50% of human rights complaints against defence forces in four years from J&K: RTI

NEW DELHI: Jammu and Kashmir accounted for 49.5% of the human rights violation complaints against the armed forces between 2012 and 2016, revealed an RTI reply.

Meanwhile, the state's share in the monetary relief recommended was a mere three percent, it said.

A total of 186 complaints were received between 2012 and January 2016 from seven states, said the Ministry of Home Affairs while replying to a RTI application.

The other six states were Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.

The RTI reply was received by Venkatesh Nayak of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in April this year from the CPIO of the ministry.

According to the reply, by January 2016 more than two-thirds of these complaints (127) are said to have been disposed of. The data does not indicate whether these complaints were found to be true or false.

Also, more than 57% of the complaints from Assam are shown as pending.

"J&K accounted for 49.5% of the human rights complaints received against the armed forces during this period (2012 to January 2016)," the reply said.

"A little more than 31% of the complaints were received from the people in Assam. Manipur accounted for a little more than 11% of the total number of complaints. Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura accounted for less than 10 complaints each. Only one complaint was received from Nagaland during this period," according to the reply.

"About 40% of the complaints are clubbed under the category ‘defence forces' without any detailing as to what kinds of complaints they are," according to the ministry reply.

"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," Nayak said.

The RTI response also says ten of these complaints relate to the crime of abduction and rape -- received from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura.

The data also shows that monetary relief to the tune of Rs 6.47 crore was recommended in 117 cases.

"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," Nayak said.

While Jammu and Kashmir accounted for almost 50 per cent of the complaints, its share in the monetary relief recommended was a mere three per cent at Rs 21 lakh, it was revealed.

"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 crore," he explained.

The second largest share of monetary relief was recommended for Manipur at Rs 2.28 crore in 38 cases followed by Arunachal, which accounted for only three complaints but monetary relief to the tune of Rs 36 lakh was recommended, according to the application.

"Meghalaya and Tripura received recommendations of monetary relief to the tune of Rs 22 lakh 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)," he added.


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