Machil Encounter Dominates Political Parties' Meeting With PM8 June 2010
Srinagar: The alleged fake encounter in Machil dominated the meetings Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with leaders of various political parties here with some of them calling it as a 'national shame' and an incident which had affected the political gains. The Prime Minister, who held meetings with various political parties till late in the night, was also apprised of the demand for discontinuation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in the state, political leaders said. Ruling National Conference delegation, which was led by its senior leader Chowdhury Mohammed Ramzan, also sought an early resumption of dialogue with Hurriyat Conference besides a surrender policy on youths who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and were willing to return. CPM delegation, headed by Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, termed the Machil encounter as a 'national shame' and sought early disposal of the case in order to restore the faith of the people in the law of the land. This view was echoed by other political parties including the main opposition PDP, who had claimed that the incident was a reflection of deteriorating law and order situation in the valley. Tarigami said he told the Prime Minister during his meeting that the 'Machil encounter had negated the political gains made after the 2008 elections. 'The Prime Minister agreed to the view that human rights abuse should be dealt with sternly,' Tarigami said here. The Kashmir valley was rocked by protests after allegations of a fake encounter in Machil area along the Line of Control where three civilians were killed allegedly by the Army. A territorial Army jawan was arrested by police while the Army suspended a major and relieved a colonel from command duty in connection with the case. Tarigami also sought a package for farmers of the state who had lost their crops because of untimely rain and hail storm. 'The Prime Minister has assured me that he will be sending a Central team to assess the damage,' he said. Awami National Conference team led by Muzzafar Shah favoured an intra-Kashmir dialogue and conveyed to the Prime Minister that it wanted to send a 15-member delegation to PoK in an effort to bridge the gap between the two sides of Kashmir. 'The Prime Minister was in agreement with our proposal and assured us all kind of help,' Shah said. Opposition PDP claimed that constant abuse of human rights in the valley had almost nullified the gains of post 2002 peace initiative in the state when their party along with Congress was at the helm of affairs.