January 2017 News

Preparations For Unrest In Kashmir Were Made Beforehand: Mehbooba

9 January 2017
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: Alleging that the preparations for five-month long unrest in Kashmir were made beforehand, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister on Monday announced setting up district-level Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to probe the civilians killings and an exgratia relief of Rs 5 lakhs to next of kin of the deceased and jobs and education facilities for visually impaired. 'The unrest in Valley took place under a well-planned conspiracy. The preparations for the unrest were made beforehand. The preparations were made by creating controversies on issues like separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits and Sainik Colony in Valley. When these did not work, the killing of Burhan Wani provided them the trigger to instigate the unrest,' Mehbooba said while winding up the discussion on Adjournment Motion on civilian killings in Kashmiri during the unrest in Legislative Assembly, which is in session in Jammu - winter capital of J&K. She said her government was surprised with the way people had come out in large numbers on roads. 'Mostly on first three to four days, some elements among the people damaged 50 police stations and security camps and in retaliation the security forces fired pellets at them and when pellets are fired from up close, it causes maximum damage, more damage than even lethal weapons,' Mehbooba said. She said slogans were being raised from mosques and CDs were being distributed from very next day. 'It was followed by hartal and chalo calls given by the separatists. It clearly indicates that preparations for unrest were made beforehand'. 'When we told security forces to exhibit restraint, people came to attack with petrol bombs and axes,' she further said. At least 92 civilians were killed and over 13000 civilians injured in security forces action during the five-month long unrest triggered by killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. Two policemen were also killed during the unrest. Mehbooba also announced setting up of a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to probe the killing of a lecturer Shabir Ahmad Mangoo at Khrew in South Kashmir, an ATM guard Riyaz Ahmad Shah at Karan Nagar in downtown Srinagar and others. Mangoo and Riyaz were among the 92 civilians killed in security forces action during the over five month long unrest in the Valley after Burhan's killing. Mehbooba said SIT will be formed in each district of the Valley to investigate the killings and injuries. 'These SITs will also ascertain if excessive force was used by security forces to deal with the situations,' she said adding these SITs would be asked to submit their reports in a time bound manner. The opposition parties National Conference and Congress and Kashmir-based legislators have been demanding judicial probe into the killings. Mehbooba also announced an ex gratia relief of Rs. five lakhs in favour of the next of kin of those killed during the unrest. 'The possibilities of providing jobs would also be explored in cases of extreme compassion,' she said adding job opportunities would be made available to the persons who lost their eyesight during the unrest. The CM said arrangements for education at Delhi and other places would be made for the students, whose eyesight got affected due to pellets or other injuries. 'I have already spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in this regard'. She also announced rehabilitation package in favour of the people injured during the turmoil with varying disability. On arrests and detentions in the Valley, Mehbooba said at present only 138 persons are in judicial-police custody. 'All others who were arrested during the unrest have been released on bail'. She also disclosed that 463 persons were booked under PSA in Valley during the unrest. 'Of these, 145 have been released,' she said adding the cases of the persons presently under detention are being reviewed and those least involved will be released. Referring to Pakistan, Mehbooba blamed Islamabad for not responding to Delhi's overtures on peace.