A Commission of Inquiry will go into all 17 incidents in the Kashmir Valley, in which 17 people were killed in police action, the Jammu and Kashmir government announced on Tuesday. The government also sanctioned relief to the families of the victims.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, here. The commission, to be set up under the Jammu and Kashmir Commission of Inquiry Act, 1962, will consist of Justice (retd.) Syed Basher-ud-Din (Chairman) and Justice (retd.) Y.P. Nargotra (member).

It will “inquire into all the 17 incidents in the Kashmir division in which fatalities occurred on account of the action by the State police/security forces since June 11, 2010. The commission will submit its report in three months” an official spokesman said.

The Cabinet also decided that the review committee, constituted under a government order dated December 26, 2002, will immediately go through the cases of detention under the Public Safety Act and make recommendations for the release of detainees, the spokesman said.

As a one-time exception, the Cabinet approved a package for the kin of civilians who lost their lives since June 11, 2010, as a result of the violence attributable to the breach of law and order and were not found directly or indirectly involved in the violence or instigation, the spokesman said.

Ex gratia

The package includes an ex gratia of Rs. 1 lakh and appointment of an eligible member of the family to the lowest non-gazetted post in the government service, or payment of Rs. 5 lakh, including an ex-gratia of Rs. 1 lakh, in lieu of a government job.

A committee comprising the Deputy Commissioner and the District Superintendent of Police would certify the non-involvement of the deceased civilian/his kin in the violence or instigation, the spokesman said.

Such a package is generally given to the families of civilians killed either in a militant action or in the crossfire between security forces or militants, that too after clearance from the police and intelligence authorities.

The Cabinet also decided to meet every Tuesday, and if that happened to be a holiday, it would meet the following day.