Srinagar: Amnesty International has castigated India for gross human rights violations in disputed Kashmir by its troops and urged the Indian government to revoke draconian law, Public Safety Act (PSA), in the territory.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the Amnesty International in a report ‘A Lawless Law: Detentions under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act’ released in Srinagar on Monday said that estimates of the number detained under the PSA over the past two decades ranged from 8,000-20,000. It maintained that 322 people were detained between January and September 2010, under the black law that empowered the authorities to detain people for up to two years without any reason.
The 70-page report, the first on the rights situation in the territory since 2000, documents how authorities are using the draconian Act to detain people for years at a time, without trial, depriving them of basic human rights. “By using the PSA to detain people without adequate evidence, India has gravely violated the human rights,” it stated.
The Amnesty report said that in many cases, the High Court of the disputed territory had quashed orders of detentions but the research clearly showed that the authorities consistently thwarted the court orders for release by re-detaining individuals under fake charges by issuing further detention orders. It called for an independent, impartial and comprehensive investigation into reports of torture and ill-treatment of detainees. The report clubbed India with Israel and Egypt on the grounds of rights abuses and termed the PSA as a system of administrative detentions.
Pointing out that a large number of Kashmiris including women and children was languishing in different jails of the territory, the Amnesty International asked India to repeal the black law, end practices of illegal detentions and facilitate the visits of
the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to the territory.
The report is based on research conducted in May last year and subsequent analysis of government and legal documents relating to over 600 individuals detained under the PSA between 2003 and 2010.