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Kashmir rights panel defunct for over a month now

The functioning of Jammu and Kashmir’s State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) remained suspended for more than a month Tuesday as the government is yet to nominate its new chief after its previous chairperson’s term expired last month, panel sources said Tuesday.

‘Both the judicial and the administrative functioning of the commission have remained suspended for more than a month now,’ a source in the SHRC told.

‘The state government is yet to nominate the successor of Justice (retd) Syed Bashir-ud-Din, the chairperson of the commission who demitted office on Oct 24 following the completion of his three year term,’ the source said.

Meanwhile, the panel’s investigative wing is also headless following the transferring out of the inspector general of police who was heading it, and no one being appointed to succeed him, the sources said.

‘The state government recently transferred Gulzar Singh Slathia, the inspector general of police (IGP) heading the investigative wing of the commission without the concurrence of the SHRC which is otherwise mandatory before such a change.

‘No officer has been posted with the SHRC to head its investigative wing. It appears the government is not interested in the normal functioning of the commission,’ the source said.

Significantly, the hearing of some crucial cases like that of the unmarked graves could not be taken up since the division bench required to hear the case could not be constituted in the absence of the chairperson.

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) has filed a petition before the panel for the details of those buried in the more than 2,000 unmarked graves, discovered by the SHRC’s investigative wing of the SHRC, in north Kashmir.

The parents of disappeared have expressed fears that their dear ones could be buried in these unmarked graves.


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