India will suffer for what it did in Kashmir: Arundhati
NEW DELHI - Underscoring the need to punish the military and paramilitary forces for the heinous crimes they had committed in Held Kashmir, renowned writer and social activist Arundhati Roy has said Indians will suffer in future for what the people of Kashmir had to face over the last two decades.Roy accused India of not being serious in punishing the military, paramilitary, police and government backed gunmen who had been declared accused in various heinous crimes."Troops and paramilitary troops involved in various heinous crimes including custodial killings, disappearances, rapes and declared accused through FIRs and other reports have evaded action which has resulted in making them habitual offenders. These habitual offenders when deployed in other states will commit the same offences against innocent people," Roy said during a debate over the recent report released by Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) at Gandhi Peace Foundation Delhi organised by People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR)."To continue its occupation in Kashmir, India has made its forces immune from every law there. If civil society of India and other human rights activist do not take appropriate steps after going through the report of APDP, we will feel ashamed in future," she said.Roy said the state high court and government established human rights commissions had held military and paramilitary forces responsible for various heinous crimes but both State and government of India had not shown any seriousness in punishing them.Representing the report, APDP's Parvez Imroz said India had set free its forces in Kashmir to commit human rights violations and no action is taken against the personnel involved in heinous and gruesome human rights violations.Quoting reference from APDP's report, he said more than 500 troops allegedly involved in 214 cases had not been brought to book.Terming the APDP report based on facts, human rights activist Kartik Markotla said the report was prepared after obtaining official records through RTI Act and the reports filed in FIRs.He said the registered FIRs with various police stations had held 500 troops, paramilitary forces, policemen and government-backed gunmen accused. "India is neither serious nor sincere in punishing these accused," Markotla said. He said deliberate silence of India against the alleged human rights violations committed by troops in Kashmir was unfortunate and the role of national media had been partial or irresponsible.Expressing his views on the report, Nivedita Menon said: "Since day one India has closed its eyes from the facts pertaining to human rights violations in Kashmir that is why the violations continue to occur in the Valley. Facts are being distorted in FIRs regarding custodial killings, enforced disappearances or rape and other heinous crimes."APDP headed by Parvez Imroz at a press conference in Srinagar had made a report public about the alleged human rights violations committed by troops.In its report it had alleged that 500 troops were involved in 214 cases of custodial killings and disappearances and other heinous crimes. "Two hundred and thirty-five army men, 123 paramilitary troops, 111 policemen and 31 government-backed gunmen are involved in these human right violation cases," the report read.The report was debated in Delhi and the debate session was organised by People’s Union for Democratic Rights at Gandhi Peace Foundation.