SRINAGAR: Admitting that excessive force was used to deal with the situation during five months of unrest in the Valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday told police to differentiate between militants and their families and asked them not to use pellet guns.
“People of Kashmir suffered during the five months of unrest. There were a lot of casualties and hundreds of civilians and security men were injured,” Mehbooba said while addressing the passing-out parade of police at Commando Training Centre, Awantipora, in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. She admitted that during the unrest, the government had to use excessive force to deal with the situation and maintain law and order.
“I have no hesitation in telling the truth that we had to use excessive force to secure life and property of people of J&K. Had we not used force, there would have been more casualties and injuries,” said the CM.
Mehbooba said now that the situation is improving, it is time to heal the wounds of people. “We have to change our approach and focus on the youth.”
She said police needs to change the strategy and approach while dealing with the law and order situation as the situation has improved in the Valley. The CM asked police to differentiate between militants and their families and a regular stone-pelters and his/her family members.
“All youth can’t be seen with suspicious eyes. We can’t look at everybody with the same prism,” she said and urged police to help the State restore normalcy.
Police, she said, need to reach out to the elderly, youth and injured and differentiate between the general masses and disruptive elements besides undertaking community policing.
Mehbooba’s statement comes after her government cleared ex-gratia for the family of slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani over the killing of his elder brother Khalid Muzaffar in security forces firing in April last year.
Asserting that there is no other option than reconciliation, Mehbooba said, “Time has come to take some bold reconciliatory decisions to get J&K people much-needed healing and relief which they have been craving for too long.”
“I am of the strong belief that there is no way forward except reconciliation, dialogue, discourse and minimising the differences between regions and people,” she said.