South Asia

Kashmir inquiry to investigate civilian deaths

Policeman in Srinagar
Image caption There was a wave of protests across Indian-administered Kashmir last month

The government of Indian-administered Kashmir has set up a commission of inquiry into the killings of civilians during recent anti-India protests.

A government spokesman said the commission would be headed by a retired high court judge.

It will look into 17 incidents in which deaths occurred "on account of action" by the state police and security forces since 11 June.

The commission will submit its report within the next three months.

The cabinet also approved a package under which the families of the victims would be given 100,000 rupees ($2,138) and a government job to one member of each family.

However, the father of a teenage boy killed in June criticised both the commission and the compensation package.

"I want an inquiry by a non-Indian judge," Mohammad Ashraf said. "What the government has offered is not worth the dust of the shoes of my son. Even if they offer me the whole world, I won't accept."

The government's decision is unlikely to soften the anger among other ordinary people across the Kashmir valley over the killings by police and paramilitaries.

The state cabinet also decided to review the cases of detainees held under the Public Safety Act.

They include prominent political leaders and a number of teenaged boys held without trial for up to two years on suspicion of posing a threat to the security of the state or for throwing stones at police.

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