Jammu and Kashmir: Over 1,000 detentions under J&K PSA from March 2016 to August 2017 without any rules

While replying to an application filed by members of the J&K RTI Movement under the Right to Information Act, Jammu and Kashmir Home Department stated that 1,003 persons were detained across J&K, for varying periods under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act of 1978 (J&KPSA) between March 2016 and August 2017. The information was made public by Venkatesh Nayak of theCommonwealth Human Rights Initiative.

Kashmir region had witnessed several months of protests between March 2016 to August 2017.

The RTI information also revealed that the State Government has not made any Rules or Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) under the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 since inception. Section 23 of the J&KPSA empowers the State Government to make Rules to implement this law. District Magistrates and Divisional Commissioners have been issuing hundreds and sometimes even thousands of detention orders every year, under the controversial J&KPSA, without the rules.

The Home Department of J&K, however, refused to reveal the identities of the detenues citing Section 8(1)(f) and 8(1)(g) of the J&K Right to Information Act, 2009. While Section 8(1)(f) exempts disclosure of information that may endanger the life or safety of a person or reveal the source of information given in confidence to law enforcement agencies, Section 8(1)(g) exempts the disclosure of information that may impede the process of investigation, prosecution or apprehension of offenders.

Many of those arrested are juveniles (picture above courtesy http://kashmiriprisoners.blogspot.in/p/juveniles.html).

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