Governor Satya Pal Malik on Wednesday directed the district police chiefs in Jammu and Kashmir to take care of "public sensitivities" while dealing with "law and order issues," even as he impressed upon the deputy commissioners to create awareness among people about the upcoming civic elections and also provide adequate security to the contestants.
The Governor's directions to the police force come in the wake of reports of alleged excesses by forces during anti-militancy operations, especially in southern districts of the Valley where militancy has seen a surge in recent years. In an exclusive interview with Greater Kashmir Tuesday, Malik had even gone to the extent of saying that families of militants should not be harassed.
"If somebody joins militancy, his family is not to be blamed for that. His father, mother won't be harassed. I don't believe in either picking up their children, or abduction of children of our officers," he had said.
An official spokesman said that the Governor advised the district police officers to "ensure that minimum inconvenience is caused to people during their operations."
Malik was speaking at a day-long conference of deputy commissioners and district senior superintendents of police, here. His advisors—Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, K Vijay Kumar and B B Vyas—chief secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, director general of police Dilbag Singh, and principal secretary to governor UmangNarula, administrative secretaries of various government departments, divisional commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu and senior police officers were present on the occasion.
Welcoming the participants, the Governor emphasised high responsibilities associated with the chair of deputy commissioners and district SSPs in maintaining law and order, delivering public welfare services and ensuring holistic development of the districts.
"The Governor stressed ensuring efficient, transparent and accountable governance with utmost regard to public sentiments," the spokesman said.
Malik also stressed crucial importance of strengthening the grievance redressal mechanism by the district administrations and urged all the deputy commissioners to have one-day dedicated every week exclusively for hearing grievances and their early disposal.
"He urged completion of all pending development projects and asked the DCs to identify and settle all related issues. He observed that the government has approved setting up of J&K infrastructure development finance corporation, authorised to raise loans, to complete the projects that couldn't either take-off or are languishing for want of funds," the spokesman said.
'CREATE AWARENESS ABOUT CIVIC POLLS'
The Governor advised the deputy commissioners to generate awareness among people about the "vital importance" of upcoming elections to the panchayats and urban local bodies "in strengthening grassroots democracy and holistic development of towns and villages." The elections are scheduled to take place in phases from next month despite the poll boycott call by Kashmir's two principal mainstream political parties—the National Conference and the People's Democratic Party—apart from the Valley's resistance camp.
Malik advised the DCs and SSPs to provide adequate security cover to the contesting candidates and ensure that elections are conducted in a "free and fair manner", the spokesman said.
The Governor directed that due attention be given to strengthening the healthcare delivery system in districts and urged the district heads to make optimum utilisation of available human resources at grassroots, like ASHA workers, to achieve 100% institutionalised deliveries and adequate postnatal care for mother and child.
"He also emphasised ensuring 24-hour power supply during festivals and examinations," the spokesman said.
The Governor said that his administration has decided to sanction 40 new colleges for the state and urged the DCs to prioritise and submit their proposals in this regard.
The Governor expressed concern over non-availability of avenues for recreation and sports among children and youth and advised DCs to identify areas for developing playgrounds and promote sports culture.
He observed that he has noted a passion for football and cricket among the youngsters in the state and that he has already discussed the idea of conducting Indian Premier League matches in the state with the IPL chairman. Once the upcoming international level stadium gets completed, the IPL organisers will take a call on organising the matches here, the Governor said.
The Governor paid tributes to Karbala martyrs and "advised the officers dealing with maintaining law and order to take due care of religious sensitivities of people," the spokesman said.