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Curfew violators are not innocent civilians, says Home Secretary

The body of nine-year-old Tariq Ahmaqd being carried in Baramulla, 55 km northof Srinagar on Monday. Ahmad was one of the two killed by CRPF firing on Monday. Photo: Nissar Ahmad   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

With the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) coming under attack for the death of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said on Monday that people who broke curfew and attacked police posts could not be called “innocent civilians.”

He said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was handling the situation “to the best of his ability.”

“In a place where curfew is imposed, people break curfew, go ahead and attack police posts, CRPF posts… I don't think you can call them, by any stretch of imagination, innocent civilians,” Mr. Pillai said.

Asked about the death of a nine-year-old boy in the latest incident of firing in Sopore, he said the person killed was in fact a 17-year-old youth.

“Now, the organisers of these mobs are in one way willing to put teenagers in front. I think they are to be blamed. And teenagers should realise that they are being exploited by those who are doing this,” the Home Secretary told NDTV.

To a question whether the separatists were fanning public anger, he replied in the affirmative. “Oh yes, I don't think there is any doubt whatsoever. I think separatists are definitely instigating the violence. We have seen this happening repeatedly.”

“Police should be at the forefront”

Mr. Pillai suggested that the State armed police should be at the forefront in dealing with such situations and the CRPF should be used as the “second line of defence.”

He commended the Central paramilitary force for showing restraint in dealing with the situation and said the incident was videographed and shown to the Chief Minister. “What do you want? That the CRPF men should be killed by the mob?” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 21, 2021 6:15:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Curfew-violators-are-not-innocent-civilians-says-Home-Secretary/article16271217.ece

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