Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) challenged by Army; Cross LoC shelling kills civilians; Shootout in Srinagar leaves one killed and many injured; Gunfight rages in Sopore; Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants killed
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  • According to reports, Army has made it clear that Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) is not empowered to investigate alleged human rights violations against its soldiers posted in the State. Reacting strongly to the Army’s contention, SHRC has said that it can act against any offender irrespective of rank and status. The Commission said that over the years it has taken up and even given recommendations in many cases of human rights violations involving Army. Probing a complaint against Army for allegedly using civilians for forced labour in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district from 1990 to 2003, the SHRC had sought a report from the Secretary Ministry of Defence on the matter. The complaint was filed by MLA Langate Er Rasheed in 2009 alleging that 30 Rashtriya Rifles used people of 39 villages of Mawar area of Kupwara for forced labour to construct bunkers, extract timber and undertake night patrolling in the area. In 2010 the then Director General of Police J&K after probing the complaint had established that people of these villages were used by Army for forced labour. In its latest response to SHRC notice, Army through Srinagar based 15 Corps has not only refuted the allegations but challenged the jurisdiction of Commission over them.1

    In another development, according to reports, two civilians were killed in shelling and another died of cardiac arrest after Pakistani troops, allegedly, resorted to heavy firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Churunda village of Uri sector on October 16 following construction of new forward posts by India.2

    According to reports, a hotel employee was shot dead near Pantha Chowk in Srinagar after militants fired on an Army convoy on October 19. Three others were also injured in the shooting incident.3 While, a paramilitary CRPF man was injured in an ongoing encounter with militants in north Kashmir’s Sopore area on October 20.4

    Reports noted that two Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, including a top commander, were killed while three force personnel sustained injuries in a 24-hour gunfight in the north Kashmir town of Sopore.