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Amnesty criticises India's conduct in Kashmir

Srinagar, May 23, 2007 (Kashmir Newz Desk) :

Amnesty International in its international report for 2007 has accused India of continuing gross human rights violations in its Indian administered Kashmir despite decrease in the intensity of insurgency in the region.

The report, which was released in London today said that despite decrease in the politically motivated violence, torture, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions continued.

According to the report, six deaths in custody, 38 enforced disappearances including several juveniles, and 22 extrajudicial killings were reported in 2006. The report also accused militants of indulging in identity based attacks.

The report also says that impunity for human rights violations by state agents continued. "Although in a few cases criminal action was initiated after years of delay," it further added.

The watchdog is also not satisfied with the peace process between India and Pakistan, which according to it managed to make only little progress in continuing dialogue over Kashmir.

The report claimed that 10,000 people have been victims of enforced disappearance since 1989. Quoting the Association of the Parents of Disappeared People the report said authorities failed to provide information to the families of the victims about their whereabouts.

The report expressed its concern over the minimal powers of state Human Rights Commission, whose chairperson also resigned in August over the "non-serious" attitude of the state government towards human rights violations.

The rights body also expressed concern over the clemency petition of December 2001 parliament attack convict Afzal Guru pending before President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

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