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Police’s security clearance order ‘unambiguously harsh’, says PC

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Cop caught ferrying militants let off hook while innocent Kashmiris rot in jails: Mehbooba

Srinagar, Aug 02 : Jammu and Kashmir Peoples’ Conference (PC) on Monday condemned the J&K Police’s order denying security clearance for passport and other government services to those involved in subversive activities, saying it is “unambiguously harsh” and in contravention to the spirit of the speech made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a recent all-party meet.

“PC condemns the stringent order issued by the CID about the verification related to passports, government schemes and recruitment in government service,” PC spokesperson Adnan Ashraf Mir said in a party statement.

He said the order not only gives “arbitrary powers” to the sleuths of the Special Branch of the police, but also appoints them as “judge, jury and executioner — in this case — to pulverise career prospects of Kashmiri youth and to push them away from the mainstream of the country”.

Mir said the order is “unambiguously harsh”.

“Most importantly, it is in contravention to the spirit of the speech made by the Hon’ble Prime Minister at all-party meet,” he said, referring to the meeting the prime minister had on June 24 with 14 mainstream leaders of Jammu and Kashmir in Delhi to discuss the future course of action for the union territory.

In the meeting, Modi had said he wanted to win the hearts of the people of J&K and remove “Dilli ki doori” (the distance from Delhi) and “Dil ki doori” (distance between hearts).

The PC spokesperson said the thrust and recurring theme of the prime minister’s speech was that the distance of hearts between Delhi and Srinagar needs to be decreased.

“Such orders will not resolve or decrease the distance between New Delhi and Srinagar but will certainly increase the alienation of the people towards the institutions of government and the psychological distance between Delhi,” PC spokesperson said.

He said earlier the Kashmiris were at the “receiving end” of media trials of “parachuted journalists” and now it seems the “parachuted bureaucrats” want “to unleash the Khap panchayat style criminal jurisprudence system in the region”.

“A fair trial backed by evidence is the constitutional right of every individual and presumption of innocence until an accused/suspect is proven guilty is the cornerstone of rule of law in India. Surprisingly, the upholders of the law are out to demolish the founding principle of the rule of law and criminal jurisprudence in Kashmir,” he said.

How the investigative agency is conferring sweeping power on itself violates constitutional principles observed in the rest of the country, PC spokesperson said.

“Undoubtedly, this order is beyond the pay and grade of a typical administrative services officer and has long-lasting societal and political ramifications,” he said.

Criminality has to have a uniform definition across the country, the PC spokesperson said, adding the notions of criminality cannot be twisted and turned to create a customised legal system for the people of J&K, in violation of constitutional morality and principles.

“These custom-made definitions will not only implicate innocents; destroy hundreds and thousands of careers, but also push youth away from mainstream activities,” he said.

The PC spokesperson said with one order, the government has in all possibility created hurdles for lakhs of young men and women from acquiring means of economic livelihood and enjoy the benefits of government schemes.

He appealed to the people “scripting such orders” to look beyond two to three years of their tenures.

“These ill-thought structural changes will bring negative ramifications lasting decades. It is our earnest appeal to the bureaucracy: please do not sow seeds of anger and poison for our future generations,” the PC spokesperson said.

PTI adds: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday alleged that former Jammu and Kashmir police officer Davinder Singh, who was caught ferrying militants in a vehicle last year, was let off the hook by the Centre while innocent Kashmiris rot in jails for years under anti-terror laws.

Accusing the government of having double-standards, Mehbooba said Kashmiris are “considered guilty until proven innocent”.

Mehbooba’s remarks came after a copy of a government order dated May 20 dismissing Singh, a deputy superintendent of police (DySP), from service went viral on social media.

Lt Governor Manoj Sinha had ordered Singh’s dismissal from service with “immediate effect” under Article 311 of the Constitution, according to the official order. This provision enables the government to withdraw presidential pleasure without holding an inquiry and the decision can only be contested in the high court.

“Innocent Kashmiris arrested under anti-terror laws rot in jails for years. For them the trial becomes the punishment. But GOI (Government of India) doesn’t want an enquiry against a cop caught red-handed with militants. Is it because he colluded with the system to orchestrate certain dodgy incidents?” Mehbooba asked in a tweet.

She said Kashmiris are “considered guilty until proven innocent”.

“Whether for governments job or even a passport, they (Kashmiris) are subjected to the worst kind of scrutiny. But when a policeman is known to have facilitated militants he is let off the hook. The double standards & dirty games is obvious,” she added.

Singh was arrested by the police in January last year when he was ferrying Hizbul Mujahideen militants to Jammu from Kashmir. The case was investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and it filed a charge-sheet against Singh and others.

According to the NIA charge-sheet, Singh “was tasked by his Pakistani handler” with establishing a “contact” in the Ministry of External Affairs for carrying out espionage activities. Singh “used his own vehicle for the movement of the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists” and also assured them help in procuring weapons, the NIA alleged.

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