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15.05.2001

A JOINT COMMITTEE TO LOOK INTO THE GRIEVANCES REGARDING ATROCITIES ON THE UTTARAKHAND ACTIVISTS OF 1994 MOVEMENT

By Suresh Nautiyal
NEW DELHI:

The Uttaranchal chief minister, Nityanand Swami, has assured the activists of the Uttarakhand movement to look into their grievances regarding atrocities on the activists of the Uttarakhand movement during 1994. Also, he offered to constitute a committee to look into all aspects of the cases related to the infamous Muzzaffarnagar incident, etc, in which scores of women activists were gang-raped and several activists killed by the police and the hooligans of some political parties. The activists were proceeding towards the national capital of Delhi where a massive rally was to be held on 2nd of October, 1994, to draw Centre's apathy towards the Uttarakhand movement. These cases have been pending in the CBI courts in Lucknow, Moradabad, and Ghaziabad.

The women activists, led by the Uttarakhand Mahila Manch (UMM) chief, Kamala Pant, met the chief minister in Dehradun recently and apprised him of the
latest situation vis-a-vis the pending cases.

The activists have already given their names for the committee, which is expected to be announced within next ten days. The private members on the committee would be: Dr Shamsher Singh Bisht (President, Uttarakhand Jan Sangharsh Vahini), Rajendra Dhasmana (a leading activist and social scientist), Kamala Pant, Shiela Rajwar, and Veena Bisht. The government is expected to shortly announce the names of its members on the joint committee.

The chief minister assured the delegation that recommendations of the committee would be considered positively and implemented according to the rules. The delegation had argued that after formation of a separate state, there was no point in holding trials in different CBI courts situated outside of the state. Except Dehradun, the other places lie in Uttar Pradesh. The activists also demanded that all cases be clubbed together and the trials held in one place within the state.

Earlier in June last year, a designated CBI court had issued notices to the district magistrate of Muzzaffarnangar and senior superintendent of police directing them to appear before it in a case pertaining to police atrocities on the Uttarakhand activists. The court issued notices to six officials including the DM, AK Singh and SSP, RP Singh to appear before it as witnesses on July five in a case of atrocities on the Uttarakhand activists in 1994. The case was handed over to the designated court by the Allahabad High Court on the petitions filed by several Uttarakhand organisation. The cases, in this regard, filed in the Supreme Court of India were also transferred to the Allahabad High Court, which were then shifted to the designated court.

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Author: Suresh Nautiyal
E-mail:
(Till recently a Special Correspondent with the Political Bureau of The
observer of Business and Politics, the author is currently a Delhi-based
freelance journalist.)
Phone: (011) 6252460.