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Repeal immunity law in Kashmir, says rights group

Last Updated: Friday, September 17, 2010 - 13:26

New York: Indian leaders should seek the immediate repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and a transparent probe into rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir, Human Rights Watch has said.

"The state government should release the findings of its inquiry into allegations of excessive use of force during the ongoing protests in Kashmir," it said in a statement Thursday.
Referring to the AFSPA, Human Rights Watch said, "The immunity this law gives security forces not only leads to its widespread abuse, but actually hurts the armed forces by protecting members who commit crimes instead of rewarding the ones who respect human rights."

The AFSPA grants the military wide powers to arrest without warrant, shoot to kill, and destroy property in so-called `disturbed areas`.
It also protects military personnel responsible for serious crimes from prosecution, creating a pervasive culture of impunity.

Some 90 people have died in unending street protests in the Kashmir Valley since June 11, almost all of them in firing by security forces on mobs.


First Published: Friday, September 17, 2010 - 13:26

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