Court martial in JK Obfuscation, Denial of Justice: APDP

SRINAGAR: Terming the ‘media hype’ to the Court Martial in Macchil fake encounter case of 2010 and the subsequent statements by politicians ‘a part of the media propaganda of the Indian army’s obfuscation campaign in Jammu and Kashmir’, the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP)— Imroze group has said the Court Martial proceedings in the context of the state is ‘a futile exercise’.

According to a statement issued today by Tahira Begum, spokesperson of the group the army can’t b e trusted to prosecute its personnel for the alleged human rights violations.

“How can the same army be trusted to prosecute its personnel for the human rights abuse that has institutional mechanisms of impunity and has incentivized policy of encouraging the extra-judicial killings? Court Martials are exactly like Kangaroo courts where the victim has no rights, no access and absolute lack of transparency, while as the accused has all the protection, access and also the scope to challenge the wrongs of the judgment in the higher courts. The civilian victims cannot avail the opportunity of having being represented by a lawyer in a Court Martial and neither do they have the right to challenge the court martial judgments in higher courts.”

She has added that the law and order is a state subject, “but in Jammu and Kashmir the insistence of army to not allow prosecutions in civilian courts is an attempt to undermine the judicial processes and also a manifestation of distrust on the police investigations.”

Ms Begum has said that the history of the Court Martials in Jammu and Kashmir is ‘a mystery wherein the army has failed to furnish details of those who may have been prosecuted for human rights abuses on the people of Jammu and Kashmir.’

“We have acquired a list of 58 Court Martials held by the Indian army with regard to cases from Jammu and Kashmir. The information provided by the army is too little to establish the nature of the crimes perpetrated by the army personnel for which they have been prosecuted. It is not clear whether these prosecutions were conducted against the army personnel for fratricide, indiscipline or for human rights violations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.”

She said that based on information provided in the RTI, except in three cases, there is no way to discern whether these Court Martials relate to violations against civilians or other army personnel. But based on other available information it appears only a total of 5 cases in these lists relate to civilians, she added. 

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