India

Security forces in Kashmir charged with rights abuses

  • 6 March 2012
  • From the section India
Police use batons on protesters in Srinigar, Indian-administered Kashmir - 23 February 2012
Security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir have special powers under Indian law

The authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir have launched more than 400 cases of alleged human rights abuses against security forces personnel.

The region's minister for internal security released the figures in the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly.

Kashmiri officials want to revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which prevents prosecution of security staff.

There has been a rebellion against Indian rule in divided Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan.

Thousands of people have been killed in the region since the rebellion began in 1989, though violence has dropped off recently.

India's defence ministry has resisted moves to revoke the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

According to the state government of Indian-administered Kashmir, 444 soldiers, police and security officials have been charged in the past three years.

Nearly 300 cases have been seen in local courts, the government said on Monday in a written response to the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

Human rights activists say the Indian authorities are forcing the Kashmir government to move slowly on these cases.

Kashmiri officials have been pleading with Delhi to scrap the AFSPA so they can proceed with prosecuting security officials against whom cases are pending.

But army officials say it is needed to prevent militant groups based in Pakistan from focusing their resources on Kashmir.

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