K Panel Submits Interim Report, Visiting JK On Jan 179 January 2011
New Delhi: On the lines of Hyde Park in London or Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, the interlocutors have recommended, that specified areas in Kashmir and Jammu be demarcated where people could stage peaceful protests against the government. Journalist Dileep Padgaonkar said that panel has already submitted an interim report to Government of India based on the experiences which recommends that rights and dignity of people of Jammu and Kashmir be respected by “specially training” the armed forces. The three-member Kashmir panel is starting its fourth visit of the state on January 17. “We believe that people have a right to peaceful protest, and they should be allowed. We told Home Minister P. Chidambaram that non-lethal methods should be used for crowd control and loss of life must be prevented at any cost while handling the mass protests in Valley,” Padgaonkar told Rising Kashmir over phone from New Delhi. For ensuring these things, Padgaonkar said, that the panel has made an “important recommendation” that “security forces have to be specially trained for dealing with law and order situation in Jammu and Kashmir.” “This is important to allow people to stage protests at one particular place. This also can ensure that rights and dignity of people, who protest, is respected,” Padgaonkar added. Academician Radha Kumar and former Central Information Commissioner M M Ansari are the two other members of the Kashmir panel. The panel has made three visits to Jammu and Kashmir in past and traveled to different areas, including the rural and far-flung areas, where they interacted with cross section of political and social leaders, business community, students and common people. “We are arriving again on January 17 on our fourth trip and would be visiting rural areas in both Kashmir and Jammu regions,” Padgaonkar added. The panel head said that they have discussed the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act with home minister P Chidambaram to make it “more humane”. “In addition to this, we asked for strengthening the monitoring of alleged human rights violations in the state through the State Human Rights Commission and Accountability Commission,” he added. Padgaonkar added that his team has also talked for jobs to Kashmiri youth in central government services and special scholarships for Kashmiri students who want to pursue higher education in institutions of excellence. “We also recommended that all militants and protesters, including stone-pelters, against whom there are no serious charges, should be released from prison. Also, the jailed youth be given training to improve their skills and employability,” he added. Giving political representation to Gujjars and Bakerwals of the state and according special status to Paharis, has also been taken care of by the group of interlocutors in their recommendations to Home Ministry. Increase in the monthly stipend to displaced Kashmiri Pandits too forms the part of recommendations. Extension of fiscal incentives to business investors in Kashmir too is part of the recommendations.