J&K govt. announces ex gratia payment of Rs. 5 lakh to kin of deceased in 2016 unrest

Those blinded with pellets are also to be provided with employment.

Updated - January 10, 2017 12:09 am IST

Published - January 09, 2017 02:43 pm IST - Jammu

A pellet victim undergoing treatment in SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.

A pellet victim undergoing treatment in SMHS Hospital in Srinagar.

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday announced an ex gratia of ₹ 5 lakh and a job to the next of kin of those killed during the 2016 street clashes, sparked by the slaying of militant commander Burhan Wani.

Seeking support of all shades of opinion in J&K to stop the “unfortunate cycle of violence like in 2016,” Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said, “Earnest effort would be made to create a congenial atmosphere for dialogue and resolution of issues.”

SIT probe

Ms. Mufti said the government would set up district-level Special Investigating Teams (SITs) to probe the killings. Unofficial figures put the number of dead at 93 but officials put the number of civilian victims at 76.

She announced a SIT to probe the killing of a college lecturer at Khrew, Pulwama, and an ATM guard at Karan Nagar, Srinagar. The lecturer was allegedly beaten to death, while the ATM guard was found dead with pellet injuries.

Announcing ₹ 5 lakh as ex gratia to families of victims, Ms. Mufti said, “Possibilities of providing jobs would also be explored in cases of extreme compassion. Job opportunities would be made available to the persons who lost their eyesight during the crises.”

Hit in the eye

Over 1,000 civilians were hit in the eye by pellets during the five-month street agitation last year. The eyesight of more than 300 civilians was affected. “Arrangements for education at Delhi and other places would be made for the students whose eyesight got affected during the turmoil. I have already spoken to the Prime Minister and the Union Finance Minister in this regard,” she told the Assembly.

She said 138 persons were still in judicial and police custody. “Of the 463 persons detained under the Public Safety Act, 145 have been released.”

Opposition demand

The J&K Assembly witnessed uproarious scenes when Opposition MLAs sought a judicial commission to investigate the incidents of killings in 2016 summer unrest.

“The government must set up a judicial commission to be led by a Supreme Court judge,” said NC MLA Ghulam Mohammad Saroori.

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