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CCG demands judicial probe into civilian killings in Hyderpora shootout

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Srinagar: The Concerned Citizens Group (CCG) led by former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Friday expressed deep anguish at the civilian killings in the Hyderpora shootout and called for a judicial inquiry under the supervision of the Supreme Court in order to “uncover the truth” and restore people’s confidence in the rule of law.

“The government’s explanation about the Hyderpora incident is as clear as mud and complicates the issue further. The governor’s decision to order a magisterial enquiry is nothing more than an eyewash,” the CCG said in a statement.

It said the magisterial enquiry should immediately be replaced by a judicial enquiry under the supervision of the Supreme Court in order to “uncover the truth and restore people’s confidence in the rule of law”.

“We also demand that the inquiry should be completed expeditiously. In the meanwhile, those guilty of perpetrating it should be placed under suspension. We appeal to Members of Parliament to visit J&K as soon as possible and raise this issue in the ensuing session of Parliament,” it said.

Apart from Sinha, the members of the group comprise executive secretary, Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation, Delhi, Sushobha Barve; former chairman of the Minorities Commission, and first Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah; Vice Marshal (retd.) Kapil Kak and former editor and independent journalist Bharat Bhushan.

The statement said in its nine reports prepared after visits to Jammu and Kashmir since 2016, the group has been emphasising the need for a political and not a military solution to the issue of J&K, as indeed many others including military commanders familiar with the situation have been doing.

“We have also emphasised that a political solution can come only out of a dialogue with all stakeholders. But our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The government of India has tried everything from an extended governor’s rule to constitutional changes but nothing has worked for the simple reason that the people of J&K have not been taken into confidence,” it said.

The killings of civilians have demonstrated that the situation on the ground “is far from normal” as claimed by the government from time to time, the statement said.

“Incidents, such as the killing of innocent civilians, are bound to exacerbate it further,” it added.

The group also condemned the statement of Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat endorsing the demand for the public lynching of terrorists.

“It shows that Gen Rawat has no use for the laws of the country and believes only in jungle raj. He must immediately withdraw this statement and apologise for it,” the CCG said.

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