MHA Dithers To Make K Panel Report Public

MHA Dithers To Make K Panel Report Public

17 January 2012
Rising Kashmir
Abid Bashir

Srinagar: Ministry of Home Affairs has declined an RTI plea seeking copy of the report, submitted by interlocutors last October, stating that the document is still under process and cannot be made public yet. This is for the second time over the past one month that the Home Ministry has denied copy of the report to the RTI applicant, Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat. Earlier, it had cited threat to India’s sovereignty and national security for not making the report public. According to the reply of MHA, duly signed by joint secretary home, K Sakandan dated 9-01-2012, the applicant has already been informed that the information sought by him can’t be provided as it attracts section 8(1) a (incitement and strategic) and c (breach of privilege) of the RTI Act 2005. The order further reads: “Since the report of interlocutors is still under process, it is not yet a public document. In view of the above, the appeal is not entertained and feasible of compliance.” Reacting to the development, Bhat questioned as to how can a move to make the report public be incitement and breach of privilege. “The reply shows the real intentions of GoI about making the report public. They have made mockery of this report by giving one or the other reason to evade my appeal.” Bhat said he will now approach Central Information Commission. “I fail to understand why GoI is not ready to give me the copy of the interlocutors report. Why were they sent to JK then? How can a report, which has been handed over to home minister, be a threat to national security? Does that mean GoI won’t make the report public?” Talking to Rising Kashmir over phone from New Delhi, a key interlocutor, Radha Kumar said there seems to be no fault on part of the home ministry. “The Home Minister has made it clear that the report will be discussed in the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). That way the report is still under process and is not a public document as yet,” she said. Kumar said the report would be made public after CCS discusses it properly. “Till then, it will remain under process. Since we have handed over the report to the home minister, there is no question of it being an incomplete document,” she said. Senior National Conference leader, Sheikh Mustafa Kamal said it is not for the first time that New Delhi had resorted to ‘dilly dallying tactics’ over something related to Kashmir issue. “Fate of Working Groups is still not known. A committee led by Ram Jethmalani yielded no result. Our autonomy resolution is still pending before New Delhi,” he said. Kamal expressed apprehension over the delay in making the report of interlocutors public. “Since there are reports that the interlocutors have advocated implementation of autonomy as solution of Kashmir issue- that may be a hurdle in making it public. I do have serious apprehension in this regard.” Kamal expressed hope that better sense prevails and New Delhi makes the report public soon. “It is better late than never. I hope GoI would rethink over its policy of delaying things. I hope the report would be put in the public domain soon.”