Several legal provisions put in force by the colonial state give powers to the police and perpetuate a culture of impunity. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, in force currently in large parts in the North-eastern states and Jammu and Kashmir gives Army personnel the power to kill on suspicion. No personnel can be tried in a court without the permission of the central government.
The civil courts have largely proved to be ineffective in dealing with this culture of impunity or bring the security personnel involved in abuses to justice. In J&K more than 8000 have been disappeared but none of the Army personnel responsible for disappearances have been tried. Same is true of extra judicial killings.
The high level of militarization coupled with proliferation of arms has created a situation where social and political instability are the order of the day. Different communities and armed groups are fighting against each other and against the state forces. The society itself has been militarized and thus has had its own destructive effect on people’s life, styles and culture. Justice needs to be dispensed and dialogue on all issues related to conflicting needs to be built for sustained process of transformation.