This report finds that India has been operating secret state-sponsored paramilitary groups composed of captured or surrendered former militants described as “renegades” by the Indian government. Many of these groups have been responsible for grave human rights abuses, including summary executions, torture, and illegal detention as well as election-related intimidation of voters.
Topics: recommendations, background, applicable international law, violations by Indian government forces, state-sponsored renegade militias, attacks on human rights activists, attacks on the press, attacks on medical workers, abuses by uniformed Indian security personnel, torture, violations by militant organizations, killings on Hindu minorities, extrajudicial executions and reprisal killings
Terms: March 1996 killing of Jalil Andrabi, December 1995 shooting of Zafar Mehraj, December 1995 killing of Farooq Ahmed Sheikh, Ikhwan-ul-Muslimoon, January 1996 killings of Mohammed B and Sheikh Y, December 1995 killing of Ghulam Ahmed Bhat and Khurshid Ahmed Bhat, custodial torture, custodial rape, Rashtriya Rifles, enforced disapppearances, arbitrary detention, excessive use of force, custodial killings, cordon and search operations, Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)
The government of India should establish a civilian review board to oversee any rehabilitation program for surrendered militants. This review board, which should be headed by a civilian and include other civilian representatives, should have access to records on surrendered weapons and vocational training programs to ensure that the former militants are not compelled to serve in state paramilitary forces not established and regulated by law or induced to take part in security operations that violate international human rights and humanitarian law.
The Indian government should permit the U.N. Working Group on Disappearances, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Summary or ArbitraryExecution to conduct investigations in Kashmir.
In previous reports, Human Rights Watch has urged the government of India to provide police training,perhaps after consultation with international experts, on gathering adequate evidence for rape prosecutions. Explicit prohibitions against rape should be included in training for all enlisted men and officers in the police, paramilitary and military as a way of sending a clear signal that rape is not tolerated by the state.Medical workers who have examined and treated rape victims should be protected from abuse. Medical facilities, including private licensed physicians, should be encouraged to give testimony and introduce physical evidence in court with regard to rape and other forms of sexual and physical abuse.