People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 08, 2007
J&K CPI(M) Pooh Poohs Expert Panels
M Y Tarigami, state secretary of the CPI(M) J & K state committee issued the following statement on March 31
The central government seems, once again, to have skirted the real issue in Kashmir, which is evident from its response to the demand for reduction of forces in the state.
The declaration to constitute various expert panels, seems, firstly, as nothing more than a rigmarole, as it is hard to understand what the proposed members of the committees, who are serving on various positions in the national and the state security set-ups and thus already aware of the security position in the state, can contribute, by merely figuring in the proposed committees. Secondly, the committees are called upon to merely determine the need to relocate and reconfigure the security forces and not to consider the need to propose any cut in the size of the forces. Thirdly, the panel is enjoined to ensure that cardinal aspects of the security are not compromised in any manner, which leaves no room for any initiative by the members of the committee and rule out any appropriate people friendly change in the existing positions.
Regarding the review of the special powers conferred upon the forces in the state, it has been said that that such a review has to be in tune with the legal requirements for a periodic review which means the continuation of the existing practices. It is beyond comprehension as to what is the rationale behind constitution of committee, if the routine procedure is to be followed.
It seems that the constitution of the committees has been announced with the sole aim of saving the political faces. The state CPI(M) understands that this would only strengthen the long-held public impression in the state that the centre is not interested in taking any meaningful measures in the state which could address the genuine aspirations of the suffering people and is merely interested in taking cosmetic steps.
The state CPI(M) re-iterates its demand to gradually reduce the disproportionately excessive number of forces in the state and in the meanwhile identify appropriate areas in the state, as peace zones, wherefrom central forces should be withdrawn and these areas be put under the charge of the local police and gradually extend such areas till the entire state is covered. (INN)