No Custodial Disappearance in Kashmir in 2007: Chief Minister

Srinagar, Jan 15: The pro-India chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that no custodial disappearance occurred in Kashmir in the year 2007.

Azad said custodial killings in Kashmir have shown a decline by 33 percent and 66 percent, respectively during the same period. He said the year 2007 was the first in the last 20 years during which no custodial disappearance was reported. He said during 2003 there were 17 such cases.

He said the soldiers were being educated on human rights and the subject was also introduced in the police training curriculum. He said strict action was taken against the erring security and police officials and cited the instance of the senior police officers involved in the Ganderbal fake encounter case who were now behind bars.

The Chief Minister said the army had instituted court martial proceedings against the soldier involved in the killing of an innocent Rehbar-e-Taleem, Abdur Rashid of Chowkibal, Kupwara. He said disciplinary action against another army personnel who witnessed the killing and did not intervene to save the innocent person had also been initiated.

He said in case of the killing of a baker at Yarikha, Kulgam, court martial proceedings against the erring army personnel were about to be initiated. He said he had made investigations about both these cases and found that the two killed persons were innocent. He said he took up the issue with the Defence Minister and the Chief of Army Staff who assured him that the guilty would not be spared. He said these instances had sent the signal that the government would not tolerate human rights violations.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.