Minister for Rural Development Panchayati Raj, Law and Justice Abdul Haq Sunday said the concept of human approach and human-centric policies put forth by former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed through “Healing Touch Policy” has been the guiding force for the current dispensation to ensure no human rights violations take place in the state.
Speaking on a function organized by the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) at SKICC, Khan said the government is committed to strengthen and empower SHRC so that it can function independently and help in protecting human rights and provide justice to the aggrieved persons.
He said the last member retired from the Commission in 2014 and soon after the government took the oath, they started the process of empowering SHRC by appointing its Chairman and Members.
Khan said the present dispensation headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has been taking all steps needed to carry forward the philosophy of healing touch as introduced by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to ensure the protection of rights and dignity of the common masses.
He said the government’s amnesty policy and subsequent withdrawal of cases of first-time offenders is a display of good faith of the government towards its consistent belief in the process of peace and reconciliation.
He said these initiatives would go a long way to change the political discourse from the narrative of conflict to reconciliation and will help to build a conducive atmosphere in the state.
Khan said the government has made it imperative that all safeguards are in place with the standard operating procedure (SOP) being observed while dealing with law and order situations. Alongside other initiatives, the government has also taken proactive steps to promote the sense of respect for women and children.
Speaking about the strengthening of Criminal Justice System in the state, Khan said the government is mulling to strengthen the justice system to ensure that justice is delivered to the people of the state well in time and in this regard various measures are being taken including having dedicated investigation officers in Police so that foolproof investigation is conducted to ensure justice. He said this will ensure that people may not be forced to knock the door of SHRC if they get justice in normal courts.
Chairman SHRC Justice Bilal Nazki while delivering his speech called for support from all the stakeholders including press, police and the civil administration so that human rights issues will be resolved with accountability. He commended the cooperation being provided by the civil and police administration in the functioning of the commission.
He said the Commission received 7929 complaints this year out of which 6420 complaints were disposed of. He said the aim of holding such programs is to bring all stakeholders together and sensitize them about the Human Rights and ensure the protection of these rights which forms the base of the justice system in a democratic setup.
Chief Secretary B B Vyas in his speech said that SHRC has done a commendable job in ensuring the protection of Human Rights of the people.
He said organizing such events is learning the process for the officials as this will sensitize them regarding the human rights. He said everyone should ensure that the rights of the people aren’t violated and suggested that sensitization programs shall be conducted in every district in this regard. He said every stakeholder should work together to protect the rights of the people that is the ultimate aim of the government.
Director General of Police SP Vaid while speaking on the occasion said that the JK Police has been facing a very difficult situation in the valley but they are working on zero tolerance for Human Rights violations. He said they are conducting sensitization programs for the cops in every training session and that change on the ground is only possible when every cop is sensitized about the issue. He said the violation of Human rights shouldn’t be viewed in a specific point of view but have to look in other dimensions also. He said a person not getting a basic treatment in hospital is also a human rights violation.
DGP said that directions have been given to every Police station to hold the Police-Public meet in once a month so that good relationships are maintained with the people.
Others who were present on the occasion include SHRC members Jung Bahadur Singh Jamwal, Dilshada Shaheen, Abdul Hameed, Special Secretary Law, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, IGP Kashmir, Director SKIMS, Vice Chancellor Central University of Kashmir and other senior officers of Police and civil administration and journalists.