J&K minister gets clean chit in Kishtwar riots case | india | Hindustan Times
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J&K minister gets clean chit in Kishtwar riots case

india Updated: Dec 20, 2013 22:05 IST
Kishtwar riots

A judicial commission probing the communal riots in Kishtwar on Friday gave a clean chit to former Jammu and Kashmir minister Sajjad Kitchloo who had to resign in August this year following the clashes and he is likley to return to the cabinet by Monday.

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has requested governor NN Vohra for swearing-in of Kitchloo as a minister in his cabinet at the earliest, official sources said.

The sources said the swearing-in was expected on Saturday or latest by Monday.

A one-man Commission headed by justice (retd) RC Gandhi exonerated Kitchloo, who was minister of state for home, and blamed police and local administration for mismanagement during the riots that had rocked Kishtwar on the day of Eid on August 9, leaving three people killed and dozens others injured.

After induction, Kitchloo would be given the portfolio of MoS (independent charge) for commerce and industry and MoS for home.

The Commission is believed to have recommended formation of Muslim Village Defence Committees (VDCs) in Kishtwar.

The Commission had specific terms of reference which included inquiring into the circumstances which led to the violence and arson and the consequent loss of life and property in Kishtwar.

"(The commission shall) enquire into the administrative lapses, if any, while handling the situation and fix the responsibility of the persons, involved in acts of violence, arson and the loss of life and property," the government order in this regard had said.

Communal clashes had broken out in Kishtwar town in Jammu region on August 9 leaving three persons dead and dozens others injured. Property worth crores was set ablaze by the rival communities, forcing the government to impose curfew and seek assistance of the army in controlling the situation.

The curfew was lifted after 12 days following a visit by an all-party delegation and senior ministers of the state government that led to reconciliation between the two communities.