Army kids get a hearing
New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission has taken cognisance of a complaint filed by three children of army officers alleging violation of the human rights of the force's personnel in recent incidents of stone-pelting in Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement on Friday, the NHRC said the complainants had also sought its "intervention for an appropriate enquiry into the incident of stone-pelting and assault by an unruly and disruptive mob on army personnel in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on January 27".
In their complaint, the children have said they are "disturbed" by the recent incidents of stone-pelting and assaults by mobs on security forces, according to the statement.
The commission has observed that in view of the facts narrated and the allegations levelled in the complaint, "it will be appropriate to call for a factual report from the ministry of defence, through its secretary, to know the present status of the situation and steps taken by the Union government on the points raised by the complainants regarding alleged humiliation and violation of the human rights of the army personnel in the state of Jammu and Kashmir".
A communication has been sent to the defence secretary, seeking a report in four weeks, it said.
The complaint has also raised the issue of the safety of soldiers and officers of the army deployed in insurgency-hit areas of Jammu and Kashmir and other states.
It has sought to draw the attention of the commission to the "innumerable and frequent instances of violation of human rights of the army personnel, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir", the statement said.
Quoting news reports, the complaint said that though the "attack on an army convoy in Shopian district was completely unprovoked and unwarranted, still an FIR was registered against army personnel".
Troops had fired on stone-throwers and killed two men last month. The FIR named the army unit and the major who led it.
"They (the children) quoted, date-wise, a series of incidents wherein, allegedly, the army faced hostilities from the very people it was deployed to protect. Not only that, even FIRs were registered against the army," the statement said.
The complaint also alleged that the administration, which is being assisted by the army, had "failed to safeguard the human rights of the members of the armed forces".
It cited "instances of various countries, wherein severe punishment is meted out to those involved in stone-pelting on armed forces", the statement added. PTI