Fallout of Friday's killing of two civilians by the CRPF
While curfew continued in Sopore town for the second day, the rest of the Kashmir valley observed a complete strike to protest against the killing of two civilians by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Friday.
Two militants were killed in an encounter in Sopore on Friday after which the CRPF fired upon the demonstrators. Two civilians were killed and 15 were injured.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah vowed to uphold human rights with a warning to subversive elements.
Amid mild protests, curfew continued in the apple town of Sopore which witnessed massive protests on Friday. As thousands of people took to the streets, authorities had to clamp a curfew to prevent further escalation of the situation. There was heavy deployment of paramilitary forces and the Jammu and Kashmir Police. However, in some parts of the town as also in adjoining Pattan, Palhalan and Sangrama, youth resorted to stone pelting. They shouted slogans against security forces. They sought stern action against those involved in the killing.
In the rest of Kashmir, a strike was observed on the call of both factions of the Hurriyat Conference to protest against the killings. They have called for “Sopore Chalo” stir on Sunday. But the situation remained by and large peaceful. Several separatist and mainstream parties have condemned the police action. Meanwhile, Mr. Abdullah said that his government was concerned, conscious and vigilant. He said while no human rights violations would be tolerated, he warned of severe action against disruptive elements. He asked the administration to take proactive measures and also avoid civilian casualties.
Omar chairs GoM meet
Presiding over an emergency meeting of a Group of Ministers and senior Civil and Police officers here, the Chief Minister laid stress on the need to strictly follow the Standard Operating Procedures laid down to deal with any situation particularly in the light of the recent developments. However, he added that the government cannot afford to be complacent against those who were a law unto themselves and disturb the peace and tranquillity in the State. He said his government was committed to maintaining peace and order. He warned of strong measures against vested interests, who attempted to misguide the youth of the State.
While taking stock of the situation, the Ministers took some important decisions to fix accountability and take appropriate measures to deal with the law and order situation effectively. They however, expressed satisfaction over the measures initiated by the administration to deal with the situation in the aftermath of the civilian deaths.