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Former CIC turns peoples 'messiah', asks them to vote for honest candidates in by-polls
3/20/2017 11:34:50 PM
Jehangir Rashid
Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Mar 20: At a time when the election fever is slowly but surely picking up in Kashmir the first Chief Information Commissioner of Jammu & Kashmir, Ghulam Rasool (G R) Sufi asked the people to make the prospective candidates accountable for their promises made in the past.
"Pellets created a horror in Kashmir last year and there were people who promised that a ban would be imposed on the usage of pellets in the valley. As the elections are round the corner these people would come to you and seek votes. You should ask them as what happened to their promise of banning the pellets," said Sufi. He was delivering his speech during a programme organized by Jammu & Kashmir Right to Information Movement in collaboration with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI). The programme was held in connection with completion of 13 years of RTI movement in Jammu & Kashmir. The former CIC of the state said that people should vote for the candidates who are serious in solving their problems. He said that biggest problem in the Kashmir valley is that the people conveniently forget about the miseries that are meted out to them, even in the recent past. "How can we forget the injuries caused due to the pellets to the people in Kashmir? I am not asking you to not to cast votes in the upcoming elections. However, I would expect you to vote for the candidates who would keep their word and ensure stoppage of pellets in the coming days," said Sufi. Sufi, who hang up his boots as CIC on February 29, 2016 said that mere placement of CIC is not enough to make State Information Commission (SIC) fully functional adding that state government should take steps for placement of information commissioners as well. He said that SIC can turn into a vibrant body only when information commissioners are appointed to it. "As soon as I completed my term as CIC I virtually pleaded with the state government to appoint the new CIC along with the two information commissioners. It took the government more than one year and still then the information commissioners are yet to be appointed. The opposition parties too have failed the people in this regard," said the former CIC. Chairman J&K RTI Movement, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool said that the organization would take up the suggestions of the former CIC seriously and carry out research on various aspects of RTI movement in the state. He said the organization would continue to make the people aware about RTI and its importance in weeding out corruption from the society. Noted humorist and famous poet Zareef Ahmad Zareef referred to the RTI movement as a revolution and complimented the J&K RTI Movement for being pro-active in exposing corruption in Jammu & Kashmir. RTI activists Peer Ghulam Mohi-ud-din and Nazir Lone shared their experiences with the audience. The function was also addressed by Venkatesh Nayak, Programme Coordinator CHRI and Zahoor Wani (Amnesty International). Advocates Syed Iram Quadri and Bilal Ahmad Bhat presented findings from the rapid study of compliance of public authorities with Section 4 (1) (b) of J&K RTI Act..
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