An inquiry commission has blamed security forces for firing on demonstrations in many cases during the 2010 Kashmir street protests without permission from magistrates, while recommending a review of draconian laws that provide them sweeping powers and immunity from prosecution.
“…the state government may consider continuance of two highly controversial laws… the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1990, and J&K Disturbed Areas Act, 1992, is necessary or not in the peaceful and less disturbed areas of the state after it is thoroughly analysed by the CID wing of the state,’’ Justice (retired) M L Koul has said in 320-page report submitted to the government last week.
The commission, which then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had constituted in June 2014 to probe the killing of over 120 people in 2010, has blamed local administration for failing to control the situation. “It was essential that threatening warnings should have been played on loud speakers upon jeeps so that the people would have been advised to stay indoors and this exercise too has not been adopted during the disturbances,’’ said the report. “Had local administration been collaborative… responsive to the law and order situations, the causalties would have been too lesser or not at all.’’
The commission has recommended a custodial death case against policemen for killing a youth. “It has been found that Omar Qayoom, son of Abdul Qayoom Bhat, resident of Soura, had died because of police torture during the custody after he was picked by Soura police officials nearby a shop on 20-8-2010.’’
The panel has recommended a CBI probe into 17-year-old Tufail Matoo’s killing that escalated the protests. It has cited cases wherein security forces, including J&K police officers, did not take orders from magistrates. “The firing incidents in districts Anantnag, Shopian, Baramulla and Srinagar have been without the orders of the magistrates,’’ said the report.
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