Arun Joshi, Hindustan Times , February 24, 2007
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday reviewed human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the surfacing of fake encounters and also continuing massive protests by near and dear ones of those gone missing since 1990 with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The discovery of the staged killings of the people who had gone missing and the Government’s action in putting behind bars six police officials, including one SSP and a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were discussed at a meeting Chief Minister had with Prime Minister in Delhi on Saturday. The meeting lasted for an hour.
According to an official spokesman, "Chief Minister informed Prime Minister about the action taken against the security forces indulging in human rights violations."
Prime Minister had declared that there would be zero tolerance to the human rights violations in the State during the course of the Second Round Table Conference on Kashmir in Srinagar in May 2006.
This was first ever discussion on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir at such a high level after the fake encounters came to light January-end.
Almost daily protest demonstrations in Kashmir by the relatives and friends of those gone missing have grabbed headlines here. The people are demanding opening of all the cases of the people gone missing, whose number unofficially is stated as high as 11,000. They are asking about their whereabouts.
However, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had told Hindustan Times that there were only 700 cases of the missing people since 1990 with the police.
"We will investigate all the cases wherever we get specific details,” he had held out this assurance for the kin of the missing people.
Prime Minister told Azad about the progress being made in the talks between India and Pakistan in the backdrop of the recent visit of Pakistani foreign minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri to India.
“Prime Minister shared his optimism with Azad on the positive response coming from President Musharraf on the pace and contents of the Indo-Pak talks," the spokesman said.
Chief Minister also listed State’s needs in boosting the economy and also for giving a push to the state’s economy. He asked for a special package for Jammu and Kashmir in the coming union budget.