Kashmir house adjourned on rights abuses
31 January 2007
Indo-Asian News Service
Jammu: Proceedings in both houses of the Jammu and Kashmir legislature were repeatedly disrupted Wednesday as opposition leaders staged noisy protests against 'fake encounters' in the state.Demanding a separate discussion on human rights violations, the main opposition National Conference members stalled the assembly and Speaker Tara Chand had to adjourn proceedings twice. National Conference legislators asked that the issue be discussed Thursday when grants of departments under Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad come up for discussion - the home department is held by the chief minister.The situation was chaotic in the legislative council too with the opposition raising slogans like 'Mulzimon ko saza do (punish the guilty)' and 'Down with fake encounters'. Leader of Opposition Abdul Rahim Rather said, 'Daily reports of fake encounters appearing in the media are a poor reflection on the government's claim of zero tolerance on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.' The National Conference was dissatisfied with chief minister's statement Tuesday that 'those found guilty of killing innocents would not be spared'.Two policemen were arrested earlier this week and two senior officers suspended after a youth was allegedly killed in a shootout staged by police. The family members of the youth - Abdul Rehman Paddar, resident of Larnoo village in Anantnag district - had filed a complaint at the Batmaloo police station in Srinagar on Jan 23, saying the youngster was abducted by unknown people from Batmaloo on Dec 8.They said Paddar had a mobile phone with him when he went missing. Following investigations, police recovered the mobile from a member of the Special Operations Group (SOG) who said a police official had given it to him.The recovery of the phone led to the possibility that the youth was killed in a shootout in Anantnag district Dec 9 in which SOG had killed a 'foreign militant'.Ruling coalition partner People's Democratic Party's Ghulam Hassan Mir said this was an issue that concerned all members and a special discussion be held on the issue.