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Kashmir minister blames Indian paramilitary for killings

Srinagar, June 28, 2010:

shutdown
A paramilitary trooper stands guard in a desterted street in Srinagar during a shutdown

Frustrated over the continuous killings of civilians in police actions, the government in Indian administered Kashmir Sunday blamed the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for the killings.

Hours after CRPF personnel fired upon a group of youth in curfew bound Sopore killing one, Law minister Ali Muhmmad Sagar told newsmen that the force was defying the orders of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

“Delhi will have to listen to us if it has to protect interests in Jammu and Kashmir. Five youth were killed in series and it is not a good thing. We are not ready to tolerate the human rights violation,” Sagar said.

He said the chief minister being head of the Unified Command Council has given clear directions to the forces operating in Kashmir to exercise restraint and protect human rights.

CRPF is an Indian paramilitary force meant to assist the states in law and order implementation.

Sagar asked the Indian home minister P Chidambaram to visit the state at the earliest.

CRPF comes under the command of home ministry.

Sagar described the Sunday’s firing as unwarranted stating that some 20 youth had gathered to protest and there was no justification to open fire on them.

Stating that the government was already fighting the separatists and militants, sagar said, “But we can’t fight people who have voted us to power,” he added.

He said the CRPF has lost command and control and the issue must be seriously looked into.

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