Kashmiri protesters throw stones on soldiers during a protest in Srinagar, Kashmir.(AP File Photo)
Kashmiri protesters throw stones on soldiers during a protest in Srinagar, Kashmir.(AP File Photo)

After string of videos, Mehbooba Mufti asks forces in Kashmir to exercise ‘maximum restraint’

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed anguish over the death of a 23-year-old man in Jammu’s Batamaloo area, and asked the security forces to “exercise maximum restraint while operating in provocative situations”.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Srinagar
UPDATED ON APR 17, 2017 09:52 AM IST

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday expressed anguish over the death of a 23-year-old man in Srinagar’s Batamaloo area, and asked the security forces to “exercise maximum restraint while operating in provocative situations”.

Mufti also condemned the killing of Bashir Ahmad, who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Qasbayar in Pulwama on Sunday night, an official spokesperson said.

“The chief minister has directed the security forces to exercise maximum restraint while performing their duties in provocative situations and follow the laid down SOPs (standard operating procedures) strictly in such cases,” he said.

The PDP leader has sought a report from the state police about an incident of violence at Degree College Pulwama on Sunday in which more than 50 students were injured.

“The CM has also sought a report on the surfacing of some ‘disturbing’ videos in the valley, which she termed as ‘unacceptable and atrocious’,” the spokesperson added.

Several videos showing the alleged atrocities by security forces and by stone pelters in Kashmir have been circulating on social media websites, sparking a nationwide debate on the political divide face in the Valley.

A grainy short video shot with a cellphone shows Wali Mohammed Bhat, a supporter of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), apologising and shouting anti-India slogans at gunpoint.

In another similar video, a group of security men are seen pinning a youth in a red vest to the ground. His hands are tied behind his back, and the men are beating his legs with sticks.

The video of an armed CRPF trooper being kicked and booed by a group of youth while he was returning from Srinagar bypoll duty elicited widespread condemnation on Twitter and TV channels last week.

But the turned as another explosive clip surfaced on April 13. It showed security forces firing at a group of stone pelters, who were mostly children. The soldiers are seen moving behind a wall, bending, locating the position of the stone-throwers, and firing at a boy.

A day later, a video showed a Kashmiri youth tied to the bonnet of a military jeep as a human shield against stone-throwers. The background audio warns people that “this will be the fate of stone-pelters”.

The Valley has been on the boil since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani by security forces in July last year sparked months of protests. At least eight people died in the violence that ensued in clashes between protesters and forces during the Srinagar bypoll held on April 9.

(With PTI inputs)

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