//Manmohan Singh reviews human rights situation in J&K

Manmohan Singh reviews human rights situation in J&K

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.