NPP express shock and condolences on Mandela’s death

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela (Photo credit: Festival Karsh Ottawa)

National Executive of NPP today in an emergency meeting expressed deep shock on the death of one of the great revolutionaries in the 20th century who fought for the freedom of the people of South Africa in particular and struggled for dignified living of all the people of the world.
Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party who chaired the meeting of the National Executive said that South Africa has lost a great and noble leader of the time whereas people of India have lost one of the greatest friends in the century. He said Nelson Mandela’s life and experiments in the freedom struggle of his country have left a unique foot-print for the younger generations to live in peaceful co-existence, honour and dignity.

The Panthers Party in its condolences resolution expressed sympathy with the people of South Africa in particular and the African continent in general.

Horrors of J&K Rehabilitation Policy Terrorists flooding to J&K via Nepal

The Govt. of J&K in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on August 2013 has bluntly admitted that 282 ex-militants have entered into J&K via Nepal since the Rehabilitation & Surrender Policy was revised in J&K in November, 2010. The State Govt. has admitted that 134 wives of the militants with 432 children born in Pakistan were also welcomed to J&K. This admission was made by the Govt. of J&K in reply to a writ petition filed by J&K National Panthers Party.

The Press Trust of India submitted a report on 27th November, 2013 that 10 Pak nationals including a woman and 7 children, from POK were detained by security forces when they were trying to enter India from Nepal through Sonauli Border. The Chief Minister of J&K, Mr. Omar Abdullah had admitted in the Legislative Assembly on March 11, 2013 that, “241 terrorists had entered into J&K via Nepal and no ex-militant has returned through identified routes under the Return & Rehabilitation Policy.” The Return & Rehabilitation Policy was authored by the coalition government in J&K headed by Mufti Mohd. Sayeed in 2004. The Surrender & Rehabilitation Policy provided that, “This policy shall also be considered in cases of youth who went across for training but want to return and join the mainstream and against whom there are no heinous offence/s in consultation with MHA.” According to the cabinet order dated 22.11.2010 the surrender application could be filed before the Indian High Commission in Pakistan so that an appropriate entry permit could be issued to the person who desired to surrender in J&K. The government selected four entry points for the purpose of entry for the terrorists who intended to surrender. Four points expressly mentioned were; Poonch-Rawalakote (Poojch), Uri-Muzaffrabad (Uri), Wagah (Punjab) & Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. This was made mandatory that any terrorist/ex-militant entering into India with intention to surrender shall be arrested on the entry point and brought to Counselling Centres. They shall be put on trial before an appropriate court of law for the cases pending against each one of them.

This is a serious concern for the security of the state that the ex-militants/terrorists have been allowed to enter into J&K via Nepal. The Govt. of J&K has tied up with the militants/terrorists in POK/Pakistan to facilitate the entry of such terrorists into J&K whom the J&K Govt. finds fit. These terrorists safely fly to Kathmandu from where they are picked up by the J&K Police and provided I-cards to enable them to cross over from Nepal to India. These groups of terrorists accompanied by their wives and children, all Pakistani nationals, are escorted by J&K Police to J&K. The recent case of Liaqat Ali is a living example of the abetment of the Chief Minister of J&K to import the terrorists/militants to J&K. The policy was meant for ex-militants, terrorists who were residents of the State. This policy was not meant for the Pakistani families/wives or strangers to enter India. The policy had defined four routes only which have not been followed. Is it not a treachery against the State by the Govt. of J&K? Silence on the part of Govt. of India has to be explained to the nation too.

According to the said policy only militants/ex-militants who were permanent residents of the state were given assurance to be rehabilitated in the state. The Govt. of J&K in its affidavit have admitted that the State government has paid Rs. 2,45,52,920/- (Rs. Two crores forty five Lacs, fifty two thousand, nine hundred & twenty) to the surrendered militants since 2004. The Govt. has also admitted that Rs.09,18,682/- (Rs. Nine Lacs, eighteen thousand, six hundred eighty two) were paid for the weapons the State purchased from the militants. This fact has been admitted on oath by the Addl. Secretary, Home Department, Govt. of J&K in her affidavit filed before the Supreme Court of India.

