Is the Kashmir Valley headed towards the biggest agitation since the killing of famous-militant leader Burhan Wani? New Delhi has deployed up to 10,000 additional troops in the Kashmir Valley which have raised many eyebrows. Jammu and Kashmir governor appealed for calm after the separatists called for a strike against possible elimination of Article 370.
In a statement released by Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Malik tried to quiet fears over the deployment of troops in the state where tension is building in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. Malik’s appeal came after the separatists called a strike against what they called an arbitrary act. He also cautioned against interfering with the Constitution’s Article 35-A.
The administrative head of the state that is under governor’s rule emphasised saying,” the induction of para-military forces should be seen in the context of conducting the upcoming elections and the overall security situation”.
“People should not believe in rumours, which are of extreme nature and circulating widely in some quarters. They should remain calm. These rumours are unnecessarily creating an atmosphere of fear in the minds of people, leading to stress and disruption to normal life. Rumours about curfews and other actions should not be believed,” Malik added.
The Jammu and Kashmir governor who held a meeting of the state administrative council, said: “Some security-related actions were being taken after the Pulwama attack. The security concerns were much higher after the Pulwama incident, with the possibility of terrorist organizations increasing their activities against candidates and voters on a much larger scale.”
“It is in this context that 100 companies of Central Forces are being inducted into the State at the moment. This is less than the actual additional forces required and more would be inducted in the coming weeks,” Malik’s statement noted.
The government cracked down on separatist groups, especially the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), arresting its local chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz and 150 other activists. While a few office-bearers of another religious organization, Jamiat Ahli Hadees (JAH), were arrested in a raid in south Kashmir. Authorities also imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to prevent large gatherings.
“As a precautionary measure, the Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir has rationed petrol and diesel supply, so as to conserve whatever is available for emergency purposes. People of the state should not read anything more into this but see it only as an administrative measure in a shortage situation. On the medicine front also, the instructions to hospitals to increase the availability of medicines is also to be seen in the context of the shortage of supplies,” the governor’s statement said.
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