Manufactured Outrage, Says Omar

SRINAGAR: Terming the strong reactions from various stake holders to the proposed Police Bill 2013 as ‘manufactured outrage’, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said putting the draft bill in public domain was basically aimed at leading to a ‘better legislation’.

“Why this manufactured outrage regarding the draft police bill? It hasn't passed public scrutiny let alone been seen by me & the cabinet”, Omar wrote on the micro blogging website Twitter adding “This is why I ordered the Home Dept to put this in the public domain in the 1st instance so that feedback would lead to better legislation”.

While suggesting that the criticism and outcry was premature, he said the bill will have to travel a long way before taking the shape of a law. 

“Public feedback will be incorporated, Law Dept will vet, I will clear it, Cabinet will approve it, both Legislative houses will vote on it”, Omar wrote further.

He said with a series of scrutinizing checks, there was no chance of an unhealthy legislation getting passed.

“It will THEN go to Governor for his signature & FINALLY it is implemented so there is NO chance of bad legislation passing scrutiny”, Omar wrote on twitter.

Pertinently, the J&K Police Bill 2013 has attracted strong criticism from various quarters in the state especially in the Kashmir Valley.

The 76-page Jammu and Kashmir Police Bill, 2013, posted on the state home department's website Feb 15, allows the state to declare any area disturbed, proposing setting up "Special Security Zones (SSZs) where administrative and development measures are integrated with police response for problems of public order and security".

The bill proposes that police will be able to set up and arm village defence committees and recruit special police officers (SPOs).

Under the draft legislation, a police officer would be considered "always on duty" and the government as well as the complaints authority deputed to hear cases against him/her would have legal immunity regarding decisions taken by them "in good faith or intended to be done in pursuance of the provisions".  

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