The party president and Executive Chairperson of the State Legal Aid Committee, Professor Bhim Singh, in a statement issued on Thursday, “raised this question before Members of Parliament to see why Chapter-III of the Indian Constitution is missing in its application in the state of J&K.”
Singh also “regretted that J&K is the only state which has been reduced/deprived of statehood by the Government of India”.
Chapter III of the Indian Constitution pertains to the fundamental rights of citizens in the Indian Union, guaranteeing — among other rights — equality before law, freedom of speech and dissent, and protection from exploitation. It also lays down the constitutional remedies in case of violation or denial of any of the guarantees enshrined in the chapter.
Singh, also a constitutional lawyer, urged the President of India Ramnath Kovind to “issue a clear direction to the government of J&K not to kill civilians on the streets or inside homes claiming that those killed were murderers/militants and criminals.”
The Chapter-III of the Indian Constitution has guaranteed fundamental rights that no person shall be killed outside the purview of the law, said Singh. Yet, “dozens of stories appear saying so many militants, as the state claims, are killed everyday.”
Singh said that it was a fundamental right of every person to access the justice system of the country and take the accused to the court — but in J&K, the government continued to evade accountability. “The killers do not have their identity or address. Only those killed by the J&K state agencies [are identified],” he said.
The central government, he said, “should stop playing hide and seek with J&K in the [name of national] integrity and security of the country” and “restore” fundamental rights in the region.
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