Human Shield Victim: AI castigates J&K Govt for compensation refusal

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New Delhi—The Jammu and Kashmir government’s refusal to pay compensation to Farooq Ahmed Dar of Central Kashmir who was strapped to a jeep and paraded by army personnel is a “callous attempt” at evading its human rights obligations, Amnesty International India said today.

On 27 October, the Jammu and Kashmir Home Department rejected a recommendation from the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to give Farooq Dar INR 1,000,000 (about USD 15,300) as compensation for “humiliation, physical [and] psychological torture, stress, wrongful restraint and confinement”.

The Home Department said it could not accept the recommendation because “there were no accusation of human rights violations levelled against the state government” and that there was “no scheme or policy” under which the compensation could be paid, among other reasons.

 “The Jammu and Kashmir government claims that it was not responsible for violating Farooq Dar’s rights, but refusing to pay him compensation for torture is also a human rights violation,” said Zahoor Wani, Senior Campaigner at Amnesty International India, in a statement.

“The fact that Farooq Dar was tied to an army jeep and paraded is not in dispute. Authorities have an obligation to provide him with adequate remedy, which includes compensation, and ensure that those suspected of responsibility are prosecuted in civilian courts.”

 “The Jammu and Kashmir government must not look for excuses to shirk its obligations. The Union Ministry of Defence should also ensure that the Army cooperates with the civilian investigation. This case should not join the long list of allegations against security force personnel in Kashmir which have gone unpunished in the last 27 years,” said Wani.

“This incident highlights the need for a strong law to combat torture and other ill-treatment. India needs to urgently ratify the UN Convention against Torture, as recommended recently by India’s Law Commission.”

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