The Jammu and Kashmir government is mulling over tough measures to enforce curfew to put brakes on the unending cycle of violence and people taking “law into their own hands.”
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reviewed the situation at a meeting of the Unified Headquarters to evolve a fresh strategy. He also renewed his appeal to people to co-operate in restoring normality in the State.
Top official sources said tough measures are being taken to enforce the curfew in Srinagar and other affected areas of the Valley to thwart attempts of mobsters to vitiate the atmosphere. In Srinagar, the authorities are focusing on hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani's appeal for “Eidgah Chalo” on Tuesday.
“All steps will be taken to stop that,” a senior official said, adding that “curfew restrictions will be implemented in letter and spirit.” Sources told The Hindu that curfew passes issued on Saturday may also be cancelled if need arises.
They said that 15 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) comprising 1,500 personnel have arrived in Srinagar to assist the existing security grid. A few hundred policemen have also been rushed from Jammu. More reinforcements will be rushed from Delhi and other places in coming days to strengthen the control mechanism.
The sources said that police personnel from traffic and other wings are being de-inducted and asked to report for the “law and order” services.
In order to reinforce the writ of the government, Mr. Abdullah, soon after returning from Delhi, convened a meeting of the Unified Headquarters.
The meeting, attended by top officials of Army, the para-military force and the police, discussed the prevailing situation and various options to deal with it.
Sources said the option of calling the Army has been ruled out and that additional CRPF reinforcements would be requisitioned to the Central government. The Chief Minister asked various agencies to work in synergy to achieve better results.
Meanwhile, Mr. Abdullah in his appeal said: “I can understand the anger the youth has, but this is not the right approach and we assure them that we will address their grievances.” He also appealed to all political parties and religious leaders to come together in restoring peace. Mr. Abdullah acknowledged that Kashmir needed a political solution, but “any move to address that can be possible only after we come out of this situation.”
There are people, he said, “who are playing politics over the dead bodies of youth.”