Even as the Army is on standby in trouble-torn Srinagar and adjoining areas in the Kashmir Valley, indications are emerging that some incidents of violence there was “planned and instigated.”
Top sources in the Home Ministry said on Thursday that security officials were looking at a number of intercepted conversations between different individuals and extremist elements that point to deliberate attempts at instigating violence and clashes.
The sources pointed out that intercepts showed that hardline separatists had even discussed the possibility of killing at least 15 people in a procession in Budgam district on the outskirts of Srinagar on Wednesday. Intercepts also showed that extremist and hardline elements in the Valley were rebuked for not being able to engineer large-scale violence and deaths in south Kashmir.
The sources said there was reasonable suspicion pointing to the involvement of the Lashkar-e-Taiba from across the border in instigating violence during protests that led to clashes of civilians with the police and security forces. They said that funds were transferred from Dubai to the Valley through legal channels. The amounts were less than Rs.10 lakh to avoid suspicion by the security and intelligence agencies, the sources said.
Highly placed government sources said the Army would remain on the periphery and secure the ingress routes and not get into the interior areas of Kashmir where there was concentration of civilian population.
The Army would not be staging any flag march as the demonstration had a different connotation. “The Army is on standby,” the sources added.
“Not a flag march”
Army sources clarified that what took place in Srinagar was a movement of a convoy that could not be confused with a flag march, which would mean that military personnel staging a march in trouble-torn areas. It was made clear that the Army would not be deployed to control the crowd, a task best left to the police to handle. The argument was that since the Army is trained to kill, any retaliatory action in the face of stone-throwing by the people will result in greater loss of lives.