CM tells police to firmly deal with militants, protect civilian HR
25 August 2001
The Daily Excelsior
Baramulla: Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah has asked the state police and security forces to ensure that no custodial killing or human rights violation takes place in the state saying that in our fight against militants innocents should not get punished. Addressing the joint cabinet cum district development board meeting here today, fourth in a row, Dr Abdullah strongly opposed actions amounting to human rights violations and said nobody has been given permission to indulge in custodial killings. He said nobody, howsoever highly placed he may be, was above the law and anyone found involved in such acts would be punished. He said we have to protect human rights from being violated and take necessary measures in this direction. He asked the police to give maximum attention to safeguard human rights and watch out against the elements indulging in violations. The Chief Minister said while he had not imposed any restriction on security forces or police to deal with militants firmly common people can not be treated the same way. He said the state was confronted with a very difficult situation thrown up by the foreign sponsored militancy that calls for greater vigil and alertness on the part of the security forces. He asked the officials to work as per their conscience while serving the people and said ‘we all have to stand up before God one day’ where each one of us has to answer for his actions. He called for greater compassion and accommodation between the people of different faiths and said the weak need to be provided strength and not shunned. He said there were bad people in every society who had to be knocked out for better relations among communities. The marathon meeting that went on for over 4 hours discussed sector wise development in the district. The Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives and the Chairman, District Development Board, Baramulla, Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan, Minister for Education, Mr Mohammad Shafi, Minister for Industries and Commerce, Dr Mustafa Kamal, Minister for Works, Mr Ali Mohammad Sagar, Minister of State for Rural Development, Mr Ajay Sadhotra, Member Parliament, Mr Shariefuddin Shariq, Local Legislators, Financial Commissioner, Planning and Development, Mr K B Pillai, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Mr Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and heads of various departments participated. Dr Abdullah enquired about the development activities and latest status of various schemes. He took serious note of some officials not reporting on duty at their places of posting and in particular asked for the names of the officials who had been posted as SDM, Gurez but did not join duty there. He said the far off places deserve special attention and dedicated officials should be posted at such places who do not shirk work. The Chief Minister announced an additionality of Rs. 5 crores over the current year’s already approved annual district plan for Rs. 61.65 crores. In response to the demand for more funds, he said that he would monitor the works for 2 months and then release another Rs. 5 crore to add up the additionality to Rs. 10 crores. Dr Abdullah took strong exception to the encroachment of Government land and asked the district administration to vacate the occupation and reclaim the land. He said illegal constructions on Government land should be bulldozed to give a clear signal to the encroachers. He announced a grant of Rs. One crore for the completion of the first phase of the Baramulla hospital which would be completed by next year. He said the local member parliament, Mr Sharief-ud-Din Shariq, would give an ambulance for the Kalantra hospital for the construction of which the Government would also provide Rs. 8.13 lakhs. About the deficiency of staff in Sumbal hospital, he said he would ask the Director, SKIMS to have the hospital sufficiently staffed. He said he would take up with the Centre the issue of Novodhya Vidhyalya, Sumbla which was torched during militancy and later shifted to Uri. He asked the legislators and parliament members to take up schemes from their constituency development fund in consultation with the local administration. He said Bandipore will have a degree college soon. The Chief Minister called for prioritization in formulation of schemes and judicious use of funds. He said funds were not easily available and it was imperative that we took up the most important and viable schemes. He asked for clearance from the environment department before constructing a building and expressed his deep anguish over the plunder of forests. He said environment should be a subject taught at the early level in schools so that children are aware of its importance. The Education Minister informed the meeting that this year the Government would construct at least one higher secondary school building in each constituency. He said computer education would be started initially at the +2 level and subsequently extended to the high school level. He said each higher secondary school would be provided with a computer system this year. He said technical education has been started at the Baramulla degree college. He said computer education would be encouraged through private institutions also. Earlier, the District Development Commissioner, Sheikh Mohammad Hussain gave a resume of the development scenario in the district. He said 96 per cent of the last year’s released plan allocation was utilized. He said Rs. 11.47 crores were spent under agriculture and allied sectors, Rs. 2.93 crores under rural development sector, Rs. 1.68 crores under industries, Rs. 6.84 crores under communication and Rs. 27.65 crores under social and general services sectors. He said of the current year’s allocation an expenditure of Rs. 14.41 crores had been registered by the end of July 2001 including Rs. 12. 34 crores under revenue and Rs. 1.27 crores under the capital heads, respectively.