‘Deal carefully with situation, especially during anti-militancy operations to avert civilian killings and collateral damage’, MHA to security forces


Srinagar, May 08 : The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed forces to deal carefully with the situation in Kashmir, especially during anti-militancy operations and protests to avert civilian killings and collateral damage.

However sources told KNS that the MHA has made it clear to the security forces not to hesitate to take strict action against those who create law and order problem and pose threat to anti militancy operations.

One of the top officials of the MHA insisted not to be named told KNS that the top police and other security officials have been directed to ensure that the forces at the site of encounters and protests, handle the situation very carefully to avoid civilian casualties and collateral damage. “All security agencies have to strictly adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) formulated for anti-militancy operations and dealing with protests,” the MHA has directed.

Sources said that the MHA has been informed by the top brass of the security forces in JK that it was unprecedented situation in Shopian where thousands of people assembled at the encounter site and pelted stones on the security forces who had engaged a group of militants in an encounter.
Sources said that the MHA was concerned over the presence of civilians at the encounter sites despite being repeatedly asked not to do so.

However, sources said that the MHA was satisfied with number of killings of the militants by security forces and thwarting of infiltration attempts by the troops along the LoC.
Meanwhile sources told KNS that top officials of the MHA, dealing with security related issues of Jammu and Kashmir has received reports that some elements are regularly fuming trouble in parts of the valley. “After analyzing the reports the ministry has asked the security forces to identify them and take strict action,” sources in the MHA informed.

Sources said that MHA was watching Kashmir situation very closely and have gathered all information of security situation prevailing in Valley from the officers of police, CRPF and other agencies.

Sources said that top security officers were asked to give their views on the ground situation, especially the security situation in Kashmir including counter-insurgency operations and infiltrations from across the border.

Sources said that after analyzing the information, the MHA believes that the role of some instigators could be the major reason for stone-pelting incidents occurring in a synchronized manner in the parts of the valley especially in south Kashmir.

Pertinent to mention here that at the insistence of the MHA, the state government had announced amnesty scheme on November 23, 2017, to bail out the first-time stone-pelters.
More than 3,650 youths had benefited from the initiative to lead a normal life showing Centre’s resolve to scale down tough stand towards locals in tackling militancy
According to state government’s statistics, over 9,000 juveniles were likely to be covered under this initiative
Meanwhile sources said that police has taken a cognizance of the stone pelting incidents especially one in Narbal area in which a tourist from Chennai was killed and five others were injured. “We are identifying the people who are involved or are behind in regular stone pelting incidents,” one of the top police officials said and added that after identification strict action under the law will be taken. (KNS)