Srinagar: A petition was filed Thursday before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) naming as respondents former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti, former Deputy CM Nirmal Singh, Home Secretary J&K and DGP J&K for investigation and punishment to those involved in civilian killings during the four-year term of the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state.
The petitioner, human rights defender Ahsan Untoo, stated that during the PDP-BJP government in J&K, many unfortunate incidents took place in Kashmir region. “During the government, 235 civilians have been killed, 460 rebels have been killed, more than 3,000 people have been partially or fully blinded by pellet guns, more than 16,000 persons have been arrested, One prominent journalist of Kashmir has been murdered, one newspaper Kashmir Reader was banned for almost six months, newspaper offices were raided and banned for three days after Burhan Wani’s killing, the historic Jamia Masjid was locked several times, backdoor appointments of more than 15,000 persons were made, the debt on Kashmir rose to Rs 65,000 crore which on every state subject comes to about Rs 50,000. For the first time, Jumat-ul-Vida prayers were disallowed, the RSS was brought to Kashmir, and every crime of India was justified in Kashmir,” the petition says.
The petition further says that during Mehbooba Mufti’s rule, the security set-up and the government’s functioning remained in the doldrums and unaccounted for, which ultimately encouraged the government forces to use excessive force against /civilians.
The petition said that the civilians killed, injured, brutalised and maimed during clashes could have been handled peacefully by government forces. Also, rampant corruption infected all government offices and affected the daily lives of the deserving as well as the needy, the petition says.
“In all these four years, the people of Kashmir suffered worst in terms of losing young people to bullets, pellets, tear gas shells and also crushed under armoured vehicles,” the petitioner said.
The petition pleaded that appropriate orders be passed to investigate all the civilian killings which took place during the government and the persons accountable be punished as per law. It also pleaded that security forces be directed to explain Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) while dealing with protests and explain why civilians were deliberately targeted and inhumanely killed during peaceful protests.