Kashmir Center for Social and Development Studies (KCDS) Sunday convened a daylong Round Table Conference [RTC] in which major civil society activists- lawyers, writers, columnists, academicians, business/ industry leaders and doctors deliberated on the issue of the “ Concerns of Human Security in J&K ”.
The KCDS in its meeting discussed “harassment of general public at slightest pretext, area wise curfews, cases of molestation, recent instances of unprovoked targeting of innocent citizens in Gool, Kishtwar and Shopian, failure to provide justice in past instances of 2009,2009 & 2010 killing of instances, severe restrictions on genuine political activity and other such abuses of human rights.”
The main focus of the meeting according to the spokesman remained on the issue of VDC’s/SPO’s in Chenab Basin and Pir Panchal being heavily slanted to the tune of 90 to 95% in favour of a particular community, “thus arming a section of civilians that has had the effect of creating a scare amongst the other population groups and has led to communalizing the situation, thus creating a security disequilibrium.”
The members also deliberated on the raising concern of the “evidence of criminal acts alleged to have been committed by VDC members and groups backed by them including rape of a minor girl, killing of 16 year old Shameem Ahmad and Bhaderwah triple murder fake encounter.”
During the discussion the issue of “nocturnal stone pelting by masked men terrorizing a particular population group, which has had the effect of deepening the communal strife, with the law and order authorities unwilling or unable to react positively to contain the outfall of these unfortunate incidents, occurring with amazing regularity was also discussed.
Taking all the ‘concerns’ into consideration, the members unanimously resolved that , “since the constitution of such a force as VDC was ostensibly brought into existence for providing protection to life and property of civilians which has all along been misused to harass and intimidate innocent civilians particularly members of the majority community,” the civil society of Kashmir strongly demanded disbanding of VDCs and SPOs with immediate effect.
It was also resolved that Civil Society of Kashmir will approach Council for Human Rights of United Nations to bring to its notice the unconstitutional and illegal creation of private militia in Jammu and Kashmir against the internationally accepted convention, to which India is a signatory.