Srinagar, March 20: Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) Wednesday termed the death of Rizwan Pandith of Awantipora in police custody and the subsequent conduct of the State to be a ‘State sponsored act of terror’.
Sheikh Ashiq as per a statement issued to media said, “Under the garb of fighting terror, the State seems to have declared a war on the civilian population. Repeated provocations, brutalization and killings of unarmed civilian population suggests that decisions have been taken to push Kashmir Valley into a situation of chaos and anarchy. Security agencies have been given a free hand to commit atrocities of the worst kind without any accountability.”
“No effective action has been taken to punish the killers. The responsibility of the State to protect lives of its citizens stands violated. The State has so far chosen to look the other way and only announced a magisterial enquiry. Till the time the enquiry is completed, the killers would be free to roam and commit more atrocities in the society. The infructuous results of earlier enquiries evoke little hope of justice being provided to the victims,” he said.
Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad stated that the stakeholders of different political ideologies needed to not only condemn but also take responsibility for a joint response in this regard.
“Murder of unarmed civilians cannot be business as usual. The business community would be looking forward to a united effort from the society for ensuring that the course of justice is not impeded and guilty pay for shedding innocent blood,” he added.