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UA 132/92 - India: "disappearance": Ashaq Hussain Ganai

, N° d'index: ASA 20/022/1993

Ashaq Hussain Ganai has not been seen since he was reportedly taken away by soldiers on 3 March 1993 during a cordon and search operation. His family have made persistent inquiries about him and requests to see him in custody, which have been refused. On 21 March his family house was searched. Later that day they were told that Ashaq Hussain Ganai would be released on 25 March but later again on the same day they were told that he had "escaped". There are grave fears for his safety. Mr Ganai has raised the case with the new Governor of Jammu and Kashmir and other officials but so far without success.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: ASA 20/22/93
Distr: UA/SC
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.
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
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
and rape by members of the security forces and about arbitrary arrests of suspected
separatists, an increasing number of whom are reported to have "disappeared" or to
have died in custody. Amnesty International is concerned at the continuing pattern
of "disappearances" and extrajudicial executions which are occurring in the Kashmir
valley, despite condemnation by officials of such practices.
Girish Saxena, Governor of Jammu and Kashmir until 10 March 1993, had ordered several
investigations into such abuses, in one case leading to charges of murder being brought
against the Director of the Border Security Forces (BSF). Such investigations have
usually been carried out by police or army officials rather
Page 2 of UA 132/93
than by an independent and impartial body. Prosecutions are very rare. The government
says that action was taken against 230 members of the security forces in Jammu and
Kashmir, but has until now failed to give details of the perpetrators, their actions
and the nature of the punishments given to them.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern about the safety of Ashaq Hussain Ganai who since 3 March 1993
has reportedly been detained by soldiers of unit 79, Jakli 17, who have refused to
disclose his whereabouts;
- urging the authorities to order an independent and impartial inquiry to immediately
establish his whereabouts;
- seeking assurances that if Ashaq Hussain Ganai is in custody of the security forces
that he be humanely treated and be allowed immediate access to lawyers, relatives
and a doctor and that he be brought before a magistrate forthwith;
- urging that he be immediately released if he is not charged with a recognizably
criminal offence.
APPEALS TO
1) Mr S.B. Chavan Salutation: Dear Minister
Minister for Home Affairs
Ministry for Home Affairs
North Block
New Delhi 110 001
India
Telegrams: Home Minister, New Delhi, India
Faxes: + 91 11 301 0700/0680 (c/o Ministry for External Affairs)
Telexes: 3166427 REND IN
2) K.V. Krishna Rao Salutation: Dear Governor
Governor of Jammu and Kashmir
Office of the Governor
Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir
India
Telegrams: Governor Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, India
3) Lt. Gen. D.D. Saklani Salutation: Dear Lieutenant General
Advisor to the Governor
Office of the Governor
Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir
India
Telegrams: Lt. Gen Saklani, Governor's Office, Srinagar, India
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
1) Mr Rajesh Pilot
Minister of State for Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs
North Block
New Delhi 110 001, India
2) Mr Dinesh Singh
Minister of External Affairs
Ministry of External Affairs
South Block
New Delhi 110 001, India
and to diplomatic representatives of India accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your
section office, if sending appeals after 7 June 1993.

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