India responds to ICRC allegations of torture in J-K

India responds to ICRC allegations of torture in J-K

The statement by the official spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs came in response to the allegations by the Red Cross appearing in WikiLeaks cable.

Security forces in Kashmir beat suspects, subjected them to electric shocks and tortured them with water in widespread human rights abuses, the Red Cross told the US Embassy in 2005, according to a leaked diplomatic cable.

"India is an open and democratic nation which adheres to the rule of law. If and when an aberration occurs, it is promptly and firmly dealt with under existing legal mechanisms, in an effective and transparent manner.

"In India, there is a healthy tradition of democratic debate and freedom of expression on all issues that concern the welfare of our citizens anywhere in our country. Neither have we shied away from an open and candid discussion on such issues when raised by our international friends and partners," the statement said.

In a rare briefing with the then US ambassador to India David Mulford, the ICRC in 2005 expressed concern over alleged human rights violations in Kashmir and spoke about torture in detention centres, though it pointed out that the situation was much better than in the 1990s, according to the cable.