Srinagar, Nov 08: All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Thursday demanded that a high-level probe should be ordered in the issue of doling out secret packages to the members of Kashmiri Pandit community over the past so many decades.
In a statement issued to the media, APSCC Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said that the probe should be carried out by a team comprising of some seasoned members of the parliament or by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court. Raina said that successive governments in the state and center have been very kind enough to Kashmir Pandits by sanctioning packages for them at the cost of majority Muslim community and minority Sikh community.
“Over the years it has been observed that the governments in New Delhi have been announcing packages for Kashmiri Pandits and nothing has been done with respect to the Muslim and Sikh communities. Sikhs are up against many odds and are facing difficulties with regard to employment, political representation and assistance on the business as well as agriculture and horticulture sectors,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman said that a thorough probe would expose the officials who have been doling out packages to Kashmiri Pandits from time to time. He said that since people involved in different scandals have been exposed time has come when the same parameter is applied vis-à-vis sanctioning undue and un-favourable packages for Kashmiri Pandits.
“The SRO 425 issued in October 2017 by the state government to provide government jobs under the Prime Minister’s package to Kashmiri Pandits who have not migrated from the valley is an act of gross discrimination against the Sikh community as Sikhs did not move from valley as soon as militancy began in the valley,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman said that SRO is arbitrary and illegal and infringes fundamental rights of the Sikhs which the Constitution of India has given them under Articles 14 and 16. He said the attitude of the Jammu & Kashmir and central governments right from 1989 has full of apathy and discrimination towards the Sikhs especially those living in the valley.
“Sikhs living in Kashmir should be thankful to S Santpal Singh, S Harjeet Singh and A Vikramjeet Singh advocate and others who took the bold initiative of filing a writ petition in the Jammu & Kashmir High Court while challenging the SRO 425. There is a simmering discontent among Sikhs with regards to SRO 425 and the same has added to the woes as well as the agony of the community members,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman asked the members of Sikh community to stand up and wage a battle against the injustices that are meted out to them by the people at the helm of affairs in New Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir. He sought a moral, physical and financial support for the members of the community who have challenged SRO 425 in the court of law.
“Time has come when we shall get united and take a bold initiative so that our youth are given jobs that have been denied to them on one pretext or other. Sikhs should leave the casual approach and it is time to become more pro-active so that rights are given to us more so when the same are guaranteed by the constitution,” said Raina.
Rizwan murder response to freehand given to security agencies: Er Rasheed
Srinagar, March 19: Expressing grief and shock over the custodial killing of Rizwan Pandit, a school teacher, AIP President Er Rasheed has said that Rizwan’s murder is the response shown by security agencies to Prime Minister’s declaration that security forces have been given free hand after Pulwama attack.
In a statement issued today Rasheed said that there can be no excuse given by the state government and J&K Police to justify murder of Rizwan Ahmad Pandit, who was summoned to police station, “tortured” in Cargo and his dead body has been sent back home.
The incident should be matter or grave concern for the local cops who often claim to be Kashmiris and claim their respect for rights and sentiments of masses. Prime Minister owes an answer that why he was so inpatient to give forces a free hand to the extent that they dare to “torture” Kashmiris to death in custody in broad day light.
The promises of investigation and orders of inquiry carry no meaning as such shame enquiries have nothing yielded in the past. Now if Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti talk about exemplary punishment to the killers it makes no sense as not even a single man in uniform has been punished or convicted since 1990.
Chattisinghpora killings: APSCC dismayed over delay in justice to families of 35 Sikh families
In a statement issued to media, APSCC Chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina said that although 19 years have passed no headway whatsoever has been made in the case. He said the delay in justice has led to disillusionment among the members of Sikh community.
“Total 50 people were killed in Chattisinghpora episode. It is important that justice is delivered to the victim families. At the same time investigations need to be carried out in the sequence of events that unfolded later on as 15 more persons belonging to majority community were also killed in the aftermath of the Chattisinghpora massacre,” APSCC Chairman.
Raina said that since the locals countered the claims of government that it has killed five militants involved in the killing of 35 Sikhs it is imperative that the whole incident is probed in a professional manner so that culprits are brought to book and justice is delivered to the affected families.
Security agencies investigating are always dubious this is known to every common Indian, that they work under influence. If Government of India seems interested in solving the Chittinsinghpora they should conduct inquiry which is impartial and lead by some independent body so that truth is in front of everyone and especially Sikhs living in the valley.
He also expressed his sympathies to the families of persons who were killed in firing of security forces at Brakpora who were protesting against the fake encounter. He said that government should take up the probe in a forceful manner so that the real picture comes to the fore and people heave a sigh of relief.
“Justice Pandian who was asked to probe the incident in his report said that the five persons claimed to be militants by the security agencies were actually innocent residents of Brakpora. Their bodies were burnt and hastily buried in a nearby village. Since the whole episode has come under a cloud it is important to hold the probe in a transparent manner without any prejudice or bias,” said the APSCC Chairman.
It would be in place to mention here that in 2000, unidentified gunmen entered Chattisinghpora village and massacred 35 men belonging to the minority Sikh community. The murder of Sikhs shocked the entire Kashmir region.
“The police have so far failed to produce any hard evidence that the persons killed in the fake encounter were involved in the killing of Sikhs at Chattisinghpora. The committee formed by the government to find out the culprits, has failed to solve the mystery. We urge both the state and central government to go for fresh probe in the killings of Sikhs and make the things clear. Pandian Commission should be allowed to further investigate the incident as Brakpora and Chattisinghpora cases are interlinked,” said Raina.
The APSCC Chairman said that the massacre was condemned by then President of USA, Bill Clinton. He urged the Government of India to nab the culprits, which he later on also mentioned in his book and termed the incident as most unfortunate incident of his life. Then chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir Dr. Farooq Abdullah had publicly assured that the culprits will be soon arrested. Till date the promises made by the former CM and the present dispensation have proven to be hoax.
Info dept protests against suspension of AIO Kupwara
Srinagar, March 19: Lockout of all the offices of Information department across Jammu and Kashmir in protest against the suspension and attachment of an assistant information officer by Deputy Commissioner Kupwara has triggered a huge crisis in mid election season when the notification for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls has been issued by the Election Commission of India.
Talking to media, Information Employees Association president Shabir Ahmad said, “Following the transfer of district information officer Kupwara, the Director Information department had given the charge of DIO Kupwara to senior most AIO Basheer Ahmad Sofi having 30 years of service in the information department but DC Kupwara while trespassing institutional jurisdiction in exercise of his powers suspended Basheer Ahmad Sofi, the Assistant Information Officer for holding the charge of DIO Kupwara under the orders of Director Information and attached him with the district election office, surprisingly DC Kupwara without bringing the matter into the notice of Director Information asked Assistant Director Handicrafts, a junior KAS officer to hold the charge of DIO Kupwara. To protest the institutional trespassing in exercise of his powers by DC Kupwara we have locked all offices of the Information Department including the offices of director information, joint director information Kashmir and Jammu and all district information offices and the lockout will continue till the order is revoked.”
When contacted Deputy Commissioner Kupwara Anshul Garg told a local news agency, “I am just following the guidelines of election commission of India which empowers me to take all the decision for smooth running of the election related work in the district. I have suspended Assistant Information Officer and given the charge to assistant director handicrafts not today but last month. If chief electoral officer asks me to revoke the order I have no issues as every action is subject to scrutiny by the chief electoral officer and the election commission of India. KNS