Clerics, Masjid committees 'used' to quell 2016 uprising, says Government

Clerics, Masjid committees 'used' to quell 2016 uprising, says Government

In a written reply, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti informed the Legislative Assembly that her government proactively engaged religious leaders and Masjid committees to “help improve the situation” in the state.

The Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday said it used the “services” of religious leaders, mosque committees and extra security forces to quell the 2016 uprising in Kashmir.

In a written reply, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti informed the Legislative Assembly that her government proactively engaged religious leaders and Masjid committees to “help improve the situation” in the state.

Mehbooba, who is also the State’s Home Minister, said besides religious leaders and Masjid Committees, the civil administration “proactively engaged with members of civil society, prominent citizens and grassroots representatives to help improve the situation in Kashmir.”

She was responding to a question by National Conference legislator from Kangan Mian Altaf Ahmad about the steps taken to improve the prevailing situation in Kashmir.

Besides the services of religious leaders, the government deployed extra troops and imposed restrictions and suspended internet services to “tame the unrest”, the Chief Minister has stated.  

“The government deployed extra troops, paramilitary forces and police, imposed strict curfew, suspended internet services temporarily, took lawful action against the people involved in law and order disturbances, including preventive detention,” she has said.

More than 90 civilians were killed and over 15,000 injured—many among them blinded, maimed and handicapped—during the five-month-long pro-freedom uprising triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8 last year. More 12,000 were arrested and detained and hundreds others slapped with the Public Safety Act.

The Chief Minister said the government also deployed additional troops on the Srinagar-Jammu highway for restoration of traffic. It also provided healthcare facilities to all the injured who reported or were brought to health institutions during the uprising, she claimed.

Asked whether delegations from New Delhi were vested with some mandate or authority regarding settlement of the long-pending Kashmir issue, she said the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Srinagar twice during the uprising and met a number of delegations from various shades of opinion. “Similarly, an All Party Delegation (APD) led by the Union Home Minister also visited Srinagar on September 4 and 5 last year,” she said.