Monday, June 23, 2008

Govt clueless about death toll of Pandits in the Valley

Hindustan Times (Yahoo News)
Sat, Jun 21 01:10 AM
The Centre may have the number of security personnel or militants killed in J and amp;K since the outbreak of violence in 1989, but it does not have any count of the Kashmiri Pandits who fell prey to insurgency. This admission, by the Centre, came in response to an RTI application filed by a Kashmiri Pandit, Aditya Raj Kaul, who wanted to know how many of his community members were killed in the state since 1989.

"J&K Police has not shared information on the killings of Kashmiri Pandits with the Central Government," the Union Home Ministry had said in its reply. Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda told HT that sharing of information with the Centre was a routine matter.

"We furnish whatever information is sought from us." The RTI came in the wake of a report, carried by a newspaper recently, and said to have been compiled by the J&K Police for the first time since the outbreak of violence in the Valley.
It said militants had killed 209 Kashmiri Pandits since 1989. The report also said 31 militants were booked for killings in 24 out of 140 cases while killers in 115 cases remain unidentified or untraced.

"Since we contest the numbers of Kashmiri Pandits killed as cited by the report, we wanted to cross check it. The fact that all 31 militants charge-sheeted for killing Kashmiri Pandits were on bail was what prompted me to seek more information about it" Kaul said.

The Ministry said while 20,621 militants had been killed between January 1990 and April 2008 about 5147 security personnel laid down their lives while fighting terrorism. Kaul had filed another RTI with the Home Ministry, seeking details on the Wandhama massacre, in which militants killed 23 Kashmir Pandits on January 25, 1998.

However, the Centre again had no information about the incident. "We wanted to know what real progress had been made in this case and why wasn't it referred to a better agency had the local police failed to make any headway," said Kaul.
Pictures - 20th June - International Refugee's Day - New Delhi Seminar

The PANELISTS - Gautam Kaul, Ex-DG-ITBP, Mukul Sharma, Dir.-Amnesty Inte'l India, Tarun Vijay, Columnist, Aasha Khosa, Journalist.

A section of the audience.

The audience keenly watching the audio-video presentation on Wandhama.

A Delegate making a point to Mukul Sharma, Director - Amnesty Inte'l India.

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