Army strength to go up in south Kashmir

Gen. Dalbir Singh reviews security with top brass in Srinagar as  the situation continues to be volatile

September 10, 2016 02:03 am | Updated November 17, 2021 05:04 am IST - NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR

The Army has put several reserve units on alert for immediate deployment in various parts of south Kashmir as the strife-torn State entered the third month of unprecedented public unrest.

Army sources confirmed the move even as Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh reviewed the security situation with top brass of the State in Srinagar on Friday.

South Kashmir has been simmering with protests since the killing of Burhan Wani, Hizbul Mujahideen’s commander, in an encounter in July. The violence has so far claimed the lives of over 75 people while thousands of civilians and security personnel have been injured.

“The situation continues to be volatile and reserve units in various locations in Jammu & Kashmir have been alerted for possible movement,” defence sources said.

Gen. Dalbir Singh reviewed the situation and collaborative measures of security forces towards ensuring peace in the region, Army officials said. He also met the Director-General of Police as well as the Governor of J&K.

However, the Army will not be out on the streets. “Crowd and riot control is not the charter of the Army. This is for the police and the Central Reserve Police Force,” one officer said.

The additional units would be moved to fill the gaps in security in the South. The anti-infiltration grid in North Kashmir along the border has already been beefed up.

The new move of the Army has stoked fresh fear in the local population. “The Army moving in only indicates that things have gone out of the hands of the civil administration. The Army has no role in maintaining law and order. Only a political approach can help cool the tempers. This will only aggravate the situation,” writer and columnist Z.G. Muhammad told The Hindu .

Curfew re-imposed

Meanwhile, curfew was re-imposed in large parts of the Valley, including capital Srinagar. Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Khan said curfew was imposed in 12 police stations of Srinagar, towns of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian, Awantipora and Baramulla. “Thirty-one incidents of stone pelting took place,” said the police spokesman.

Several pro-freedom rallies were held in Bandipora, Baramulla, Pulwama, Ganderbal, Srinagar and Kupwara districts. Later, protesters clashed with security forces, in which scores of protesters sustained injuries.

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