SRINAGAR: Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) on Friday said those at the helm of affairs, during whose tenure the human rights violations took place in Jammu and Kashmir, should be brought to book by starting inquiries against them.
The civil society group invoked the recently announced judgements by the International Criminal Court [ICC] against Radovan Karadzic, the former president of Republic Srpska and supreme commander of the armed forces, for “genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995”.
It also cited example of another judgement in which ICC convicted Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, a Congolese national, for “war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by soldiers under his effective control between 2002 and 2003 in the Central African Republic”.
The JKCCS said, “Both judgments re-affirm the internationally recognised principle that it is not only the person who pulls the trigger or physically perpetrates crime that is culpable. Persons in power who control, order, incite, plan, and fail to stop crime, are the true perpetrators of crime. They are the most responsible, and must be held accountable.”
Giving reference of its recent report “Structures of Violence: The Indian State in Jammu and Kashmir”, JKCCS said it has documented 333 cases where 972 armed forces personnel are accused of committing serious crimes. “Despite evidence, there have been no prosecutions in these cases as the government through all its institutions is ensuring impunity for the culpable officials.”
“The reason for this absolute impunity is also due to the fact that many senior officials – political, military, and police, are individually and collectively responsible for the crimes. Ex-Chief of Police Kuldeep Khoda, Additional DG of Police SM Sahai, Ex-DIG Aashiq Bukhari, Ex-DIG Farooq Khan, Major General Ajay Saxena, Brigadier Deepak Bajaj, Colonel KS Dalal, and many more senior officials among the Indian armed forces and police have directly been named in relationship to their role in various crimes,” it said.
“In any case, the people of Jammu and Kashmir, urge the international community to institute a similar mechanism to investigate the crimes perpetrated institutionally and systematically in the state. In future credible investigation, the role of governors of J&K, from Jagmohan to N N Vohra, chief ministers and most importantly the people at the helm of affairs of Indian army and the overall military apparatus, like the prime ministers and the home ministers of India will definitely come under scrutiny,” the group said.