Omar raps Army, tells them to avoid human rights violations

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Srinagar, Feb 6 (PTI) In the wake of the killing of aninnocent youth in North Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullahtoday pulled up the Army for violating the Standard operatingProcedure and directed security agencies to completely avoidviolation of human rights.

At a meeting chaired by Abdullah this morning, Lt GenSyed Ata Hasnain, Corps Commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps,was conveyed in no uncertain terms that the incident involvinginnocent people were detrimental to the peace process and thetroops should strictly adhere to SoP agreed upon at variousUnified Headquarters meetings, an official spokesman said.

"Any violation of human rights at any stage whileconducting security-oriented operations or dealing with anylaw and order situation is required to be totally avoided inorder to restore confidence of the people," Abdullah told themeeting.

He said the government�s policy of zero tolerance toany human rights violation should be strictly adhered and anyindividual who is found responsible for such violation shouldbe dealt with according to the law.

The Corps Commander assured the Chief Minister thatthe directions would be implemented in letter and spirit, thespokesman said.

The meeting came after a specialised unit of the Army-- Four Para -- had laid a cordon in an area at Handwara inNorth Kashmir on Friday night that led to death of an innocentwho allegedly did not adhere to warnings to stop by thetroops.

Gen Hasnain, while accepting the mistake on the partof the Army, told the meeting that an inquiry was underway toascertain facts.

Police, in the meantime, has registered a case againstFour-Para of Army for the death of 21-year-old Manzoor, shotdead by the Army troops when he accidentally walked into anambush laid by the troops for terrorists who were believed tohave managed to slip in from across the border.

During the meeting it was suggested to the Army thatthey should carry non-lethal weapons when they lay cordon incivilian areas so that such incidents did not take place infuture. .

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