124 Soldiers ‘Punished’ for HR Abuses

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SRINAGAR: Maintaining that army was committed to ‘zero tolerance’ for human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir, a senior army official Monday said that 124 personnel and officers, found guilty of rights abuses were awarded exemplary punishments during the last 20 years.

GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt Gen Sanjiv Chachra, according to a statement issued by the army here on Monday said that during the past 20 years, 1524 allegations of rights violations against Army personnel serving in Northern Command were received.

“Each and every allegation was enquired into by an independent and autonomous body and 42 of these allegations were found to be true.  124 personnel (41 officers, 83 JCOs/OR) found guilty of these violations were expeditiously tried by Army courts and awarded exemplary punishments ranging from dismissal from service without any service benefits to imprisonment,” Chachra said.

He said that few ongoing cases were being closely monitored, ensuring rule of law and proceedings as enunciated by the Army Act. He also directed all troops in the state to ensure zero human rights violations during conduct of counter militancy operations.

“Anyone found guilty shall face the law. This amply demonstrates that all cases of alleged human rights violations are thoroughly investigated and personnel found guilty are promptly punished,” the GOC said.

“We are a people’s army where we respect human life and take pride in our benevolent attitude towards women and children. This should continue to remain enshrined in our ethos and daily lives,” he added.

Chachra said that a capsule on the importance of respect for human rights is also conducted for troops undergoing pre-induction training at various battle schools. 

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