Centre unveils Kashmir package

Centre unveils Kashmir package

Centre unveils Kashmir package

It has also asked the state government to withdraw charges against the students detained in the protests since June this year and to reopen all educational institutions in Kashmir. This means the curfew, in force for about three months, will be lifted from across the Valley.

As per the  Home Ministry figures, 245 people were arrested or detained since June 11 when violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces claimed 105 people. The Centre will also urge the state government to review cases against the 51 Public Safety Act detainees and withdraw detention orders in appropriate cases.

The measures, announced on Saturday after a Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) meet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, are to reinstate the trust of the people in the government.

These are to be part of a package that the Centre has planned for Jammu and Kashmir based on the report of the 36-member all-party delegation that recently visited the Valley and held talks with a cross-section of people, including separatists.

Addressing newspersons after the 30-minute CCS meet at the Prime Minister’s residence here, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram announced that the Centre “will appoint a group of interlocutors under an eminent person to begin the process of a sustained dialogue.”

He also said the state government would be asked to “immediately” convene a meeting of the Unified Command, headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, to review the deployment of forces in the Valley, particularly in Sri Nagar.

This would include a review of checkpoint locations and the probability of de-scaling bunkers.
The Centre would also ask the state government to review the notification of places in the Valley as “disturbed areas”, a decision that could impact the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), dilution or total withdrawal of which parts of the Valley is a longstanding demand of separatists and even of Omar Abdullah.