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Refusing compensation to Kashmir human shield victim is human rights violation: Amnesty

SHRC had recommended Rs 10 lakh to Dar’

Srinagar, Nov 16 (KNS): The Jammu and Kashmir government’s refusal to pay compensation to a man who was strapped to a jeep and used as a human shield by army in Budgam during polling day in April was a “callous attempt” and evasion of its human rights obligations, Amnesty International India said on Thursday.
Farooq Dar was strapped to a moving Army jeep and used as a human shield and driven around for over five hours in Budgam district during parliamentary election on April 9 this year.
“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. “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 as responsible are prosecuted in civilian courts,” he said.
“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.”
On 27 October, the state’s Home Department rejected a recommendation from the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to give Farooq Dar Rs 10 lakh 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. (KNS)


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