HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Behind the Kashmir Conflict: Abuses by Indian Security Forces and Militant Groups Continue



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Abuses in the Kashmir Valley

Extrajudicial Executions

Ghulam Hassan Ganie
At about midnight on September 14-15, 1998, Ghulam Hassan Ganie, twenty-eight, was arrested in his house in Patel Bagh, Pampore, by a combined force of army and Special Task Force. Two other residents of the area, Abderrashid Bhat and Mohamed Jabbar Wani, were also arrested. L., who witnessed the arrest, told Human Rights Watch that the next day, September 15, the relatives went to the local police station of Pampore to report the arrests. In the evening, the state police administration publicly announced the arrest of the three men as suspected militants.

Early on Monday, September 16, a rumor spread in the village that one of the detainees had been killed during an encounter and that his body could be recovered from the Srinagar police station, eighteen kilometers away. At 1:00 p.m. that day, the police of Shergali, the main local police station of Civil Lines, Srinagar, told the family that Ganie's body had been found near the station. The Shregali police handed the body over to the Pampore police, who handed it over to the family. L., who saw the body, stated that Ganie had a bloody scar on the right cheek and a depressed chest. There were no other marks, and no bullet wounds. In the official police bulletin of that evening, nothing was said about the case.

Ganie had previously been arrested in 1996 because of his involvement with a militant group, and was jailed for two years. He was released in April 1998.

On September 16-17, the people in the village protested the arrests and killing, and because the village is located on the main highway, they managed to block traffic. Villagers stated that as a result of the public pressure, the two other men were released at 7:00 p.m. on September 17 by the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, an army unit whose headquarters is situated behind the Shergali police station. According to L., the two men have been too frightened to talk about the incident. At the time of Human Rights Watch interview, the family had received no explanation about Ganie's killing.

Ali Mohamed Bhatt
Ali Mohamed Bhatt was arrested in his home in Shoragrera Mohalla, Nawab Bazar, Srinagar on August 8, 1998 and executed that night. Aisha Bhatt, his wife, told Human Rights Watch that two men who were staying in the house at the time were also arrested and killed; the witness did not know their names. At 11:30 p.m. on August 8, a police team headed by the station house officer (SHO) of the police station of Mahraj Gunj, Srinagar, raided the house. Bhatt and the two men were taken away. Aisha Bhatt and their three children were also taken that night andheld in the police station for three days. When she was released she learned that her husband and the two other men were dead and that the bodies of the three men had been handed over to relatives for burial on the evening of August 9. After the killings, the Jammu and Kashmir police chief issued a press statement announcing that all three men had been killed in an encounter. Because the authorities claim that the house had been used by militants, Aisha Bhatt was unable to reclaim possession of it.30

Mohamed Amin
W., a resident of Badran, Badgam, described the summary execution of Mohamed Amin.31 Amin had been a member of the Hizb-ul Mujahedin since 1993. In the fall of 1995 he was arrested by the army in Tangmarg, Baramula. He was held at the army camp for five days, and then they moved him to Zainakoot army camp on the outskirts of Srinagar. His family was allowed to meet him there about fifteen days after this arrest. He had been badly beaten and and been given electric shocks. He had been given the roller treatment and had been forced to drink his own urine. He was released after being held for one month. Over the next year, Amin was arrested and tortured eight times; each time he was detained in the morning and released in the evening. On February 20, 1997 he was called to the army camp and detained there but was released the same day. W. described what happened next:

The next day, first a civilian man came to see whether Amin was home. After they were assured that he was, an army unit headed by Major Shekawar came at 9:30 p.m. and took him to Aripathen camp, which is the military camp of our area. At midnight they returned with him and told him to show them where the weapons were buried. But there were no weapons, so they returned to the camp. At 2:00 a.m. they came back again, but he still did not produce any weapons, so then they took his brother, Abdurrashid, and beat him with their guns and sticks and kicked him with their boots. Then they took Mohamed Amin to another house in the village and started beating him there.32

The army stayed in the village till noon the next day and then went back to the army camp with Amin. The next morning, February 23, at 7:00 a.m., residents of the village found Amin's body tied to a tree on the outskirts of the village. W. stated:

I immediately went there. His body was riddled with bullets. The bone of his forehead protruded, one eye was out, all the fingers of his left hand were missing, and there was a bullet wound also in his left side. There were holes in his pheran [cape]. The army came shortly thereafter and took the body to the local police station where they filed an FIR claiming that Amin was a released militant who had been re-arrested to lead the army to an arms cache, and that he had done so. On returning to the camp, the FIR said, Amin tried to take one of those weapons and fire at the soldiers, upon which they killed him. I tried to fill an FIR, but the police said there already was an FIR. I tried to get a copy of it for the court, but the police refused to give me one.33

30 Interview in Srinagar, October 17, 1998.

31 Interview in Srinagar, October 19, 1998.

32 Ibid.

33 Ibid.



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