The Jammu and Kashmir government, led by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, has decided to go tough with protesters and their supporters. It has asked the Kashmir divisional commissioner to ensure attendance of government employees in offices and ordered police to take stiff action against stone throwers.
Chief Secretary S.S. Kapoor has issued instructions to the divisional commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu, all deputy commissioners and heads of the departments to immediately constitute special teams to monitor attendance in government offices/institutions.
The measure failed to improve attendance on Friday in the wake of shutdown call given by hardline separatists’ conglomerate, All Parties Hurriyat Conference, against, what they call, “detention of political leaders, killing of civilians and for complete demilitarization”.
Though the main secretariat in Srinagar witnessed some attendance but schools, colleges, offices in the Valley remained closed in response to separatist shutdown call. Hospitals also registered poor attendance of non-technical staff but OPDs functioned normally.
This was second major stringent measure initiated by beleaguered Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who had to grapple with more than nine days of protest in the month of July and four civilian deaths in the last 15 days in police actions.
Cracking the whip against separatists and protesters, Abdullah brought in successful face of anti-militancy as Srinagar top cop. Ashaq Hussain Bukhari, who contained militancy in south Kashmir in the last one decade, last week took over as SSP Srinagar and within three days more than 100 stone pelters and 40 separatists, including hardline Sayeed Ali Shah Geelani and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik, has been arrested. Geelani has been booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), where detention can go on for six months without any trial.
Geelani supporters have given 9-day protest calendar starting today, which include three-day shutdown, a protest rally, college students’ protests and demonstrations on social networking sites. They called it ‘Quit Kashmir Campaign’ and threatened to continue with it.
The day witnessed minor protests at Baghat-e-Barzulla, Baramulla, Shopian and Ganderbal and downtown Srinagar. The new Srinagar SSP did not put any curfew-like restrictions today. Most of the people, however, stayed indoors.