After Shopian killings, Mehbooba asks security agencies to strictly adhere to SOPs, avoid collateral damage

In the review meeting, CM impressed upon all the security agencies to work in synergy to ensure that SOPs as laid out should be strictly adhered to and in no way violated or overlooked.

Published: 06th March 2018 08:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th March 2018 10:02 PM   |  A+A-

Army personnel taking positions in an orchard field during a crackdown at a village in Shopian district in South Kashmir. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: After four civilians and two militants were killed in a shootout with army in sensitive south Kashmir’s Shopian district, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday asked security agencies to strictly adhere to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and minimise collateral damage.

Mehbooba reviewed the security and law and order situation at a high level meeting of civil and security officers today. The meeting was attended by  Chief Secretary B B Vyas, General Officer Commanding (GoC) army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen A K Bhatt, Principal Secretary Home R K Goyal; Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Rohit Kansal and top police, paramilitary and intelligence officials.

In the review meeting, CM impressed upon all the security agencies to work in synergy to ensure that SOPs as laid out should be strictly adhered to and in no way violated or overlooked.

“Every aberration in this regard amounts to furthering the evil designs of elements inimical to peace in the State,” she said.

Mehbooba advised heads of all security agencies to ensure that no collateral damage is allowed during security operations and care should be taken that common masses are not put to inconvenience during these operations.

She directed the heads of civil, police, army and other security agencies to maximize their public outreach to ensure that the grievances of people on the ground are listened to and addressed promptly.

Mehbooba’s directions to security agencies come after four civilians and two militants were killed in a shootout with army in Pahnoo area of Shopian district on Sunday evening.

The killing of four civilians has evoked strong criticism from the separatists, opposition parties, civil society members, traders and businessmen.

The residents of Pahnoo area of Shopian have alleged that three youth were brought down from the vehicle by army men and killed in cold blood.

They said another youth was also killed by army men some distance from the spot.

However, army has maintained that four civilians and two militants were killed in retaliatory firing by army men after their vehicle came under heavy fire from militants, who were travelling in two vehicles.

Army officials said the four deceased were definitely civilians but it is a matter of investigations as to what extent they were involved in supporting the militants”.

Mehbooba has also described four of the deceased as civilians and said they were killed in cross-firing.

On the call of separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, Kashmir observed complete shutdown on Monday against the killings.

The separatists have also called shutdown and “Shopian March” tomorrow against the killings and shifting of prisoners to outside jails.

In view of the shutdown calls given by separatists, the authorities have closed all educational institutions in the Valley till Wednesday and cancelled all the examinations.

The authorities have placed top and second rung separatist leaders either under house arrest or detention to foil them from leading the “Shopian March” tomorrow.

Officials said curfew-like restrictions would be imposed in parts of Srinagar and south Kashmir including Shopian tomorrow to foil the separatists march and maintain law and order.


 

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