Indian army denies rights abuse charges
The Indian army has refuted allegations made in a report released by two human rights groups Thursday that accused 235 army personnel of their alleged involvement in rights abuses at Jammu and Kashmir.
The Association of Parents of Disappeared persons (IPDP) and the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir (IPTK) named 235 army personnel for human rights violations in J and K.
Reacting to the allegations, Indian Army spokesperson Friday retorted, "The Report by the NGOs is highly biased and motivated."
The Report is based on FIRs lodged with police in J and K, petitions filed in Courts in J and K and other unofficial sources.
"The culpability of the Army persons listed has not been established in any of the cases. The NGOs have stated clearly that they do not have conclusive evidence against any of the army personnel mentioned in their report."
"It is thus evident that the Report is merely a collation of unsubstantiated allegations aimed at maligning the Army."
The Indian Army is a highly disciplined force which is acutely conscious of the need for support of the local population in counter insurgency operations and hence attaches highest importance to upholding human rights while conducting operations in J and K, the spokesperson said.
Allegations of HR abuse by army personnel are promptly investigated and strict action initiated against defaulters, he said.
Only 36 cases out of 1519 cases of alleged HR violations against the Army in J and K have been found to be true since 1990, he added.
The Army has punished 109 of its personnel including 40 officers found guilty of HR violation with punishments ranging from cashiering to rigorous imprisonment in civil jails, he said.
The release of the Report by the NGOs at a time when a semblance of peace has been established in J and K is likely to instigate fresh demonstrations and violence, the spokesperson said.
"It is also an attempt to involve the Security Force in legal wrangles and demoralize troops on the ground," he added.