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‘Neither angels nor beasts’

Aug 04, 2006:

“Under the burden of his conscience” Justice (Retd) A M Mir said he stepped down as the head of State Human Rights Commission of Jammu and Kashmir. In an interview with Kashmir Newz Justice Mir dwells further on the reasons that prompted him to resign and says that he wants the troops in Kashmir to be neither angels nor beasts, but dignified human beings. Mir says he will form an NGO to fight for human rights of people.

Justice Mir
Justice Mir
What were the reasons for your resignation?

There are various reasons for my decision and all of them are have single reason of official apathy. SHRC is supposed to have four members but at present there was only a single member and three posts were vacant. The secretary of the commission had retired and one lady working as director litigation was given the additional charge. There should have been an investigating agency and an investigating officer not below the rank of an Inspector General posted in the commission but there is nothing at our disposal. The entire commission is understaffed. Besides the commission was and is facing extreme financial constraints. We had not a proper accommodation. At present we were working in a private building and the construction on the new official complex on Maulana Azad road has been stopped without any proper reasoning.

The main factor which materialised my decision for resignation was that the judgements passed by the commission were not implemented. People were coming with their complaints and we used to pass on the judgement, but when it didn’t make any difference, what was the fun of me being at the chair. In my stint as the chairman of the commission I passed on almost 400 recommendations and it in unfortunate that none of them were ever implemented.

Above all I could not deliver. What I was originally meant for prompted me to go for resignation. People would daily complain me that your judgements are not honoured. Now people were not even coming to register their complaints as they knew that nothing will come out. Under the burden of conscience I had to go for the extreme step.

What were the main type of complaints and against whom were they directed?

The main complaints coming before the commission were killings, assaults, custodial killings, rape, disputes of property of migrants and so on. Majority of these complaints were directed against police, army and para military forces.

Q: What was the basic purpose for setting up the SHRC and what were its powers?

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Kashmir Newz Specials
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