The Concerned Citizens Group expresses its deep anguish at the killing of innocent civilians in Srinagar. The government’s explanation about the Hyderpora incident is as clear as mud and complicates the issue further. The governor’s decision to order a magisterial enquiry is nothing more than an eyewash.
In its nine reports prepared after visits to Jammu and Kashmir since 2016 the Group has been emphasizing the need for a political and not a military solution to the issue of J&K, as indeed many others including military commanders familiar with the situation there have been doing. We have also emphasized that a political solution can come only out of a dialogue with all stakeholders. But our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The government of India has tried everything from an extended governor’s rule to constitutional changes but nothing has worked for the simple reason that the people of J&K have not been taken into confidence. The killings of civilians have demonstrated that the situation on the ground is far from normal as claimed by the government from time to time. Incidents, such as the killing of innocent civilians, are bound to exacerbate it further.
We demand therefore that the magisterial enquiry should immediately be replaced by a judicial enquiry under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India in order to uncover the truth and restore people’s confidence in the rule of law. We also demand that the enquiry should be completed expeditiously. In the meanwhile, those guilty of perpetrating it should be placed under suspension. We appeal to Members of Parliament to visit J&K as soon as possible and raise this issue in the ensuing session of Parliament.
The Group strongly condemns the statement of Gen Bipin Rawat endorsing the demand for the public lynching of terrorists. It shows that Gen Rawat has no use for the laws of the country and believes only in jungle raj. He must immediately withdraw this statement and apologize for it.”
Yashwant Sinha, Wajahat Habibullah, Kapil Kak, Sushobha Barve, Bharat Bhushan.
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