Fresh call for protests throws up new security challenge

As the joint resistance leadership has called for state-wide protests on Friday against the issuing of domicile certificates to West Pakistan refugees, fearing a fresh round of law and order problem, the J&K police Thursday said it was ready to deal with the situation with minimum use of force.
Fresh call for protests throws up new security challenge
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As the joint resistance leadership has called for state-wide protests on Friday against the issuing of domicile certificates to West Pakistan refugees, fearing a fresh round of law and order problem, the J&K police Thursday said it was ready to deal with the situation with minimum use of force.

Pertinently, joint resistance leadership—Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have urged people to stage protests after Friday congregational prayers against the issuing of domicile certificates to West Pakistan refugees. The pro-freedom leadership has asserted that the move is aimed at changing the demography of J&K.

"We are aware of the call for protests by the separatists. Our men will deal with the situation more sensibly. As long as a protest is peaceful, we have no problem. But if the protest turns violent and people start attacking cops, we have to retaliate," Special Director General of Police Law and Order, and Coordination, Dr S P Vaid told Greater Kashmir. 

He, however, said that cops have been directed to use minimum force and to exercise maximum restraint. 

On the use of pellets, he said that pellets would be the "last resort." 

"Directions have been passed to policemen deployed on ground to use pellets in extreme or the extreme situations. I hope need for using pellets won't arise," Vaid said.

Police sources said a heavy deployment would be made at sensitive spots which include the Jamia Masjid Nowhatta in old city.  "Similar security arrangements will be in place at various sensitive towns across Kashmir," police sources said.

Official spokesman of the CRPF in Kashmir, Bhavish Chaudhary said that directions have already been passed to men on ground to exercise maximum restraint. 

"There has been no injury to our men over the past three to four Fridays in old Srinagar. Tomorrow, we will follow the same and use mild force to quell the protests," he said. 

On the use of pellets, he said: "Our top brass has already passed the directions to CRPF personnel to use pellets only when there is a threat to life or public property."

Pertinently, in the past five month long uprising triggered by the killing of HizbulMujahideen commander BurhanWani on July 8, at least 97 people including two cops were killed while as 15000 people sustained injuries of which more than 1100 were hit by pellets in their eyes with majority of them on the verge of losing their vision partially or fully.   

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