Local government in India-controlled Kashmir orders probe in 17 civilian deaths

16:47, July 28, 2010      

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The local government in India-controlled Kashmir has ordered a judicial probe into the deaths of 17 civilians in the recent past during police and India's paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) action on protesters, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

"The Cabinet which met Tuesday evening under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah approved the constitution of Commission of Inquiry into all the 17 incidents in which fatalities had occurred on account of action by the State Police and CRPF since June 11, 2010," the spokesman said.

Two retired judges of the region's high court will carry out the inquiry and submit the report to the local government within three months.

Protests erupted in the region on June 11 after a 17-year old student Tufail Ahmad Matoo died after being hit by a teargas shell fired by police. The killing was followed by 16 more mostly of teenagers over a month in similar actions.

The unrest has mounted pressure on the local government headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, which reacted by clamping a curfew and strict restrictions to put an end to the violence.

In Srinagar city and other major towns policemen and CRPF troopers remain deployed to contain protests.

The local government has also decided to review the cases of detention under the Public Safety Act (PSA) and make recommendations about the release of detainees, the spokesman said. The PSA is a preventive detention law under which a person can be taken into custody for two years without trial.

Apart from separatist leaders, the region's High Court Bar President Mian Qayoom and Bar General Secretary Gulam Nabi Shaheen have been detained under the PSA.

Local newsgathering agencies reports said police have arrested more than 700 teenagers in the last few weeks on charges of stone pelting.

Source: Xinhua


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