Azad demands judicial inquiry into Hyderpora encounter by HC Judge

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing a public meeting at Dayalachak in Kathua on Thursday.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad addressing a public meeting at Dayalachak in Kathua on Thursday.

‘Restore Statehood, identity of J&K’

Nishikant Khajuria

KATHUA, Nov 18: Demanding judicial inquiry into Hyderpora encounter, senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said that maintaining confidence of general public was equally important as that of Army and security forces.

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“I respect the Police and I have been a great admirer of Army, Police and security forces, but at the same time we should ensure that such things (like Hyderpora encounter) do not happen and that too in Srinagar city,” he said while talking to media persons on sidelines of his public rally at Dayalachak in Kathua, here today.
Maintaining that if such things take place in the capital city then people are ought to raise eyebrows on what must be happening in hinterland, Azad also rejected the Government move of ordering a Magisterial inquiry into the incident.
“There should be a judicial inquiry by a High Court Judge into the Hyderpora encounter to find out how and why these people were killed,” he said and recalled that during his tenure as Chief Minister of erstwhile Jammu Kashmir State, similar unfortunate incident had taken place when three apple traders were shot dead by dubbing them as militants whereas the deceased turned out to be innocents in the inquiry ordered by him and 13 persons were later put behind the bar for that fake encounter.
Earlier, addressing a well attended public meeting at Dayalachak, organized by former Ex MLC Subash Gupta and attended by former Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Ex Ministers G M Saroori, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Dr Manohar Lal, Jammu Bar Association President M K Bhardwaj and others, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that J&K residents were hit hard by Central Government decision of Aug 5, 2019.
Reiterating his demand for restoration of Statehood to Jammu Kashmir, he alleged that false narratives were propagated by the Central Government to snatch identity of J&K State, which was divided and reduced to a Union Territory.
“They misled that before 2019, outsiders were not allowed to purchase land here for setting up industries. I had clarified inside as well as outside Parliament that if such was the situation, how could 13000 industrial units, including Birla Industries were established in Samba and Kathua,” Azad said and alleged that after August 5, 2019, not even a single industrial unit was established here while 7500 industries, out of 13000 existing units, have been closed down during this period.
Recalling the great efforts of Dogra rulers, particularly Maharaja Gulab Singh and his military Commander, General Zorawar Singh in carving out J&K State and extending its boundaries with 2.1 lakh square kilometers area, he rued: “What Britishers could not do during their rule on India was done by our Government, which divided the largest State into two Union Territories and snatched our identity.”
Interestingly, the senior Congress leader, while lambasting Central Government and its policies, refrained to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bhartiya Janta Party though he repeatedly alleged that people were being divided on basis of religion, region and caste.
Instead, he conveyed his happiness that both Prime Minister and Home Minister Amit Shah have agreed to restore Statehood of J&K. ” We wish out Statehood is restored and our identity is re-established,” Azad said and added that J&K is known all over the world because of its composite culture, hospitality, scenic land and nature.
In his speech, the former Chief Minister also defended the controversial Roshni scheme, which was introduced by his Government for allotment of State land to the illegal occupants. “There was nothing wrong in that scheme, which was introduced here on the pattern of similar scheme by the UPA-1 Government for proprietary rights to those residing on forest land,” he said and claimed that his Government did not discriminate on the basis of religion, caste or region in allotment of land.
Later, addressing another gathering of his supporters at Samba, organized by Vinod Mishra, Azad reminded that his Government had played a major role in getting district status for Samba and now it was high time for people of the border belt to repay back with interest by strengthening the Congress to form the next Government with its Chief Minister.