Delhi: Sending a strong message about the government’s seriousness to address the grievances of the people of Kashmir, the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today announced eight unilateral measures that will be taken by the Centre to defuse the volatile condition in J&K.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, the Home Minister announced measures which clearly show the government is making all efforts to reach out to the people of the troubled state.
He said the government proposed the following in J&K:
1. A group of interlocuters, which would include eminent citizens, would be appointed to hold dialogue with all sections of society of J&K, including youth, students, political parties and separatists.
2. All youth detained for charges like stone pelting would be released. The Home Minister clarified that all 245 youth, who are currently detained or arrested would be released. He strongly rejected reports that thousands of youth were currently in prisons.
3. Centre will request J&K government to review cases of Public Safety Act(PSA) detainees and withdraw detention cases.
4. Centre will give Rs 5 lakh as relief money to family of victims who have died in clashes with the security forces during the unrest.
5. A task force each would be set up for both Jammu and Laddakh to assess implications of the situation in Kashmir in these two regions. It will also examine the developmental needs of the two regions, with particular reference to deficiencies in
infrastructure and make suitable recommendations.
6. The Centre will request the state government to re-open all schools and colleges in the state. Special classes or lectures, to be held if necessary to ensure that the examinations for the current academic year (2010-11) are conducted.
7. Additionally, Rs 100 crore of central grant would be given to rebuild infrastructure for schools and colleges including classrooms, libraries, playgrounds etc.
8. Unified Command Meet to be held to review of provisions of Disturbed Area Act. . There would be de-scaling of barricades and check points to ease movement of civilians in public areas.
On the controversial AFSPA, when asked whether the meeting focused on some specific provisions, the Home Minister said, “No such thing was discussed.”
Chidambaram believed that this 8-point programme addressed all issues being faced by the people of J&K, including the protestors. He felt hopeful about the resolution of the Kashmir crisis and reiterated that Centre was trying its best to address all problematic matters.
The measures come close on the heels of the all-party delegation visit to the Valley on September 20. Chidambaram was a part of the delegation which met various political leaders and the separatists.
Security during CWG
Chidambaram assured of complete security for the Commonwealth Games and revealed that 10 stadia had already been handed over to them, while one remaining was given today. “Besides, the Games village will also be handed over today.”
Chidambaram assured that the protestors of the Games posed no security threat and that they would end their protests soon.
“The protesters would do nothing against the pride of the nation and we will give full security to the Village and all stadia during the games,” Home Minister said while wrapping the press conference.