Govt mulling cash relief to Kunan victims

SRINAGAR: The state government Tuesday admitted that it had no problem in paying compensation to the victims of the Kunan Poshpora mass rape, allegedly by the Indian armed forces. The government counsel in response to a petition filed by the survivors of the Kunan Poshpora mass rape and torture case, stated that in principle they were not averse to the payment of compensation but sought further time for the same. This comes following an initial refusal to pay any compensation. But, the Government counsel stated that this compensation would only be paid to the 23 persons referred to in the FIR. 

Counsel for the survivors pointed out that the main thrust of the writ petition was the investigations that were not being conducted in any serious manner. The Indian army was not cooperating with the investigations under the pretext of the revision petition filed by them. But, despite the dismissal of the revision petition on 8 August 2014, there is still no headway in the investigations. Further, it was submitted that the Government could not limit the amount of compensation [Rs. 2 lacs as suggested by the Government] or the number of persons who would be benefited by it. The Supreme Court of India has ordered compensation as high as Rs. 10 lacs in other cases, and in the instant case, the number of victims of rape as confirmed by the investigations and the SHRC were much higher than 23. 

In addition to carrying out no meaningful investigations, the Government continues its attempts to protect the perpetrators – the Indian army – including by seeking to limit the compensation through the most perverse and legally untenable ways. On the next date, 8 September 2014, the survivors will make further submissions on the responsibility of Government of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union of India – both in terms of investigation and compensation. 

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