The Surrender & Rehabilitation Policy had provided that all surrendered militants shall be put on trial for the offences they had committed before they ex-filtrated to POK. The said policy in its exception note made it clear, “The surrenderee involved in heinous crimes like murder, rape, abduction etc. will be entitled to benefits only when legal action has been completed, court cases decided and the person has been pronounced innocent.” The Govt. of J&K has not invoked single FIR registered against any of the militants. Instead FIRs were registered against each returnee when he reached home. Interestingly, all FIRs registered are u/s. 2/3 E&IMCO with some exceptions. This itself demonstrates the intention of the Govt. of J&K. The Govt. of J&K has described the ex-militants/terrorists as ‘State Subject’ instead of mentioning their nationality as Indian Citizen or even Permanent Residents of the State.

It is shocking that neither the Govt. of India nor the Govt. of J&K have cared to reply the query of the Supreme Court of India which had observed on 18.10.2012 by a Supreme Court Bench comprising JJ Mr. R.M. Lodha & Mr. Anil R. Dave that, “For proper consideration of the matter in the circumstances, it is essential to know from the two governments namely, Central Govt. and the Govt. of J&K whether the above Rehabilitation Policy still holds the field or not and if some modification in the above policy has taken place, the details thereof. We direct the Ministry of Home, Govt. of India and the Home Department of the Govt. of J&K to file their respective affidavits on the above aspect through a responsible officer within four weeks.”  The Court had also observed earlier on 08.01.2013 asking the Govt. of India & the Govt. of J&K to explain, “The position as to who, under the policy dated 31.01.2004, are treated as ‘terrorists’, ‘militants’ and ‘hardcore militants’ and also explain under which law, they are declared as ‘terrorists’, ‘militants’ & ‘hardcore militants’.”  The two governments have been harping on the beauty of the policy without going into its merits and consequences. By 2013, 4081 militants including 279 ‘commanders’ had surrendered out of which, according to the J&K Govt. 2881 militants were rehabilitated by providing them with fix deposits for three years and amount of Rs.3 lacs each with grant of monthly relief @Rs.3000/-. On the other hand the Govt. of J&K had issued a fresh order in 2012 with mandatory provision in the recruitment of the fresh government employees in the non-gazetted ranks that each fresh employee shall be paid Rs.3500/- only per month for a period of five years with no other security. The Govt. of J&K had introduced a similar provision that government employee shall get half of the salary for a period of three years. This law was challenged by this author in the High Court of J&K. The then Chief Justice of J&K High Court Justice Bahuddin Farooqi quashed the order and the Supreme Court refused to entertain an appeal against the judgment of Chief Justice, Mr. Bahuddin Farooqi. Besides, there are nearly 25000 SPOs (Special Police Officers) who have been duly engaged to perform regular police duties in J&K. This is another tragedy that an SPO is paid Rs.3500/- per month only though he has been performing the duty of a policeman and even beyond that. The Jammu migrants have not been provided relief at par with Kashmiri migrants in spite of the direction of the Supreme Court of India. There is a balance of payment of Rs.21 crores. A contempt of court is pending before the High Court of J&K for the past five years.

The nationalist youth of J&K who have been fighting for the unity, integrity and sovereignty of India, courageously carrying the tri-colour on their shoulders in the militancy prone areas of Kashmir have remained denied of their fundamental rights whereas those who raised guns against the country. Crossed over to Pakistan, got military training and took up guns against the country’s interest are being favoured with jobs, money doles and rehabilitation schemes. Is it because of Article 370 that the Govt. of J&K can ignore rather deny the right to live with dignity, equity and honour to the peace-loving youth of the state? Is the Surrender & Rehabilitation Policy related to Article 370?

The national leadership and the media have a responsibility towards the security of the nation. Let us all wake up now.

Bhim Singh

(Chief Patron of National Panthers Party, Member of National Integration Council & Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court of India)