Govt should punish culprits involved in Shopian incident: Azad | india | Hindustan Times
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Govt should punish culprits involved in Shopian incident: Azad

india Updated: Jun 11, 2009 16:54 IST

Jammu and Kashmir government should take stringent action against those involved in the alleged rape and killing of two women in Shopian, Union Minister Gulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday while criticising attempts to "politicise" the "unfortunate" incident.

"The Shopian incident is unfortunate and the government must now act accordingly and identify the culprits, whosoever they may be, after getting the inquiry report," he told a group of reporters.

The Omar Abdullah government had ordered a judicial inquiry into the Shopian case that had triggered weeklong violent protests and shutdown in Kashmir Valley.

"Government must give stringent punishment to the culprits as we have been doing so in our time," Azad, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said.

"But, people should not play politics over dead bodies," the Union Health Minister said referring to the strike called by separatists on the issue that had paralysed life in the Valley.

On women joining militancy, Azad said they are usually coerced or trapped into taking to violence.

"They do not come under suspicion and normally do not come under checking or frisking," he said, adding that authorities as well as people should ensure that women are not forced into joining militant ranks.

Referring to the issue of "lopsided" development in the country and the state, Azad blamed the tendency among several members of various legislatures to become "constituency-centric and state-centric".

It "is not a healthy trend for the nation," he said.

He stressed on the need for developing an effective watchdog system to maintain and enhance work culture and keep a check on corrupt practices.

Referring to J-K, he said, "We too need a watchdog system in the state to push the agenda of development".

Azad said that "not much progress" has taken place on projects after he stepped down as chief minister a year back.

He asked the people to come forward to help the NC-Congress coalition government in the state in pushing the development agenda, Azad said.