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UA 396/90 - India: Reported extrajudicial executions: Gulam Rasool Malik, Gulam Nabi Shapoo

, N° d'index: ASA 20/022/1990

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 20/22/90
Distr: UA/SC
UA 396/90 Reported Extrajudicial
Executions 3 October 1990
INDIA: Gulam Rasool Malik
Gulam Nabi Shapoo
=====================================================================
At least 15 civilians have reportedly been killed by members of the Border
Security Force (BSF) in Kashmir in retaliation for the murder of one
of their colleagues by armed Kashmiri separatists on 1 October 1990.
Those killed include Gulam Rasool Malik, a former legislator of the Jammu
and Kashmir state assembly, who, relatives said, was dragged out of his
house by members of the BSF and shot on the road. They also included
Gulam Nabi Shapoo, who was apparently killed in the same manner. A local
shopkeeper said he saw how troops stopped him in the street and forced
him to sit down on the pavement and added: "then they just shot him in
the head and threw him into a burning shop". According to local officials,
one policeman was also killed when he tried to stop the BSF men from
setting fire to local buildings. They also said that the BSF obstructed
their efforts to put out the fire.
Two local policemen, Shabir Ahmed and Gulam Mohammed, said they were
guarding the post office when they saw the BSF men setting buildings
on fire with petrol and gunpowder. They were briefly held by the BSF,
but then released. According to a report from United News of India of
2 October, at least 15 people were killed and over 350 houses and shops
set on fire. Local officials have expressed fears that more bodies might
be recovered from the burning houses and that the death toll could rise.
The killings took place in Handwara, a town 75 km northwest of the state's
capital Srinagar.
The killings immediately followed an attack by armed Kashmiri separatists
on two members of the BSF who were shopping in the town, killing one
of them, Ashok Kumar. J.N. Saxena, Kashmir's Director General of Police,
has denied that the civilians were deliberately killed by members of
the BSF and said that they were killed in cross-fire between members
of the BSF and militant secessionists. He said an inquiry conducted by
two deputy police inspectors had been instigated.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Since early 1990, there has been an increasingly violent campaign for
independence in Kashmir. Armed separatists have kidnapped and killed
officials, members of the paramilitary forces and civilians in their
campaign. 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 and rape by the security forces and about arbitrary arrests
2
of suspected separatists or their relatives. In September, the government
announced that a screening committee would be set up to examine complaints
of excesses by the security forces and the newly appointed Governor,
Girish Saxena, has ordered several
3
investigations into more recent allegations of such abuses, in one
case leading to charges of murder being brought against the Director
General of the BSF. But such investigations have usually
been conducted by police or other officials rather than by an independent
and impartial body. Amnesty International does not know of any cases
in which officials allegedly responsible for such human rights violations
have been brought to justice and convicted .
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at reports that members of the Border Security Forces
have taken people out of their houses or from the road in Handwara on
1 October and deliberately shot them;
- welcoming reports that the government is carrying out an investigation
but urging it to order a comprehensive inquiry by an impartial and
independent body, the results of which should be promptly published,
and urging that anyone found guilty of extrajudicial killings be brought
to justice;
- urging that immediate steps are taken to ensure that those potentially
implicated are removed from any position of control or power over
complainants, witnesses and their relatives as well as those conducting
the investigation.
APPEALS TO:
His Excellency His Excellency
Mr Girish Saxena Prime Minister V P Singh
Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Office of the Prime Minister
Office of the Governor South Block, Gate No. 6
Srinagar New Delhi 110011
Jammu and Kashmir India
India
Telegrams: Governor Jammu and Kashmir Telegrams:
Srinagar, India Prime Minister Singh,
New Delhi, India
COPIES TO:
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Mr I K Gujral
Minister of Home Affairs Minister of External Affairs
Ministry Of Home Affairs Ministry of External Affairs
North Block South Block
New Delhi 110001 New Delhi 110011
India India
and to diplomatic representatives of India in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please check with the International
Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 14 November
l990.

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