11 rights violation cases against defence

New Delhi: Defence forces are investigating 11 cases of human rights violation registered against their personnel since 2009, but 158 such complaints were found to be false, government told the Lok Sabha today. Defence Minister A K Antony tabled a report on the number of complaints of human rights violation received against its personnel, cases which were found to be false and those which are being investigated.

Since 2009, total 169 complaints of human rights violation were received against the defence personnel, but 158 of them were found to be false, the Minister said in a reply in the House. Out of the 11 complaints, which are under investigation, six were received in 2011.

In 2009, a total of 79 complains were received but subsequent investigation found each one of them to be false. In 2010, 57 complaints were received and 52 were found to be false, followed by 2011 when 27 out of 33 complaints were declared incorrect. On whether an alleged job racket has been reported in resettlement of Ex-Servicemen (ESM), Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the matter has been handed over to the Corporate Affairs Ministry for detailed investigation.

"Some allegations regarding running of resettlement schemes for ESM by officials of Director General of Resettlement (DGR) have been made by some individuals and agencies. Allegations are regarding availing of multiple benefits by some ESM in connivance with DGR officials," he said. These allegations were investigated by an in-house inquiry committee which submitted its report, Raju told the House.

"The matter has been handed over to the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) under the Corporate Affairs Ministry for a detailed investigation against the officials mentioned in the report of the in-house inquiry committee," he said. To ensure transparency in functioning of DGR and check recurrence of such incidents, the Ministry has issued necessary instructions to the department, Raju said.

In reply to a question on encroachment of defence land, Antony said, "924 court cases are pending in various courts across the country in respect of encroachment of defence land." Replying to question on construction of National War Memorial (NWM), Raju said, "A Group of Ministers (GoM) has been constituted to finalise location of NWM… Construction of NWM has not commenced as its location has not yet been finalised."

On complaints regarding the 5.56 mm INSAS rifles, Raju said, "In 2003, certain modifications were proposed to avoid splash of oil on the face of soldiers while firing… In 2004, the user proposed 21 modifications for enhancing functional requirement of the weapon." In both the cases, design of the weapons have been modified to meet the customer`s requirement, he said. "All customer feedbacks are analysed and suitable measures are incorporated in the manufacturing process to meet the customer`s satisfaction," Raju said.