SRINAGAR: With police and paramilitary forces facing flak for using excessive force on protestors during ongoing unrest in Kashmir, Army’s Northern command Chief on Thursday directed his men and officers to observe maximum restraint while dealing with protestors in the Valley.
Army’s Northern Command chief Lt Gen DS Hooda today visited areas of Kashmir and reviewed the security situation and collaborative measures of security forces towards ensuring peace and calm in the region.
At least 54 people including two policemen have been killed in the ongoing unrest in the Valley triggered by the killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. Over 3500 civilians and 3000 security men have been injured in clashes during protests in Valley in last 27 days.
Lt Gen Hooda urged the troops to continue exercising maximum restraint in dealing with the protesting crowds and sensitise the people, especially youth to eschew violence to usher in peace at the earliest.
The Kashmir is witnessed daily protests and police and paramilitary forces have come under severe criticism for using excessive force especially pellet guns on protestors. Over 800 people have suffered pellet injuries and more than 200 underwent eye surgeries after being hit by pellets on eyes.
Lt Gen Hooda accompanied by General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based army’s 15 Corps Lt Gen Satish Dua also called on J&K Chief Minister Mahbooba Mufti at her official residence in Srinagar.
“They discussed the prevailing security situation in the Valley. The Northern Command chief assured the CM that Army will provide all possible assistance to the State Government to bring peace at the earliest,” a defence spokesman said.
Lt Gen Hooda appealed all sections of society, especially the youth, to exercise calm and maintain peace.
He said the prevailing state of violence has caused a lot of losses in terms of education of children, damage to public property, losses to traders and daily wagers and has badly affected tourism.
“The most precious loss is that of young people, who were the sole breadwinners of their families,” he added.