PDP stages sit in, wants probe into civilian killings

July 29th, 2010 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Srinagar, July 29 (IANS) The opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by its president Mehbooba Mufti Thursday staged a sit in outside the civil secretariat in summer capital Srinagar demanding a judicial probe into the recent killings of civilians.
Leading the dharna of party MLAs including former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, senior Shia leader, Molvi Ifftekhar Hussain Ansari, and others, Mehbooba Mufti said there was no rule of law in the state.

“There is no rule of law in the state. Innocent people have been killed here. The government is carrying out developmental meetings at various district headquarters after literally clamping curfew there,” she said.

“The government presses its employees to report for duties despite the curfews and restrictions. It is impractical unless the situation improves here,” Mehbooba told reporters.

The PDP also demanded ex gratia relief to the next of kin of the civilians killed.

The civil secretariat in Srinagar houses the offices of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, his ministerial colleagues and all the senior bureaucrats of the state.

It must be recalled that the PDP had chosen to stay out of the all-party meeting called here earlier this month by the chief minister despite requests from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

Since June 11, 15 people have been killed in the Valley in firing by security forces during clashes with unruly stone pelting mobs.

The state government has already announced a judicial probe into the civilian deaths to be carried out by two retired judges of the state high court.

The government has also announced ex gratia relief of Rs.5 lakh each to the next of kin of the victims or Rs.1 lakh and a government job.

The ruling National Conference (NC) has dismissed the PDP protests, terming it a propaganda campaign.

Talking to media persons at the Nawa-e-Subha headquarters of the NC, parliament member, Sharief-ud-Din Sharieq and state MLC Sheikh Gulam Rasool said the PDP was trying to seek political mileage out of the present crisis and had no genuine interest in addressing the problems of the people.

“The government has already announced a judicial probe and ex gratia relief in the civilian deaths. Today’s (Thursday’s) protests are yet another gimmick of the PDP,” the NC leaders said.

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