London, April 03, 2013 (PPI-OT): The UK-based human rights watchdog, Amnesty International has asked the authorities in Kashmir to substantially amend or replace the Police Bill, 2013, saying if passed into law in its present form it “will perpetuate the culture of impunity for human rights abuses and violations that exists in the territory.”
In a submission, the Amnesty International raised concerns about several provisions in the bill that it said would violate “India’s international legal obligations.”
“We are concerned that the bill, if passed into law in its current form, will perpetuate the culture of impunity for human rights abuses and violations that exists in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Shashikumar Velath, Director of Programmes, Amnesty International India.
“ …. given the nature of the ongoing violence in Kashmir and the history of human rights violations, we are particularly concerned about the bill in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Velath.
The Amnesty said that the authorities must hold deep and wide consultations with civil society groups, police personnel and members of the public before adopting a new police Act. “The prevailing state of impunity for human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir should not be exacerbated by passing the bill in its current form.”
Amnesty International’s submission analyses several provision of the bill relating to police functions, accountability and powers.
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