Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC) president Sajad Gani Lone on Thursday appealed for a relook at the policy adopted by the security agencies in Kashmir.
Claiming that individuals, both young and old, were rounded up by the police in the past 24 hours in Kashmir, Mr. Lone said, “In the name of over-ground workers [OGWs], hundreds of people had been rounded up in the past 24 hours. These are people who may have had a past in militancy but are law-abiding citizens for the last two decades. They are grandfathers, fathers, and livelihood-earners [for their families],” Mr. Lone, who served as a Minister in the previous regime in J&K, said.
He said the prevalent approach of “macro-level punishment has been in practice for the last three decades and has yielded no positive results”.
“We are all pained by the incidents of violence. But good policing would mean micro-investigation, not macro punishment. This has been the rule for the last three decades. All the governments are culpable of this crime. But we need closure,” Mr. Lone said.
He asked for a re-evaluation of existing lists, particularly of OGWs, and urged authorities to distinguish “fact from fiction”.
“Many of these OGWs were added to the list during the National Conference era. They would add anybody who didn’t vote for them, especially during 1996 to 2002,” he added.
He also urged the security agencies “not resort to macro punishment”. “Hauling up a person who is a father or grandfather to the local police station is a humiliating experience. How would youngsters in the family react to such events? Investment in youth is investment in India. Don’t turn them away. Let incidents of humiliation not cloud their judgment,” he said.
Mr. Lone said Kashmiris were in the process of breaking free from a vicious cycle of violence. “These policing events act as impediments to the existing process,” he added.