Times of Kashmir

| 18 Sep 2019
Breaking News

Lessons from Handwara episode: Forces asked to maintain maximum restraint for April 18 poll

Officials say all three districts- Sgr, Budgam, Ganderbal crucial

Srinagar, April 15 (KNO) : Stating that every “bad incident” leaves behind good lessons, the security officials in Kashmir have adopted a different strategy for ensuring the peaceful conduct of polls in crucial Srinagar-parliamentary segment slated to witness polls on April 18.

Besides sensitive Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam districts will also witness polls on the same day amid adequate security cover both at polling booths as well and outer layer to face the possible protests.

This time, forces comprising police, CRPF and the army have been asked to remain extra cautious while dealing with the law and order challenges to avoid the repeat of April 7 incident at Handwara, Kupwara when a class 7th student fell to the volley of pellets fired by the forces at a time when forces were preparing for withdrawal.

The boy who died with the pellet firing was identified as Owais Mushtaq Mir, a resident of Handwara, Kupwara. His killing had triggered a fresh rage across Kashmir as the incident had taken place after north Kashmir Parliamentary constituency had witnessed over 30 per cent voting for the day.

“The killing of boy was very unfortunate incident. All went peacefully through-out the day but unfortunately in the evening a sad incident took place when a group of mob attacked the forces vehicle of which one personnel slipped out who was surrounded by the mob,” a senior police officer told KNO, wishing not to be named.

He said forces had to fire in self-defence but “pellets hit young Owais resulting in his death later, which is very unfortunate.”

He said maximum restraint will be maintained by the forces to be deployed for the election duty in Srinagar-Ganderbal and Budgam districts going to polls on April 18. “Very minimum use of force will be done if mob starts pelting forces with the stones in the evening especially when forces start leaving their duties,” the officer said.

Sources told KNO that police and CRPF men have been asked by their top brass to ensure no civilian causality takes place if they are confronted with the mob. In Srinagar, the direct contest will between National Conference patriarch Dr Farooq Abdullah and PDP’s Aga Mohsin. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Farooq faced defeat at the hands of the then PDP leader Tariq Hameed Karra, who later joined Congress.(KNO)

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