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Panel to probe into civilian killings in J&K
SRINAGAR, JULY 12 (IANS):
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Published on 13 Jul. 2010 12:36 AM IST
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The all-party meeting convened by the Jammu and Kashmir government Monday decided to set up an independent commission to probe the killing of 14 civilians in firing by security forces during the recent violent flare up in the troubled state. Amid boycott by the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the meeting adopted a resolution to address the present crisis in the Kashmir Valley and appealed to all political parties to help in restoration of peace and normalcy in the state.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told reporters after the nearly four-and-half hour meeting that representatives of various political outfits deliberated on the “recent law and order situation which led to the deaths of some civilians”.
“An independent commission would hold an enquiry into the recent deaths of civilians,” Abdullah said.
The Kashmir Valley has been on the boil following widespread violence after the deaths of 14 people in firing by security forces. The army was called in to stage flag marches, for the first time in more than a decade. The situation, according to authorities, is under control even as tension seems palpable across the Muslim-dominated valley.
He said the meeting expressed anguish on economic losses and the loss of innocent lives “as the political, security and economic dimensions of the problem were discussed”. The chief minister said a delegation would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to urge the central government to strengthen the stalled peace process through a dialogue.
“The education of children is suffering here and the all-party meeting has appealed to the people to restore normalcy.”
Senior ministers of the ruling National Conference-Congress alliance, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and some independent members in the 87-member legislative assembly attended the meeting.
Farooq Abdullah, former state chief minister and union minister and Saif-ud-Din Soz president of the state unit of the Congress were also present.
The PDP stayed away from this crucial meeting saying it was too little too late from the chief minister who had failed to protect the lives of civilians killed in clashes with security forces.
Meanwhile, a shutdown called by separatists and official restrictions imposed in parts of Srinagar continued to affect normal life.
“Curfew has been lifted from the entire valley as the situation has improved but restrictions are in place in some old city areas,” a police officer said.
Markets, educational institutions, banks and other business establishments remained closed and public transport was off the roads. Private vehicles plied in many areas of the uptown city.
Life in Old City areas was paralyzed because of the restrictions imposed by the authorities curbing all pedestrian and vehicular movement.

 
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