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J&K CM seeks other states' co-operation

By Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar
April 14, 2006 02:09 IST
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Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has written a strong missive to chief ministers of eleven states in the country seeking their co-operation to ensure that Kashmiri students and traders who seek education and commerce outside their state are not harassed.

The missive addressed to chief ministers of West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Utter Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan and Maharastra also sought "assurances on the safety of the residents who work or engage themselves in academics in other states."

Though reports of harassments of Kashmiris in different States of the country have poured in ever since the present separatist violence started here in 1989, the immediate provocation has been the killing of two locals in Gujarat recently.

In his letter the chief minister said, "The outflow of students and traders from the state, including Kashmir Valley, to various parts of the country in search of livelihood and getting education has greatly helped in changing the perspective of the people here."

"The interaction and involvement of people from Jammu and Kashmir with those living in the rest of the country has not only contributed to the economic generation of the state but also provided them an opportunity to mix with people across the country."

Azad urged the chief ministers that the police of their states should not take any action against any resident of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly traders and students from the Valley, without consulting the director general of police and the additional director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir, to ensure that any innocent man is not harassed on the pretext of questioning in the event of any terrorist act in their respective areas.

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Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar