Draconian Laws

In order to strengthen its foothold in the Indian occupied Kashmir, over the years India has enacted a regime of “black laws” parallel to the normal criminal laws of the state. Under these draconian laws, the basic human rights of the people of Kashmir have virtually stood suspended for years. Such legislations provide a legal cover to the Indian armed forces against any aggression they commit against the innocent populace.
These draconian laws which have been enforced in the Jammu and Kashmir state have been Terrorist Activities and Disruptive Act (TADA), Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA), to name the few. With the exception of Terrorist Activities and Disruptive Act (TADA), Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), the regime of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA) is still active in Kashmir Valley. Despite international criticism and local resistance no serious attempt has been made by India to do away with these obscurantist legislation save to the extent of rhetoric.
Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)
Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) regime was designed in 1958 to help Indian armed forces for operations in insurgency-hit north-eastern states of India. It was later extended to Jammu and Kashmir in 1990 to vest Indian armed forces with special powers as well as legal cover to battle the so-called “militancy” in the state. The law authorizes Indian armed forces to conduct a search operation without any warrant, arrest or even shoot to kill any person on mere suspicion. Besides, under the AFSPA regime, the personnel of the Indian armed forces cannot be tried in a court of law for their actions. It is because of the AFSPA that no armed forces trooper has so far been tried under the court of law so far.
In October 2011, as part of political gimmickry puppet Chief Minister of IOK, Omar Abdullah showed the intent of his placebo setup to partially revoke AFSPA from the state. However, despite the passage of several weeks the tall announcement made by the puppet CM could not materialize to this day owing to the opposition of the Indian army. Interestingly, the Indian army officials in defence of AFSPA stated that the Kashmiris would have to be given freedom if the law was revoked. Such statement is acknowledgement of the fact that India holds Jammu and Kashmir illegally.
In October 2011, New York-based international human rights organization, Human Rights Watch in its annual report asked the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to override the objections of the Indian army and keep his 2004 promise to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)
Public Safety Act (PSA)
Public Safety Act (PSA) regime also called “administrative detention system” was enacted in 1978. The law has been enforced in the north-eastern states and Indian Occupied Kashmir. On one side, the law provides extra powers to Indian security forces to detain a person, hold him incommunicado, or exercise habeas corpus on any individual so desired without following the normal legal course. Besides, the act also provides immunity to the Indian security officials against any such act. The security forces use this law to get forced confessions through torture and other illegal means. Mainly, the law has been directed against the pro-movement political forces, lawyers and stone pelters who can never be tried under a criminal law. The law also authorizes Indian security forces to immediately re-arrest a person after the court releases the individual.
Amnesty International published a research report titled “A Lawless Law” on Public Safety Act (PSA) regime in IOK. It provides an excellent insight into how the administrative and illegal regime in IOK is directed against the genuine political voice of the region. As per the report, the percentage of adminstrative detainees in prisons of IOK was 11.5 % in 2008 which was 14 times higher than the national average. As per the report, the estimate of illegal detentions ranged from 8,000 to 20,000 over past two decades whereas the crime rate in IOK was relatively low in comparison to the national average of India.
Indian administration has never shown seriousness in revoking this draconian legislation and the Indian securiy forces operate in a comfortable environment against the genuine pro-freedom voices in Indian occupied Kashmir.