SRINAGAR: Leader of the opposition National Conference, Abdul Rahim Rather, came down heavily on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and coalition government led by Congress on World Human Rights Day, accusing them of acting as mute spectators to unabated rights abuses by troops in Kashmir.“Innocent people are being openly killed by troops and playing fields have been turned into graveyards.
Kashmiris are suffering for no fault,” Rather told reporters at a news conference. “In the past one year nearly 40 youth have been killed in custody. And it is a shame that government has adopted a criminal silence over brazen violation by troops,” said Rather who was flanked by senior NC leaders Ali Muhammad Sagar and Nasir Sogami.
Castigating the Prime Minister for what he said failing to fulfil his promise of zero tolerance on human rights violations, Rather said “his (PM’s) credibility is at stake.“As head of the country, the PM is responsible for every killing and human rights violation that takes place here. He had promised over a year ago that no human rights violation will take place. Ironically, the promise is yet to be fulfilled. If PM is sincere, he should intervene and put a bridle on the troops operating here to restore sense of security among people,” Rather said.
He said his party has time and again tried “to awaken conscience” of the government, however there was no response. During the recent Assembly session, Rather said, he had tabled a bill for formation of committee of legislators for investigating cases of rights abuses and strengthening the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).“Ironically, the Congress and PDP legislators voted against the bill. On one hand these legislators in public gatherings express concern over rights abuses and when time comes to take action against the perpetrators, they remain aloof. This is sheer hypocrisy. They are not only hoodwinking the Kashmiris but international community too,” Rather said.
Rather warned that if the rights violations are not stopped immediately, the state and New Delhi will be responsible for the consequences. “We will be forced to come on streets and launch an agitation against government,” he said.-SANA