PTI Photo by S Irfan
PTI Photo by S Irfan

Jammu : Special Investigation Teams (SITs) will be set up for time-bound probe into deaths that took place during the unrest in Kashmir Valley last summer, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced on Monday.

The state government will also resume the process of reviewing the cases of those held under the Public Safety Act (PSA), she told the Legislative Assembly here. “I want to tell you, we will constitute Special Investigation Teams (SIT) at district-level which will have to give time-bound reports. And if there is a need for anything further, we will go ahead,” Mehbooba said while responding to opposition demand for a judicial probe into the deaths during mob control by security personnel during the 5-month unrest.

She was replying to a discussion on the Kashmir situation under Adjournment Motion moved by the opposition members.

The state government had earlier told the Assembly that 76 civilians, besides two policemen, were killed during the unrest that erupted after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8 last year.

2,690 cases had been registered in connection with stone pelting incidents, 16 cases in weapon looting and snatching in Kashmir and 463 people had been detained under the PSA, the government had said.

The Chief Minister said six people had lost vision in their both eyes whereas 20 others were left with a damaged eye during the unrest. Over 100 people had an eye injury. “Over 4,500 personnel of police and security forces were also injured while safeguarding the life and property of the people,” Mehbooba said.

With regard to demand for rehabilitation of families of those who lost their lives, she said, “They are our own children and we have to ensure their rehabilitation. We have kept an amount of Rs five lakh ex-gratia as compensation for the next of the kin in case of deaths. “In any such extreme case, the government is committed to provide jobs to the next of the kin to these families and the children who have lost their eye sights, our government is ready to provide jobs to their family members.”

Those having permanent disability will get Rs 75,000. Mehbooba said, “I was told in New Delhi, including by the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, that the government will ensure free education to them (who lost support system) in top schools on the pattern of Doon school so that they can stand on their feet and need not depend on anybody.”   She appealed to the Opposition to help her “heal” the wounds of the people.

Mehbooba rejected any comparison of last year’s unrest with the trouble witnessed in 2010, when the state was being ruled by Omar Abdullah-led National Conference-Congress government. “There is huge difference between that time (2010) and this time (2016). At that time, children used to go to the shops to get their eatables and food items even for toffees because shops were opened. But this time (2016), if anyone dared to open any shop in entire Kashmir valley, his shop was subjected to damage. Nobody was allowed to open shops,” she said.

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