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Don't violate rights: Mufti to army

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | March 04, 2004 22:56 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed on Thursday held the first ever high-level meeting to review the human rights situation in the state with a call to the security forces not to violate rights while fighting militancy.

The meeting, which was chaired by the chief minister in Jammu, included senior state and central government officers.


The meeting followed widespread protests in the valley alleging rights violation by security forces and ridiculing the 'healing touch policy' of the Mufti government.


Last week curfew had to be imposed in the north Kashmir Bandipore township following unruly demonstrations by irate mobs protesting again the killings of civilians and manhandling of locals by security forces.


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The chief minister while admitting that security forces working in a 'challenging situation' told the officer, "Every effort has to be made to bring human rights abuses to zero level as even a little error of judgement at the lower level negates the gains already made."


Minister of State for Home Abdul Rehman Veeri, Union Home Secretary Anil Baijal, Chief Secretary Sudhir Bloeria, Financial Commissioner Home S D Singh, Director General of Police Gopal Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister M I Khanday and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Rakesh Hooja participated in the meeting.


Sayeed said, "Action taken against the guilty for human rights abuses should be transparent."


"Operations are now target specific and the police is demonstrating exemplary patience and restraint during anti-militancy operations so that the innocent people are not put to inconvenience and collateral damage is minimised," he said.


"Overall situation in the state has improved considerably with people's cooperation," he said. "The atmosphere is now much relaxed with people having a greater sense of security."

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