Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has pushed the state government of Jammu and Kashmir for fostering Human Rights education throughout its security forces in order to bolster human rights in the state. They are of the opinion that the introduction of human rights education among the security forces will safeguard and uphold the human rights.
Considering the present unstable and volatile state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir, the Supreme Court had previously expressed its observations regarding the matter of human rights in the state. The matter has been subsequently considered on file by the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission and they have further propagated their recommendations on the matter to the state government.
SRHC member Mr. Rafiq Fida has asserted that he has “recommended the state government through the home department’s principal secretary for the introduction of human rights education among the security forces active in Jammu and Kashmir which includes both paramilitary forces and J&K Police in order to make them both public and human rights friendly.”
Three years earlier, two local journalists had filed a petition with the SHRC regarding this matter. The SHRC disposed off the petition by stating that the security forces must exhibit great tenacity and restraint when provoked or instigated so that the damages inflicted on the property and lives of the commoners are minimum.
In its recommendations, the state human rights commission further added, “it is the state government’s liability to ensure that the security forces honour curfew passes issued to journalists and media persons by competent authorities while they are on their professional duty for covering events and incidents occurring around us.”
This statement comes in the wake of many incidents which have witnessed the harassing and persecutions of the media persons throughout the state of Jammu and Kashmir during the past tumultuous period of instability. The journalists have gone even further to state that reporters from both electronic and print media feel unsafe and insecure about their safety in the region.
There have been many complaints from various sectors that security forces dishonour and disregard curfew passes on a regular basis which results in many of the media persons getting injured or tormented both mentally and physically. The most alarming fact of all remains the arrogance exhibited by the security forces who dare to do such heinous acts in spite of the curfew passes being issued and authorized by higher and competent authorities.
Rafiq Fida has assured that enquiry regarding this matter is ongoing under the police investigation team of the state human rights commission. “Detailed analysis of the reports have elucidated how Saeed Bashir, a photojournalist of ‘Mouj Kashmir’ was beaten up and tormented before being booked just for the reason of shielding the transgressions of the uniformed men,” spoke Fida regarding the case.
Fida has also expressed his displeasure at the absence of a guarantee in the state’s constitution for safeguarding the interests and freedom of the press. In order to counter this crisis, he has thus proposed the education of human rights for the security forces so that such instances do not occur in the future.