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Jammu and Kashmir won’t tolerate human rights abuse: Governor

Jammu, Feb 22 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra Monday reiterated the state’s commitment to ensuring zero tolerance towards human rights violations.

Vohra, during his 50-minute address to a joint sitting of the Jammu and Kashmir legislature on the opening day of the budget session, said: ‘The government will uphold human rights at all costs’ and there would be ‘zero tolerance towards those indulging in human rights abuses’.

Human rights violations have become a major issue because of the stone pelting demonstrations in Kashmir and the use of firing and tear gas against those throwing stones.

The governor recalled how a huge voter turnout during the 2008 assembly elections had demonstrated the faith of the people in democracy. It also highlighted the way the government was moving to ‘give employment to the unemployed’.

‘The Sher-e-Kashmir employment policy announced in December 2009 is a step in this direction,’ he said. The policy aims to provide work to the jobless youth in the state by giving them soft loans, land and also filling vacancies in government departments.

This policy will come into effect in April this year.

The governor also touched upon the issue of jobs for Kashmiri Hindu youth, and also on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Rs.1,618 crore relief and rehabilitation programme for the community that had fled the valley en masse in 1990 to save itself from persecution by Islamic militants.

‘The government will continue to work for the peace and progress of Jammu and Kashmir,’ Vohra said.

Earlier, the opposition parties — People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party — raised several issues. The leaders of these parties blamed the government for having failed to meet the aspirations of the common man. ‘This government has no right to rule,’ said Harshdev Singh, leader of Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party.

‘Corruption is at its peak and the government is busy making money,’ Singh said.

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