No justification for innocent killings: Karat
‘Situation In Kashmir Extremely Serious’
Srinagar, Aug 23: Terming situation in Kashmir as ‘extremely serious,’ General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Prakash Karat Monday said there can be no justification for use of bullets by government forces against stone throwing youth in the Valley which has resulted in killing of 63 Kashmiris.
Karat asked Government of India to recognize the special status of the state and treat it as “special case” to seek its political solution by resuming dialogue, without any pre-condition, with all shades of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan.
Favoring “greater autonomy” to the state, Karat who along with senior member of the Central Committee, Muhammad Salim, arrived here on Sunday, said the Congress led UPA was clueless on how to take the dialogue process forward on Kashmir.
“We are appalled and shocked at such a large death toll in the Valley. Sixty-two people including young boys have died in few weeks due to firing by paramilitary CRPF troops and police forces. There can be no justification whatsoever for these deaths. We know that they (youth) are out on streets protesting in form of stone pelting but to meet this with police firing is something that should not be condoned in a democratic county like India,” Karat told a press conference here.
“There has to be an immediate end to these brutal and inhuman firing. There has to be a strict no firing policy while dealing with stone throwing crowds. Other measures have to be resorted to in such confrontations,” said Karat, flanked by state secretary, MY Targami and Muhammad Salim. “Kashmir is burning, there is crisis in Manipur but Government of India’s priority is nuclear liability bill which will serve interests of America.”
Karat said his party does not share the views of Government of India or major political establishments which have been in succession whether ruling India or managing affairs in JK.
“Government of India is trying to deal with Kashmir as law and order problem and administrative issue. The question of Jammu and Kashmir has to be treated as special case and the way forward is to recognize its special status and need to assure Kashmiri people of their identity and these requires a new political framework in which the bedrock is maximum autonomy,” he said.
“We urge Centre to initiate political dialogue in Jammu and Kashmir. Avoiding the issue will not resolve the problem. The dialogue should be held without pre-conditions and it should be an open dialogue.”
About the preconditions by separatists that GoI should admit Kashmir as dispute for talks and the repeated statements of the New Delhi regarding settlement within the Constitution, he said, “The question of Kashmir concerns Kashmiris, India and Pakistan and the issue has other international and geo-political factors which have to be taken into consideration.”
Karat said his party would urge upon the Center to come up with a roadmap on how to go for political dialogue on Kashmir. At the same time, Karat said the dialogue with Pakistan has to be resumed and it should cover all issues. “There should be resumption and continuation of CBMs to help strengthen ties and relation.”
Condemning the arrest of teenagers in the Valley, Karat said “I am not able to understand how this is happening. I saw newspapers and read about cases of children less than 18 years put to jail. You cannot jail a teenager. These young people must not be kept in jail,” he said.
In order to help restore normalcy, the government should release all juveniles who have been detained and lodged in prisons, Karat suggested.
“I don’t subscribe to the statement made by the Home Minister earlier that protests in Kashmir are engineered. They are spontaneous,” Karat responded to a query. “We have come to convey our deep sympathy to the bereaved families and tell them that there are forces in India who condemn such action.”
Karat said the law in its present form has “draconian” provisions. “It should be amended to remove these draconian provisions. Till then the Disturbed Area Act should be removed from certain parts of JK like Srinagar and other urban and populated areas given the significant decrease in militant activities. It can work as an interim solution.”
He urged upon government for implementation of the Prime Minister’s assurance on “zero tolerance to human rights abuses” saying that action should be taken in Pathribal and the recent Machil fake encounter cases.
Karat said his party has been consistently advocating need for a sustained political dialogue with all sections in the state to eventually reach a political settlement. On many occasion in the past, he said, they had raised with successive regimes in New Delhi the issue of greater autonomy to all three regions of the state. “Congress is hostile to autonomy and more rights to states. All it wants to do is centralize more and more powers.”
During the CPI-M’s next Central Committee meeting, Karat said they would take Kashmir as a special case, discuss it in depth and come up with its clear stand on a way forward to solve it.
Karat said there was urgent need to generate employment for youth in Kashmir and it must be accompanied by rehabilitation of former militants who need jobs and other assistance.
He said given the major economic losses suffered due to the continued curfews and hartals for the past two months, the government must compensate and revive trade and other economic activities. Similarly, he said, the disruption of education of the children due to closure of schools and other institutions should be addressed.
He said government should bear the treatment cost of those injured in police and CRPF firing and it should announce rehabilitation measures for those who have been left permanently disabled. He announced that his party’s central committee would donate Rs five lakhs for the treatment of the injured.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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