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NC wants post apartheid like Commission to probe Kashmir killings

Feb 17, 2007:

Opposition National Conference president Omar Abdullah wants Constitution of a commission for inquiring all killings in Indian administered Kashmir since 1989 on the pattern of South Africa's 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' Constituted after the Apartheid.

Addressing media persons in winter capital Jammu today, Omar said that the judicial inquiry of a handful of human rights violation cases was not enough and added it was time for people to know about all killings since the outbreak of insurgency in 1989. He was referring to the fake encounter expose of the Kashmir valley, where the state police had dubbed innocent civilians as foreign mercenaries and killed them in fake encounters.

"I feel people should know about all killings, those by the security forces as well as by militants," he said adding a commission on the pattern of the 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, which was headed by a South African cleric and activist Desmond Mpilo Tutu, be constituted to inquire these killings.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was a court-like body assembled in South Africa after the end of Apartheid. Anybody who felt had been a victim of violence could come forward and be heard at the TRC. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from prosecution.

The TRC was a crucial component of the transition to full and free democracy in South Africa and, despite some flaws, is generally - though not universally - regarded as successful. "We want the state to correct the black history of the last 17 years of insurgency in the state," said Omar, whose National Conference demands a greater autonomy for the conflict-hit state.

He also demanded a white paper from the government on all missing persons of the state. "We know some of them have gone across (the Line of Control, which divides the state between India and Pakistan). But there are others. Everything should come up. People should know everything. There should be no doubts," Omar added.


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