EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 20/22/93
UA 132/93 "Disappearance" 26 April 1993
INDIA: Ashaq Hussain Ganai, 17
Amnesty International is concerned about the safety and whereabouts of Ashaq Hussain
Ganai who has not been seen since his arrest on 3 March 1993. Amnesty International
fears he is being held in unacknowledged detention and therefore is at risk of torture
or of being killed.
Ashaq Hussain Ganai, son of Gulam Rasool Ganai of Dangiwacha, Rafiabad, Baramulla
district, was reportedly last seen at 12 noon on 3 March 1993 being taken away during
a cordon and search operation by soldiers of unit 79, Jakli 17, under the command
of Majors Gurpal Singh and Ashok Ahuja. Ashaq Hussain Ganai's family have persistently
asked various authorities for permission to see him in custody, but have been refused.
On 16 March 1993 the Deputy Inspector General of Police of Baramulla/Kupwara reportedly
asked unit 79 to see Ashaq Hussain Ganai, but he was also denied permission.
On 21 March, Major Gurpal Singh raided Gulam Rasool Ganai's house and made him and
another of his sons sign their names on papers, the contents of which they were not
allowed to read. Mr Ganai protested about this in a statement to the Panzalla Rafiabad
police on 22 March. On that same day the family was told by Major Gurpal Singh that
Ashaq Hussain Ganai would soon be released. On 23 March, Mr Ganai contacted Major
General Indor Kumar Verma, who had reportedly taken part in the cordon and search
operation of 3 March, and was assured that Ashaq Hussain Ganai was in the custody
of unit 79 and would be released on 25 March, the festival of Eid. However, later
the same day, Major Ashok Ahuja informed Mr Ganai that his son had "escaped" during
"cross fire" at Sangranpora. To date Ashaq Hussain Ganai has not returned home and
it is feared that he remains in custody.
A delegation, including the District Magistrate, went to Major General Indor Kumar
Verma's office on 26 March to express their concern about Ashaq Hussain Ganai's safety.
They were reportedly assured that the Major General would look into the case and
that anyone found guilty would be brought to justice. On 28 March the new Governor
of Jammu and Kashmir, K.V Krishna Rao, visited Baramulla and Mr Ganai expressed concern
about his son's safety and whereabouts to him. The Governor also reportedly assured
a thorough inquiry into the case. Mr Ganai has also raised his concerns with the
state's Director General of Police, the Chief Secretary and the Commissioner for
Home Affairs, all without success.
Since early 1990 there has been an increasingly violent campaign for independence
in Kashmir. Armed separatists have kidnapped and killed officials, members of
paramilitary forces and civilians. Amnesty International has repeatedly expressed
concern to the Indian Government about reports of deliberate killings of unarmed
civilians by members of the security forces, about widespread allegations of torture