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Friday, Oct 29, 2021
Outlook.com

Selective Human Rights

To prosecute them now will mean that no policeman in any part of the country will take up this onerous task again.

Selective Human Rights
Selective Human Rights
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

They maintain that there is already a plethora of acts in the statute books, such as the Disturbed Areas Act, the Army (special powers) Act and the Public Safety Act in Kashmir, that give far too much immunity against prosecution to the forces. These have severely undermined the accountability of their actions, and encouraged a variety of excesses that have tarnished and undermined Indian democracy, further alienating the people in insurgency-affected areas.

These fears are well founded and the arguments against increasing the security forces' freedom from accountability are irrefutable. But the entire debate has become sidetracked and no longer addresses the specific problem that Advani is trying to resolve. That problem is how to protect more than five hundred policemen in Punjab, facing prosecution now because the courts there have admitted cases against them by relatives of those whom the police incarcerated or tortured during the struggle against terrorism in the state. This was possible because of a mismatch in central and state laws that resulted in Punjab Police not enjoying the same degree of legal immunity as the army and the bsf.

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