JK News Today
New Delhi, November 8: The five-member Civil Society delegation led by former External Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha recently reached out to various stakeholders in Kashmir with a twin purpose of understanding the situation at the grass-root level and to break the months long impasse. The report that has been submitted by the committee throws light on various reasons for anger in the people of valley and also proposes various recommendations.
The major pretexts that the report attributes for precipitating anger in the people include reasons like excessive use of force by the security forces, unrestricted use of force by the security forces, use of pellet guns, night-time raids by security forces, misuse of Public Safety Act (PSA), destruction of electric transformers and crops in rural areas and attacks on Kashmiris outside J&K. While the major reasons quoted for anger that has persisted since ages includes refusal to recognize Kashmir as a politically contentious issue, denial to recognize the emotional and sentimental aspects of the Kashmir issue, designating all Kashmiris as Pakistani puppets, absence of dialogue with Pakistan, jettisoning of Vajpayee line on Kashmir, indifference of Indian public to the plight of Kashmiris, impelling Kashmir being towards anarchy, nonchalance about Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley and regression from autonomy to uniformity and from togetherness to communalism.
Subsequent to underscoring the issues, the report proposes various recommendations for the Government to resolve the aforementioned issues. The recommendations proposed for the J&K Government include:
- Starting the process of reopening schools and releasing all first time offender school children and minors arrested under PSA.
- Postponing examinations to a later date and giving students ample time for preparation.
- Relocating repeat minor offenders from adult jails to temporarily designated juvenile detention centres and providing them with psychological counseling.
- Paying compensation for the next of kin of the civilians killed and for those wounded in police or action by the other security forces. This money is advocated to be transferred as DBT to designated accounts to prevent extortion and rent-seeking from the suffering families by the state bureaucracy.
- Announcement of rehabilitation packages to ensure the life-time income needs of those permanently blinded by pellet guns.
- Compensation and free treatment at state government expense for those who have been partially blinded by pallet guns.
- Setting up of a blind school in Srinagar for children blinded by pellet guns.
- Ordering a judicial commission into excesses by the police, especially the wanton use of pellet guns.
The recommendations proposed for the Union Government include:
- Ban on the pellet gun with immediate effect as a crowd control weapon.
- Working with the media to educate media owners about the sensitive nature of the Kashmir issue and preventing them from adding fuel to the fire in search of viewers and revenue.
- Dispelling the perception that Kashmir and Kashmiris are mere tools to be used for electoral purposes.
- In its interactions with Kashmiris the centre is recommended to reiterate the approach enunciated by the Hon’ble PM that Kashmiris are Indians.
- Expedition in the process of providing facilities of migrants to Pandits continuing to reside in Kashmir Division of J&K.
The committee concluded that a dialogue with all the stakeholders must be initiated at the earliest as was committed in the agenda of alliance of the BJP-PDP Coalition Government. Further, in order to gain tangible solutions, it suggests masses as well as those in power to stop seeing Kashmir as a Hindu vs. Muslim issue and governance as a grapple of Jammu vs. Kashmir.
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