Ahead of Assembly polls Omar Abdullah is coming across as a man who is in great hurry keen on washing all its sins and eager to deliver justice to one and all standing under the sun.
On Thursday when the state Cabinet headed by Omar Abdullah approved the setting up of a one man commission comprising Justice (Rtd). M.L. Koul, to enquire into the circumstances, leading to deaths by firing, or otherwise, in law and order situations in different districts of Kashmir Valley, during 2010 it only opened up pandora’s box.
Barely four months ago the same Omar Abdullah while responding to a question of PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti had ruled out constitution of a Commission of Inquiry to probe the civilian killings which took place during 2010 summer unrest in Kashmir.
“During 2010, at least 96 civilians who were part of the violent mobs/protests got injured in the engagements between protestors and deployment on the ground and succumbed to their injuries,” Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had said in his written response to a question by Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti in Legislative Assembly on February 22.
The reply said another “16 persons died owing to various reasons including stone pelting, stampede, blasts, and drowning.”
However upon examination of the cases, the government reply said, it was found that out of 78 FIRs registered into the deaths, investigation in 76 cases was “finalized” and the charge-sheet/final report was submitted before the competent courts.
“The investigation in the remaining two cases is in progress. In view of this it was felt that there was no requirement for re-constitution of the Commission of Inquiry,” the reply said.
In 2010, three youth were killed by Army in a fake encounter in border area of Machil in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. The incident was followed by killing of two teenaged students in police and CRPF action in Srinagar, triggering massive anti-government protests with people demanding action against the culprits. The protests and incidents of stone-pelting by youth were met with strong reaction by police and paramilitary CRPF, resulting in dozens of killings.
Following the killings, the State government had constituted a Commission of Inquiry in July 2010 to inquire into the events which led to death of 17 persons in action by police and other forces since June 11, 2010.
The reply said since the three-month term of the Commission expired in October 2010, the State Government had initiated the process to order “de-novo Commission of Inquiry” to complete the probe.
Meanwhile, as per the latest cabinet decision the one man Commission of enquiry will also enquire into the adequacy, or otherwise, of the force used, fix responsibility, wherever excessive force has been used, resulting in fatalities, and where due care has not been taken to avoid such fatalities, suggest measures to avoid the recurrence of such incidents in future and recommend the action to be taken against those found responsible in any such incidents.
The commission shall submit its report to the Government within a period of three months from the date of issuance of the notification in this regard.