SRINAGAR: Opposition National Conference today strongly condemned the "poor" and "insensitive" handling by Jammu and Kashmir government of the situation in Jammu city after clashes between protesters and police.
Condemning the use of force on protesters, National Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu expressed grief over "the tragic loss of an innocent life" and expressed concern over those civilians who have been injured in the clashes.
"There are clear indications that this situation is a direct result of poor, insensitive handling of issues by the state government. Certain rash, confrontational statements from prominent BJP leaders in the aftermath of this tragedy clearly prove what the PDP-BJP government's intentions are," Mattu said.
A youth was killed and seven people, including three policemen, were injured in clashes between police and a group of Sikh youth who were protesting against removal of posters of slain Khalistani militant leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in Jammu city yesterday.
Mattu said the response of the state government to every agitation and protest "thus far has been oppressive and ruthless, be that in Kashmir or in Jammu".
He said it was highly unfortunate that the administration has responded with a complete clampdown on internet facilities and communication.
"Movement in many areas has been completely restricted. The people are being punished with a clear design," he added.
NC Minority Cell in-charge, Sardar Jagdish Singh Azad said the PDP-BJP government had "obvious anti-minority antecedents" and its behavior with the minorities was a cause of concern for all stakeholders within the state.
"Rather than using mediation, negotiation and arbitration, the PDP-BJP government resorted to provocation and use of force against members of a particular community in Jammu. This adds to the growing apprehensions among minorities about the government's plans and today, because of this, the situation in Jammu is grim and apprehensive," Azad said.
He demanded a "thorough, time-bound probe" into the death of the youth and also into the circumstances leading to the clashes.
"Justice should be done to the family which has lost a member to this senseless and rash handling of the situation by the administration," he demanded.