13 MARCH 2011
Srinagar: On the concluding day of their sixth visit to the state, New Delhi appointed interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday expressed their displeasure on the ‘new cycle of arrests’ of youth in Kashmir valley.
Radha Kumar who along with two other interlocutors spoke to media men in Srinagar said that they had recommended the release of youths, but, instead more and more youths are being arrested by the government.
“Unfortunately new cycle of arrests has started. I hope this cycle will end soon,” Kumar said on the concluding day of their sixth visit to the state.
Kumar said there might be some amendments to the Public safety Act (PSA) to restrict the its indiscriminate use,and continuing arrest of youths under the Act.
“The laws for protection of juveniles in India do not exist here, and the Legislative Assembly could consider whether similar legislation is required in J&K, along with amendments to restrict the use of the Public Safety Act,” Kumar said.
The three interlocutors were appointed by New Delhi in October last to find draw a road map for a durable solution to Kashmir issue. So far they have submitted many reports to the Indian government along with series of recommendations including release of youth arrested during last years unrest.
Kumar said the government has acted on many of the recommendations given by the team.
“Acting on the recommendations of interlocutors, the Central Government has lifted 16 bunkers from the city. Rangarajan Report on jobs to unemployed youths has been released and soon many more steps will be taken,” she said.
Kumar said that their sixth visit to Jammu and Kashmir was different from the previous five, as this time the interlocutors tried to sought views and opinions of women folk.
She said that apart from meeting the women from Jammu, Ladakh and Delhi, the interlocutors met mothers, wives and sisters of the boys, who ‘so tragically’ lost their lives or were injured during the recent turmoil in the Valley.
Lamenting the loss of innocent lives in Kashmir, Kumar said that these ‘terrible losses’ should never have occurred.
Kumar said the women, whom they met, recommended that a special task force comprised of eminent women from all the regions should be set up to address the problems of women victims of violence, such as widows, ‘half-widows’ and orphans, including relief for the parents of the disappeared persons.
She said that many women underlined the need for redeployment of troops out of residential areas and the removal of security installations in populated areas.>>Agencies