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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

Four years on, J-K govt to prove 2010 civilian killings, take action against forces

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, June 19, 2014
First Published: 20:40 IST(19/6/2014) | Last Updated: 20:42 IST(19/6/2014)

After fours year of reluctance to institute a commission of inquiry into the 2010 killings in street agitations, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday set-up a one-man commission.

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The decision was taken by the state cabinet in Srinagar after a meeting was chaired by chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Abdullah approved the setting up of a one-man commission comprising retired justice M.L. Koul.

"The commission will inquire into the circumstances leading to deaths by firing in law and order situations in different districts of Kashmir valley during 2010," said a government spokesman.
 
The commission has been designated "to fix responsibility wherever excessive force has been used, resulting in fatalities."
 
The commission, which will submit its report within three months, will also suggest measures to avoid the recurrence of such incidents in the future and recommend the action to be taken against those found responsible in any such incidents.
 
The latest decision of the chief minister comes as part of a slew of measures taken recently to strike a chord with the disgruntled population of the valley ahead of the assembly polls, scheduled for October later this year.
 
The fresh move is aimed at assuaging the anger brewing among the relatives of the slain youth. Several separatists and families have already knocked the door of the court for justice in the cases.

Around 113 youth were killed in street protests in 2010, which was fuelled by a cycle of street violence and deaths of civilians.

However, in February this year the government had ruled out constitution of a commission to probe the civilian killings.
 
"During 2010, at least 96 civilians who were part of the violent mobs and protests got injured in the engagements between protestors and deployment on the ground and succumbed to their injuries," Abdullah told the state assembly in the winters.
 
The government refused to institute a commission saying "out of 78 FIRs registered into the deaths, investigation in 76 cases was finalized and the charge-sheet and final report was submitted before the competent courts."

The government had constituted a commission in July 2010 to inquire into the events that led to death of 17 persons. However, since the three-month term of the commission expired in October, the government had initiated the process to order "de-novo Commission of Inquiry" to complete the probe.
 
In April this year, the state high court had also asked the government to submit a status report of the 2010 killings.

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