Saturday, September 4, 2010
Prakash Karat, General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist), had a meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, today to appraise him of the serious situation prevailing in Kashmir and what needs to be done immediately.
On the basis of a visit to Srinagar and discussions with a wide section of the people, Prakash Karat in the letter submitted to the Prime Minister has made the following points:
1. Given the fact that 66 young men and women have lost their lives due to the police firing from June 11, it is imperative that the approach of resorting to police firing to control the stone pelting crowds should be stopped forthwith. There has to be a distinction between dealing with stone pelting youth and tackling militants resorting to terrorist violence.
2. There are a large number of injured in hospitals. They should be adequately compensated and rehabilitation measures should be taken for those with permanent disabilities.
3. Juvenile prisoners should not be kept in jail and all those youth who have no serious charges against them should be released.
4. Srinagar and other urban centres should be taken out of the Disturbed Areas Act purview which will make the enforcement of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act redundant. There should be a reduction in the security forces deployed in the areas which have seen a drastic reduction in militancy. Many of the bunkers in Srinagar localities manned by the paramilitary forces should be removed.
5. Given the major economic losses suffered due to the continued curfews and hartals for the past two and a half months, the government has to compensate and revive trade and other economic activities of different sections of the people.
6. The Prime Minister should take a bold initiative for a political dialogue with all sections of the state. Dialogue should be held with all sections without preconditions.
The CPI(M) is of the opinion that only by recognizing the special status of the state and assuring the Kashmiri people of their identity that a solution can be found. This requires a new political framework in which the bedrock is maximum autonomy.