The Tribune – “Fake encounters: Panel to collect data, move SC”
Collective case on extra-judicial killings and disappearances during militancy to be filed
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, April 1
The Independent People’s Tribunal (IPT), an outfit of human rights organisations, will collect information on extra-judicial executions and enforced disappearances during the militancy era to the Supreme Court.
Senior SC lawyer and Director, Human Rights Law Network, Colin Gonsalves, said, a collective case of such executions and disappearances would be prepared in the next six months and it would be filed in the apex court. After the verdict of the SC in a similar case in Manipur, hope for the affected families of Punjab for justice has rekindled.
Retired SC Judge AK Ganguly, said, it was disappointing that the courts did not take notice of human rights violations in Punajb at that time. Such violations were undergoing in Manipur, Chattisgarh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Groups of victims from these states must approach the judiciary to direct the governments concerned to reform its working, he added.
Advocate Barjinder Singh Sodhi from Patiala, who is pursuing such cases, said justice has not been delivered in the case of the cremating 2,097 unidentified bodies and investigation was started only in 30 cases.
The organisations today came together to form the IPT to discuss – Punjab Disappeared: On extra judicial executions and enforced disappearances during days of terrorism’ for two days starting today.
Family members of about 400 affected families from Gurdaspur district participated and narrated their cases.
Members of the Jury panel for the IPT included Justice Ganguly, Suresh, a retired Judge of the Bombay HC, Kavita Srivastava, National Convener, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Soni Sori, a Tribal activist from Chattisgarh, Babloo Loitongbam, Human rights activist from Manipur, Tapan Bose, secretary general of South Asia Forum for Human Rights and documentary film maker, Praveena Ahanger, Chairperson of Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, Kashmir and Bibi Paramjit Kaur Khalra.
IPT moderator Satnam Singh Bains said they will hear testimonials of hundreds of forgotten victims.
Human rights activists from Manipur and Kashmir valley sought repeal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA).
Activists of Punjab Documentation and Advocacy Project (PDAP), Human Rights Law Network, Committee for Co-ordination on Disappearances in Punjab, Lawyers for Human Rights International, Punjab Human Rights Organistion, Khalra Mission Organisation, Sikhs for Human Rights and others took part in the deliberations.
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