J-K govt changes top police officer amid Kashmir violence, student unrest
Gilani’s tenure witnessed the massive street protests after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani in 2016.india Updated: May 14, 2017 18:42 IST
The Jammu and Kashmir government has changed Kashmir’s inspector general of police (IGP) amid increasing militant violence and student protests across the region.
Senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Muneer Ahmed Khan has replaced Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gilani, who has been appointed as the director of vigilance.
Gilani served as the Kashmir IGP from March 15, 2015, and is considered close to chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
According to sources, the new IG Kashmir is more open to anti-militancy operations and New Delhi backed the change. This signals that the Centre is looking to regain law and order in the state, a security official pointed out.
State police have been struggling to control the mounting student protests across the Valley, which were triggered after an alleged incident of police high-handedness in Pulwama Degree College on April 15.
The administration has been closing individual colleges and schools in central, south and north Kashmir as students are repeatedly taking to streets and clashing with police.
The protests came in the aftermath of violence sparked by the killing of eight civilians by security forces during protests on April 09 when Srinagar Lok Sabha seat went to polls.
Gilani’s tenure also witnessed the massive street protests after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander Burhan Wani in the summer of 2016. The iron-fisted response of the security forces led to death of 90 persons during the unrest.
The killings triggered anger prompting more locals to join the militancy. In his last press conference as IG on May 08, Gilani had revealed that as many as 95 Kashmiri youth joined militancy during the last one year out of the total 200 militants active in the region.
He had also claimed that the students’ protests that rocked Kashmir since April 15 were “under control” and normal work had resumed in most school and colleges. However, just a day after, hundreds of students took to streets in the business hub of Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar and clashed with police.
Gilani’s successor Khan has been serving as director vigilance. He has also served as IG traffic as well as crime.