Govt Mulling Healing Touch To Victims Of 2016 Unrest

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Mehbooba Mufti/File Photo: Zahir Farooq

Mehbooba Mufti/File Photo: Zahir Farooq

Srinagar: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today asked the civil and police administration to prepare a roadmap for healing the wounds of people who have been victimized in the agonizing situation prevailing in Kashmir over the past four months.

“Kashmir has witnessed a very painful and frustrating situation over the past few months. Now as the situation is returning to normalcy, we have to prepare a roadmap to pull our people out of this agonizing and complicated situation and heal their wounds,” Mehbooba said.

The Chief Minister was chairing a meeting of top civil and police administration at the SKICC here which was also attended by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, and Director General of Police, K Rajendra, Deputy Commissioners and district SSPs of Kashmir region.

Recounting the events of the past four months, the Chief Minister asked the civil and police administration to reach out to the families of those who died or suffered injuries in the ongoing situation and also devise a strategy so that their miseries could be lessened. “We have to support the affected families whatever can we can,” she said. “Those who died or suffered injuries are our own people. Reach out to their families. I should get the exact figures so that we can take a decision about their future. It will be good to involve elders and local Auqaf Committees in the process,” she said.

Expressing concern over local youths joining militant groups, the Chief Minister said the civil and police administration should take steps to wean away such youths from the path of violence with compassion. “Such misadvised youth must be given an opportunity to return to normal life and provided an honorable livelihood. Get in touch with their families and talk it out with them. We should seriously think about how and what kind of future they should have in a welfare society like ours where every citizen has equal rights,” Ms Mehbooba said.

Mehbooba said the State Government will review the cases filed over the past four months against those youths who have been participating in street protests. “We will review those cases where students and first-timers are found to be involved. We will talk to their parents and get their assurances that their wards will not participate in protests in future. We can’t go on arresting people. There should be a different and empathetic plan of action to contain the situation,” she said.

Invoking the rich cultural traditions of Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister said these values of amity and brotherhood can help in combating the extremist onslaught. “We can’t fight everything with guns and jail. We will have to look for alternative means to ensure peace and stability in the State,” she said.

Expressing deep concern over the menace of drug addiction in the Valley, the Chief Minister said the district administration of south and north Kashmir should make it a priority to set up Drug De-addiction Centres in these areas where the afflicted youths should be provided remedial measures.

During the meeting, the chief minister was informed that the situation is slowly returning to normalcy with almost 90 percent drop in street protests during this month as compared with July.

Complementing the J&K Police and other forces for handling the situation with as much as possible restraint and putting the Valley on the path of normalcy, Ms Mehbooba said the worst phase of the prevailing crisis is over. “In these last four months, I have got no complaint against any Deputy Commissioner or Police officer. We have undergone three months of immense disturbance. While the worst phase is over, the aftereffects are going to be dealt with more empathy, “she said.

Expressing deep concern over the burning of schools in Kashmir Valley, the Chief Minister said such incidents have inflicted colossal loss on the society at a time when the process of development has been halted due to the ongoing situation.

“As if the casualty suffered by the process of development in Kashmir due to the ongoing situation was not enough, we now have people burning down schools. Such incidents will not only destroy the social fabric of our society but it will also impact the future of our children who are toiling hard to shine in every field, despite the odds,” Mufti said.

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