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Inquire Commission starts probe in Kishtwar violence

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Even as one man Inquiry Commission of Justice (Retired) RC Gandhi reached Kishtwar this afternoon and initiated inquiry into August 9 violence, people in entire Paddar belt observed a bandh and held protest demonstrations against police harassment to the Village Defence Committees (VDC) and other innocent persons.
Official reports said Justice Gandhi, a retired Judge of the State High Court, reached Kishtwar this afternoon on his first visit after being appointed as one man Inquiry Commission by the State Government on August 23, and set up his office at the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC).
Immediately after his arrival in Kishtwar, Justice Gandhi inter-acted with some officers. He would meet people and visit the sites of vandalism during his stay in the town.
Sources said one month term of Justice Gandhi Inquiry Commission was likely to be extended as it was on 22nd day after the announcement that he reached Kishtwar today. The delay is being attributed to issuance of formal notification by the Government and handing it over to Justice Gandhi. Though the Government had named Justice Gandhi as the one man Inquiry Commission into the violence on August 13, it was only three-four days back that he got the official letter appointing him as the Inquiry Commission.
Justice Gandhi was likely to stay in Kishtwar for some days inter-acting with people, officers and other stakeholders recording their statements.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had announced judicial inquiry into the Eid violence in Kishtwar.
As 22 days since the Government announcement of appointing Justice Gandhi as the Inquiry Commission have already passed, it would not only be difficult but rather impossible for the Judge to meet the one month deadline of completing the inquiry for which only eight days have been left.
The Government had asked the Inquiry Commission to enquire into the circumstances, which led to the violence and arson and the consequent loss of life and property in Kishtwar district. It would also enquire into the administrative lapses, if any, while handling the situation and fix the responsibility of the persons, involved in acts of violence, arson and loss of life and property.
Meanwhile, large-scale protests broke out in Paddar, Atholi and surrounding areas in Kishtwar today after a large number of people from the minority community including women blocks roads shouting slogans against police for harassment to the VDCs.
The protesters didn’t allow any vehicular movement in Atholi and Paddar. They staged dharnas and held protests demanding action against the police officers responsible for harassment of the VDCs and raids on their houses.
They said police should identify the culprits involved in a killing a day after Kishtwar violence but shouldn’t harass the VDC members and the innocent persons. They had given a call for bandh in Paddar and Atholi tomorrow to protest police atrocities.
Police said they were trying to identify and arrest the culprits involved in the killing of a civilian in Paddar, Atholi areas after the violence. It may be mentioned here that miscreants of majority community had opened firing on a procession taken out by the minorities against Kishtwar violence at Paddar and Atholi.
The people of majority community had fired upon the procession causing injuries to a civilian. In retaliatory firing, a civilian of majority community was killed. Police have registered murder case and was trying to identify and arrest the culprits.
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