Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
HVK Archives: US hails India's rights record

US hails India's rights record - The Telegraph

Seema Sirohi ()
1 February 1997

Title : US hails India's rights record
Author : Seema Sirohi
Publication : The Telegraph
Date : February 1, 1997

In a significant nod to India, the US government's annual human
rights report praised the restoration of a popular government in
Kashmir for the first time in six years despite the militants'
efforts to disrupt and wreck the election process.

The report, while detailing and condemning the widespread abuses by
the police and paramilitary forces, noted the good work done by the
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in examining thousands of
cases and fostering respect for human rights through educational
seminars for the police.

It also condemned separatists in Kashmir and the Northeast for
kidnapping, extortion and extrajudicial executions and preventing
the functioning of courts. The militants were blamed for the
increase in civilian deaths as they tried to prevent people from
going to the polling booths in Kashmir.

The 1996 report took a further step in recognising that militants
also cause human rights violations, something that has passionately
been argued by Indian officials while defending New Delhi's human
rights record and explaining the difficult task of containing many
insurgencies at the same time.

United States officials have slowly begun to acknowledge the terror
unleashed by militants in Kashmir, Punjab and northeastern states.

The annual report is a detailed document on the state of human
rights in all countries compiled by American embassies in various
countries. Diplomats in Washington await the report's release with
trepidation, noting every nuance and reference to their country
with utmost care.

>From India's point of view, the most important sections were on
Kashmir where the US state department made a careful note of the
democratic process initiated through state elections.

The staging of elections, however, flawed in execution, is seen as
a step forward by the US and indicates a slight shift in American

It sends a signal to Pakistan to move towards a gradualist approach
and discard the all-or-nothing policy on Kashmir.

Islamabad may be further pricked by the report's declaration that
"many of the terrorists are not Indian citizens."

The report condemned Kashmiri militants for 418 kidnappings in 1996
of whom 222 were killed by their captors. It noted the continued
detention of four foreign hostages by militants, adding that there
had been no credible evidence that they are alive since 1995.

It blamed extremists for spreading terror outside Jammu and Kashmir
and planting a bomb at the Delhi railway station in January which
killed six people and a car bomb which killed 25 civilians.

It noted that state-sponsored violence had decreased but at the
same time, abuses by pro-government counter militants had
increased. But the report did not mince words on the conduct of
Indian security forces.

It cited extrajudicial killings, political killings, fake
encounters, torture, rape and deaths of suspects in police custody
throughout India.

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements