की सफाई के दौरान सेप्टिक टैंक में मौत। 2 मई, 2024 को, लखनऊ के वज़ीरगजं क्षेत्र में एक सेवर लाइन की सफाई करते समय शोब्रान यादव, 56, और उनके पत्रु सशुील यादव, 28, घटुन से हुई मौत। एक और घटना 3 मई 2024 को नोएडा, सेक्टर 26 में एक घर में सेप्टि क टैंक को सफाई करते समय दो सफाई कर्मचर्मारी नूनी मडंल, 36 और कोकन मडंल जिसे तपन मडंल के नाम से जानते हैं, की मौत हो गई। ये सफाई कर्मचर्मारी बंगाल के मालदा जिले के निवासी थे और नोएडा सेक्टर 9 में रहते थे। कोकन मडंल अपनी पत्नी अनीता मडंल के साथ रहते थे। इनके तीन स्कूल जाने वाले बच्चे हैं जो बंगाल में रहते हैं। नूनी मडंल अपनी पत्नी लिलिका मडंल और अपने पत्रु सजुान के साथ किराए पर झग्गी में रहते थे। वे दैनिक मजदरूी और सफाई कर्मचर्मारी के रूप में काम करते थे।

प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने कुछ परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली: प्रमुख प्रस्थापनायें

- राणा सिंह   भारत में परजीवियों का एक विशाल समूह है जो बोलता है कि “सब कुछ माया है”,  लेकिन व्यवहार में यह समूह सारी जिंदगी इसी “माया” के पीछे पागल रहता है।  प्राचीन भारत के लोकायत संप्रदाय ने इन परजीवियों की खूब खबर ली थी।

बिहार के ऐतिहासिक विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय के खंडहरों की परिक्रमा का रोमांचक अवसर

- सुमन्त शरण  कुछ दिन पहले एक सुदूर ग्रामीण अंचल (पीरपैंती)  से तकरीबन डेढ़-दो घंटे की दूरी पर अवस्थित ऐतिहासिक बौद्ध विक्रमशिला विश्वविद्यालय (के अवशेषों) की परिक्रमा का अवसर मिला। विक्रमशीला विश्वविद्यालय की स्थापना पाल वंश के राजा धर्मपाल ने की थी। 8वीं शताब्दी से 12वीं शताब्दी के अंत तक यह विश्वविद्यालय भारत के प्रमुख शिक्षा केंद्रों में से एक हुआ करता था। कहा जाता है कि यह अपने कुछेक अत्यंत अनूठे नवाचार के चलते उस समय नालंदा विश्वविद्यालय का सबसे बड़ा प्रतिस्पर्धी था। हालांकि, मान्यता यह भी है कि अल्प अवधि के लिए दोनों विश्वविद्यालय के बीच शिक्षण एवं प्रबंधन के क्षेत्रों में घनिष्ठ पारस्परिक संबंध एवं शिक्षकों के आदान-प्रदान का सिलसिला भी रहा था। यह विश्वविद्यालय तंत्रशास्त्र की पढ़ाई के लिए सबसे ज्यादा विख्यात था। इस विषय का एक सबसे विख्यात छात्र अतीसा दीपनकरा था, जो बाद में तिब्बत जाकर बौद्ध हो गया। इसके प्रथम कुलपति ज्ञान अतिस थे।