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Action will be taken if forces don`t respect rights: PM

Visiting Kashmir amidst allegations of fake encounters, PM Manmohan Singh sent out a firm message to security forces, saying action would be taken if they do not respect human rights of civilians while combating terrorism.

Srinagar: Visiting Kashmir amidst allegations
of fake encounters, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today sent
out a firm message to security forces, saying action would be
taken if they do not respect human rights of civilians while
combating terrorism.

Singh also made a fresh offer to talks to those groups in
Jammu and Kashmir which shun violence even as he observed that
attempts continued to be made from "across the Line of
Control" to cause disturbances in the state.

He said meaningful talks with Pakistan, which could lead
to resolution of "old issues", were possible only when its
soil is not allowed to be used for terrorism against India.

Singh, who arrived here on a two-day visit, made it clear
that the government would act tough in case of human rights
violations by security forces.

"I am aware of some complaints related to human rights.
On this issue, the government policy is to protect the human
rights of the people even when dealing with terrorism," he
said in his convocation address at the Sher-i-Kashmir
University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

"The security forces in Jammu and Kashmir have been
strictly instructed to respect the rights of the civilians. We
will act to remove any deficiency in the implementation of
these instructions," he asserted.

The Prime Minister`s assurance comes in the context of
allegations of a fake encounter in Machil area along the Line
of Control where three civilians were killed reportedly by
Army men. An Army jawan has been arrested, a Major suspended
and a Colonel removed from Command duty in this connection.

Significantly, action against the Major and the Colonel
was announced only yesterday on the eve of Singh`s visit.
At the same time, the Prime Minister said there were a
handful of people who did not want any political process for
empowering people to succeed.

He said this was the reason that attempts to disturb the
lives of the people in the valley still continued from across
the LoC. "Whenever such incidents happen, they spread terror
and cause disruption in the lives of the people," he said.

"Our security agencies are forced to act in the wake of
such incidents. During the process, sometimes innocent
civilians have to suffer but whenever such incidents happen it
becomes necessary to act against those responsible for them,"
Singh said.

Without naming Pakistan, he said he would like to "say
to our neighbours across the Line of Control" that they should
help in creating an environment in which people from both the
sides can live in peace and harmony.



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