Rasheed Urges Delhi to Offer Truce on Jan 26

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SRINAGAR:   While appreciating the recommendations of Justice Verma Committee about the non-implementation of AFSPA in cases of crimes against women, MLA Langate Er Rasheed has asked New Delhi to altogether revoke the black law from J&K and north eastern states. He said that New Delhi has an opportunity to make an announcement in this regard on the eve of 26th January.

Addressing a press conference here the Independent law maker asked the Govt of India to offer a ceasefire to United Jihad Council on Nagaland pattern on the eve of the republic day and start a meaningful dialogue with it so that an honorable solution of the Kashmir dispute is reached upon.

“I just concluded comprehensive visit to the North- East area, I saw 5,500 militants in the camps in Nagaland with whom ceasefire is in force, the militants there move to the local markets and the men in uniform have been asked to remain one kilometer away from them,” MLA Langate said  asking “Why the men in uniform have been assigned to kill the militants in Kashmir and why a Naga type of truce is not offered to the United Jihad Council which is active in Kashmir?”

He reminded that many of Hizbul Mujahideen commanders were killed after a cease fire agreement was announced between this organisation and the Government forces.”If a cease fire can be reached and then respected in letter and spirit in Nagaland why not in Kashmir?”, Er asked and added that it was mandatory for the permanent settlement of Kashmir that a meaningful dialogue is offered to the militant leadership.

Complaining about , what he called, the second class citizen approach meted out to Kashmiri people, he said that a common Kashmiri is punished if he throws a stone on a dog in his defense while the militancy affected areas outside state have no restrictions and the people of these areas are free to live like they want.  

Rasheed advised the state government to export dogs to Nagaland and other like parts where their meat is relished and is being sold at Rs 300 per Kg so that Kashmiris could get rid of this nuisance. “If there is a tradition among Nagas to relish dog meat, then our state government has an opportunity to meet their demand so that one of our burning issues will be addressed,” he said.

Taking a dig at the chief minister Omar Abdullah on his statement about the Justice Verma Committee report, MLA Langate asked that how the chief minister can advocate AFSPA repealing when he needs to convene an all party meeting to implement the Verma report. He said that instead of befooling the people on the name of meetings and all that the CM should take some practical steps to make people feel relieved.

“The chief minister should call an all party meeting to get support for complete removal of AFSPA, it is not suitable to call a meeting on implementing the Verma Committee report which has only made a reference about AFSPA,” Rasheed said.

Pertinently demanding revocation of the contentious Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from conflict zones such as Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern states, Justice J S Verma Committee set up by central government to look into laws for sexual crimes following heinous gang-rape of a young girl in Delhi, has strongly recommended the need to review the law.

The three member panel that also includes Justice (retired) Leila Seth and senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam has suggested that the armed forces, including paramilitary forces, should be brought under the purview of a common law while operating in conflict zones.

“Sexual offences by armed forces and uniformed men in conflict areas should be brought under ordinary criminal law,” the committee said.

Appreciating the recommendations of the committee, Er Rasheed said that no big change in the black law can be of any use for Kashmiri people but the law should be revoked completely. Welcoming the completion of Verma Committee report much before the stipulated time, Er Rasheed said that the J&K government should learn a lesson which “constitutes Committees and Commissions but never bothers to press for their reports and implementing them.”

He said that the in time completion of Justice Verma Committe report has made it clear that the committee was setup with a purpose while as the commissions and committees in Kashmir are made just to cool down the public anger about the particular issues.

Pertinently the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has proposed an all-party meeting to discuss the recommendations of Justice Verma Committee and ensure its implementation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Glad to see Verma Committee has recommended amending AFSPA to ensure sexual crimes are punished without special sanction. Hope this is implemented”, the CM has said adding, “Parliament will do what it has to but I promise the people of J&K that we will look at the Verma committee report with all seriousness.”

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