NEW DELHI, Jan 30 � Human Rights Watch (HRW) has yet again decried the delay in repealing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958.
The World Report 2015 released globally by the US-based organisation said, AFSPA, which has been in force for decades in Northeastern States and Jammu and Kashmir, has provided effective immunity to members of the armed forces for killing of civilians and other serious human rights violations.
Numerous independent commissions in India have recommended repealing or amending the law but the government has failed to do so in the face of stiff opposition from the army, it said. Members of India�s security forces continue to enjoy impunity for serious human rights violations.
In a rare case in November 2014, the army reported that a military court had sentenced five soldiers, including two officers, to life in prison for a 2010 extra-judicial execution of three innocent villagers. The army ordered a military trial after using the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to block prosecution by civilian courts, the report said.
In its earlier reports also the Human Rights Watch has criticised the controversial legislation, for scrapping of which Irom Sharmila of Manipur has been fasting for over a decade.
The army also chose a military trial for the alleged March 2000 extra-judicial killing of five civilians in Pathribal in northern Jammu and Kashmir. However, in January, the army court of inquiry dismissed charges against five officers.
The international human rights group further said that proposed police reforms have also languished, even as police continue to commit human rights violations with impunity. These include arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and extra-judicial killings. In several States, police are poorly trained and face huge caseloads.
Two separate reports � one by a think tank and another by three senior police officials � found a deficit of trust between Muslim communities and the police. Muslims perceive the police to be communal, biased, and insensitive in part because of the misconduct of some police personnel, especially during communal tensions, the report said.