PUBLIC AI Index: ASA 21/35/99
UA 275/99 Death threats/fear for safety 15 October 1999
INDIAPeer Noor ul Haq
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Peer Noor ul Haq, who
has reportedly been threatened with death for agreeing to testify against police
officers allegedly responsible for deaths in custody in Srinagar, summer capital
of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Peer Noor ul Haq was arrested by police on 19 June 1999, after he lodged a
complaint of bribery against police officers including Deputy Superintendent
(DSP) Abdul Rashid Khan. He was detained for 10 days, during which time he
was reportedly tortured with electric shocks, severe beatings, having a heavy
weight rolled up and down his thighs and being hung upside down for long periods.
On the night of 23 June two men arrested by DSP Khan, Ghulam Matto and Javid
Shah, were put into the same cell as Peer Noor ul Haq, and he heard screaming
from another cell which he took to be the sound of a third man arrested by
DSP Khan, Nazir Gilkar, being tortured. Shortly after the screaming stopped
DSP Khan came and took away Ghulam Matto and Javid Shah. Neither man was seen
alive again, and their bodies were recovered in a village in Baramula District,
70 miles away. Nazir Gilkar’s body was recovered from Dal Lake. A case has
been brought against police officers for the killing of Ghulam Matto, Javid
Shah and Nzir Gilkar but not against DSP Khan.
After he was released, Peer Noor ul Haq went to the Srinagar Medical Centre
to get treatment for the injuries he had received in custody. While he was
there DSP Khan threatened to kill him if he testified in the case of the custodial
deaths. Later Peer Noor ul Haq made a submission to the State Human Rights
Commission concerning his alleged illegal detention and recorded the threat
by DSP Abdul Rashid Khan. Justice G A Kuchhai, Chairperson of the State Human
Rights Commission, issued an order dated 21 August 1999 that Peer Noor ul Haq
should not come to harm or be subject to harrassment and that security cover
should be provided to him, but to date this protection has not been provided.
Khan apparently later made the same threat to Peer Noor ul Haq’s brother-in-law.
Amnesty International’s concerns for the safety of Peer Noor ul Haq are
heightened by reports that DSP Khan has been implicated in other cases of
torture, death in custody and "disappearance" and is currently suspended from
duty pending the outcome of an inquiry into a rape case.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/faxes/express/airmail letters in
English or your own language:
- urging the authorities to immediately guarantee the safety of Peer Noor ul
Haq, who has allegedly been threatened with death by a Deputy Superintendent
of the Police in Srinagar;
- urging the authorities to immediately order an independent inquiry into these
- urging the authorities to give a commitment that people will be free to raise
complaints against the police and act as witnesses in cases which involve
complaints against the police without fear of harrassment, and that action
will be taken against anyone interfering with those activities.
Mr Sardar Gurbachan Jagat
Director General of Police