Terrorists in J&K, N-E commit serious abuses: Obama govt

Last Updated: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 00:26

Washington: The Obama administration on Thursday
came down heavily on separatist insurgents and terrorists in
Kashmir and North-east, charging them with indulging in gross
violation of human rights.

However, it praised the UPA Government for progress in
reducing incidents of communal violence, saying the Indian
Government generally respects the rights of its citizens.
The observations were made in the 2009 Annual Report on
Human Rights released by the Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton today.

"Separatist insurgents and terrorists in Kashmir, the
Northeast, and the Naxalite (Maoist) belt committed numerous
serious abuses, including killing armed forces personnel,
police, government officials, and civilians.

"Insurgents engaged in widespread torture, rape,
beheading, kidnapping, and extortion. The number of incidents
declined compared with the previous year," said the report
which covers 194 countries.

The India section of the report said the Indian
government generally respected the rights of its citizens and
made progress in reducing incidents of communal violence,
expanding efforts against human trafficking, and reducing the
exploitation of indentured, bonded, and child workers but
serious problems remained.

The report claimed serious internal unrest at times
affected the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as well as several
states in the Northeast.

"Although civilian authorities maintained effective
control of the security forces, security forces occasionally
acted independently of government authority," it said.
According to the report, major problems included
extrajudicial killings of persons in custody, disappearances,
and torture and rape by police and other security forces.

"Investigations into individual abuses and legal
punishment for perpetrators occurred, but for many abuses, a
lack of accountability created an atmosphere of impunity. Poor
prison conditions and lengthy detentions were significant
problems," it said.

Noting that some officials used antiterrorism legislation
to justify excessive use of force, the report said "corruption
existed at all levels of government and police".

"While there were no large-scale attacks against
minorities during the year, there were reports of delays in
obtaining legal redress for past incidents. Some states
promulgated laws restricting religious conversion.

"Violence associated with caste-based discrimination
occurred. Domestic violence, child marriage, dowry-related
deaths, honor crimes, and female feticide remained serious
problems," the report said.

It said there were credible reports that the government
and its agents "committed arbitrary or unlawful killings,
including extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and
insurgents".

"A high rate of extrajudicial killings, in which security
forces shot and killed alleged criminals or insurgents in
staged encounters, occurred in the North-east, particularly in
the states of Assam and Manipur," it said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 12, 2010 - 00:26

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