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JK HC issues notice to state government on civilian killings

January 31, 2011 18:01 IST
Admitting a public interest litigation filed by separatist group Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front on the 17 civilian killings during last year's summer unrest in Kashmir Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir high court on Monday issued a notice to the state government, directing it to submit a report within two weeks.

A division bench comprising Justices Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain and Mohammad Yaqoob Mir issued the notices to respondents, which includes the state government, director general of state police, DG Central Reserve Police Force and the general officer commanding of army's northern command. The court issued notices to the respondents that are returnable within two weeks.

The bench directed the state government to file a report about the status of investigations into the cases registered in 17 killings by the next date of hearing and asked the families of those killed during the unrest to file a statement before the court.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik on January 14 filed a PIL in the high court seeking several directions to the government and security forces including registering FIRs in all 117 deaths that took place during disturbances last year. "The respondents be directed to register the cases wherever deaths have occurred and where the cases having not been registered under proper FIR," the JKLF chairman pleaded in his 30-page petition.

He has sought monitoring of the investigation by the high court in cases where FIRs have been registered to ensure that proper evidence is collected and the investigation taken to its logical conclusion. "This court may also constitute, appoint and directed constitution of a high level committee comprising men of eminence to suggest ways and means of preventing such deaths in future and to lay down norms to be publicly observed by the armed personnel before resorting to firing against the demonstrators," he said. Malik also sought directions to the state and its agencies that in case of peaceful demonstrators or those who resort to stone pelting, the use of live ammunition be avoided and only non-lethal ways of crowd control be employed.

The PIL further seeks directions for requirement of express permission of a magistrate, who has 20 years of service and is a man of integrity, for resorting to firing during law and order problems. Malik has sought extending scope of the probe by the judicial commission of inquiry to cover all the 117 deaths that took place during 2010.

He pleaded that the court may declare that in the event any armed personnel is found guilty of any act of omission and commission, attracting penal provisions, they would not be entitled to claim immunity under the provisions of Armed Special Powers Act or any other statute governing the field.
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