Thursday, August 23, 2001, Chandigarh, India





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No blanket amnesty for Punjab cops
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 22
Blanket immunity or amnesty to security personnel accused of human rights violations in Punjab during the anti-militancy operations was today ruled out by the Centre.

This was decided after a high-level meeting between Union Home Minister Lal Krishan Advani, Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley, Attorney General Soli J. Sorabjee and top officials here this evening.

Official sources said the meeting of the top leaders after an hourís discussion opined that there was no question of granting any blanket immunity or amnesty to the personnel involved in human rights violation cases.

The delegates also discussed various mechanisms which could be placed within the constitutional provisions, to provide certain relief to the security forces.

They also decided to consult the Punjab Government on the possibility of reviewing alleged human rights violation cases against personnel who had fought militancy in the state.

Mr Advani on Sunday in Jalandhar said the Centre was contemplating a comprehensive plan to provide maximum relief to those Punjab police officials, who are facing trial in different courts for alleged excesses committed during militancy.

He, however, ruled out the possibility of granting general amnesty to those terrorists, who had shifted to Western countries during militancy under the alleged threat of elimination by the security forces. The Union Home Minister said failure on the part of the Centre to protect their (security forces) interest might have serious repercussions on the morale of security forces, including the BSF and paramilitary troops, who are still fighting insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir and in the North-East.

Cases under different sections for human rights violation were slapped against 700 Punjab Police personnel during the days of militancy.

Out of 468 cases being persued by the NHRC during 1999-2000 in Punjab as many as 100 fall in the category of police excesses, 11 relate to death in police custody and 42 in judicial custody. 
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