Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti asked government forces yet again on Tuesday to strictly adhere to Standard Operating Procedure (COP) during gun battles with militants and directed top police officers to put in their best efforts for ensuring a peaceful summer ahead.
The CM during a high level security review meeting at her Gupkar residence in the summer capital also directed top police officers to ensure “maximum restraint” while dealing with street protests.
The beleaguered CM cut short her visit to New Delhi and rushed back to Srinagar Monday evening following fresh unrest in the state sparked by Sunday’s deadly incidents across south Kashmir that left 20, including 13 militants, four civilians and three soldiers, dead.
Mehbooba Mufti also directed top police officers to “put in their best for a peaceful summer”, according to sources privy to the security review proceedings.
The security review meeting was attended by top police and civil administration officers including Chief Secretary, B B Vyas, Principal Secretary, Home, R K Goyal, Director General of Police, Dr. S P Vaid, the state’s top intelligence officer ADGP, CID, A G Mir, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan and IGP, S P Pani.
Director SKIMS and Principal GMC Srinagar were also in attendance during the hour-long meeting.
“At the onset, Chief Minister expressed her grief and shock over the killing of four civilians in south Kashmir. She was looking visibly upset,” an official present in the meeting told Greater Kashmir on condition of anonymity.
“Bullets should be avoided in the first place. Modern means of crowd control must be employed to quell the protestors,” a source quoted Mehbooba as having told the meeting.
“Local militants caught in the encounters should be persuaded for surrender. Police are doing the right thing by roping in the families of these local boys who are caught in the encounters in a bid to ensure their surrender.”
In the first of the three gun battles last Sunday in south Kashmir’s Dialgam, one of the two hiding militants accepted the appeal made by his parents to surrender. His associate was killed after refusing to lay down arms.
In the second round of the security review meeting, the CM asked heads of various hospitals and director health services Kashmir to ensure quality treatment to the injured, an official said.
Sunday’s three gun battles in south Kashmir were the deadliest in eight years given the huge number of causalities that also enraged people across Kashmir and sparked a fresh wave of street protests.
More than 200 people were injured in government forces’ action on the day, majority whom were being treated in various hospitals of Srinagar.
Forty-one protestors, hit by shotgun pellets in their eyes, are believed to have lost vision partially, at least one of them in both eyes.
“She (Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti) directed the Hospital authorities to ensure specialized treatment of the injured so that they are able to restart their lives again,” a government statement about the security review meeting said Tuesday.