1,473 "false" cases of HR violation against security forces By Abhijit C Chandra
Bhopal, Sep 10 (UNI) Slamming the proposed dilution of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), an Indian Army veteran who combated insurgencies for more than half of his 40 years' service points out that --since 1990 -- as many as 1,473 of 1,511 cases of human rights (HR) violation or abuse levelled against security forces (SF) personnel have been proved false.
"Each case was investigated thoroughly -- including by the National Human Rights Commission. In the remaining cases, 104 personnel were punished," Major-General (Retd) Aditya J B Jaini, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, told UNI.
He was Senior Directing Staff (Army) at the National Defence College, New Delhi, before retirement in 2003.
Enumerating grim statistics, the veteran said, "the number of SF personnel killed by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir between 1988 and July 5, 2010 is 5,962. Since 1992, the number of officers and men martyred fighting insurgents in Manipur is 939, Asom 783, Meghalaya 81 and Mizoram 22."
Likewise, SF personnel slain fighting naxals since 2005 to July 10, 2010 is 1,226. This year, 204 SF personnel were killed till July 5.
"If SF personnel were 'murderers' they would not have so many of their own killed at the hands of insurgents. Besides, AFSPA enshrines the important caveat that Army personnel can be prosecuted with central sanction. Therefore there is no blanket immunity," said Maj-Gen Jaini.
Dispensation of punishment -- in cases of HR violation -- where any breach is identified, is the "fastest in the Army" as compared to civil courts where cases may linger for years.
The Act is not meant to place the Army or SF above the law but to empower them to function effectively while dealing with situations that have defied resolution through normal means like intervention by civil authority, police action and calls by politicians to maintain calm, he said.
"In counter-insurgency operations, the Army adheres to the cardinal principle of use of minimum force as people we operate against are not enemy but our own countrymen who are misguided. Had it not been so, the rate of casualties to our troops would not have been so high," the veteran explained.
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