2016 Unrest: How Home Sees The Turf Loss?

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People shout slogans during funeral procession of four youths killed in Aaripanthan area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. People in thousands attended the funeral prayers (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

KL News Network

JAMMU

The state home ministry, in response to various questions about the summer unrest of 2016, offered responses in black and white. The facts and figures placed on record by the government offers its version of the happenings and the follow up actions. This write-up uses the official records to tell the story from the official point of view. Since it has been simply copied from official records, the facts, figures and the language is that of the Home Department of J&K state.

The Crisis

Kashmir Valley witnessed major law and order problem last year (2016) after the death of HM militant  Burhan Wani in an encounter. The deceased Burhan Wani was an HM militant and had 15 criminal cases registered against him including the killing of Sarpanchs and Panchs besides Army personnel.

Finally Burhan Wani’s was home. Here his younger brother and father wail over his body. Pic: Waseem Andrabi

On July 8, 2016, based on intelligence inputs about presence of 2-3 militants at Kokernag, a cordon was laid by JKP alongwith 19 RR, during which, three militants viz Burhan Muzaffar Wani, Sartaj Ahmad Sheikh and Parvez Ahmad Dar got killed.

The news of Burhan’s killing was exploited by the inimical and unscrupulous elements to spread unrest and destabilize the situation. A malicious campaign was launched through various platforms including social media sites to instigate violence and disrupt peace in the state. It was also given out that the aforesaid militants were killed in a staged encounter. Further PA systems of the local mosques were also used to raise pro freedom / anti national slogans and deliver inflammatory speeches to incite youth to indulge in stone pelting / protests.

As a precautionary measure, internet services were temporarily suspended across the Valley besides deployment was made at the trouble areas / spots. Curfew was imposed in most of the pockets where trouble was anticipated and in the population centres.

A youth hitting a Rakshak vehicle of JK Police with a wooden log amid intense protests (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

Violent protests all over the valley particularly in the far flung areas targeting security installations were witnessed in various parts of the valley. In the initial few days, large scale violence targeting government establishments, police stations and security force camps was witnessed. More than 30 lives were lost on the first three days of turmoil in various parts of the valley.

During the law and order situation since July 8, 2016, 76 civilians and two policemen lost their lives. The details of the government establishment including police stations, damaged during unrest are as under:

Government property   damaged 13,  set ablaze 28 , total 41

Panchayat Ghar              damaged 0, set ablaze 5, total 5

Police Establishment   damaged 40, set ablaze 10, total 50

Schools                           damaged 0, set ablaze 35, total 35

Private property            damaged 0,  set ablaze 2, total 2

Total                           damaged 53, set ablaze 80, total 133

Follow Up

A number of steps including extra deployment of security forces, imposition of curfew / restrictions, temporary suspension of internet services, lawful action including preventive detentions, deployment of additional troops on national highway for restoration of traffic, etc were taken.

In photo, police stopping an ambulance.

Besides, health care services were kept available to all the injured who reported, or were brought to the health institutions during the turmoil. Further, availability if essential supplies like food grains, sugar, LPG, petroleum products, etc were ensured. Similarly, other essential services were also ensured.

The civil administration pro-actively engaged with the prominent citizens, members of civil society, religious leaders, gross root representatives etc.

Union Home minister visited Srinagar twice during the law and order disturbances and met with the number of delegations belonging to various shades of opinion. Similarly, All Party Delegation led by Home minister visited Srinagar from 4th to 5th September 2016.

Arrests

2655 FIRs were registered in the Valley against those involved in the violence, 8587 accused were arrested, out of which 8473 have been released up to January 22,2017. The Government will consider reviewing cases against first time offenders and those not involved in any heinous crimes subject to provision of relevant laws.

File Photo

522 persons were detained under the J&K Public Safety Act as on January 21, 2017, out of them 257 have been released. Presently 265 persons are under preventive detention. During the recent unrest, two persons belonging to Ramban and Kishtwar districts have also been detained under the J&K Public Safety Act.

As on date, no minor is lodged in any of the jails of the state. However, the following two juveniles involved in case FIR No. 156/2016 u/s 147, 148, 149, 341, 427, 152 RPC (rioting) of P/S Safakadal are presently under custody in district Srinagar on remand:

  1. Umar Bilal Pathan, aged 15 years S/O Bilal Ahmad R/O Cement Kadal, Srinagar.
  2. Rafiq Ahmad Bhat, aged 15 years S/O Fareed Ahmad R/O Noorbagh, Srinagar.

The persons presently under police and judicial custody on remand, are involved in the non-bailable offences. As such, their release is subject to bail order of the court.

The persons whose period of detention expires are released, if their period of detention is not further extended prior to the expiry of the detention period and are required in any other case.

Right now, in state’s 14 jails there are 51 militancy related cases and 167 cases involved in anti-national activities. Of them 66 are in Kot Balwal, 62 in Kathua, five in Hira Nagar, 14 in Kupwara, three in Srinagar, 7 in Baramulla and 2 in Islamabad.

Compensation

No report  / complaint has been received so far in regard to damage caused by the security forces to residential houses and vehicles in Kangan constituency.

Para-military CRPF men stand alerted somewhere in Srinagar as government has imposed strict curfew across Kashmir. (KL Image: Bilal Bahadur)

The desirability of paying compensation to various traders, communities, groups and other business entities due to losses in view of the recent unrest in the Valley shall be dealt by the concerned administrative departments as per the policies and norms of the government.

Pellet hit trio.

Loss of eyesight

The details of the persons injured and who lost their eyesight during the recent law and order situation are being compiled, in consultation with the Health and Medical education Department. In the meanwhile, the state government, vide Government Order No 61-Home of 2017 dated January 27, 2017 constituted a committee headed by the Divisional Commissioner , Kashmir, with the following as members, to identify the persons who have been partially / permanently  disabled during the recent law and order disturbances and furnish necessary  recommendations in a time bound manner: IGP Kashmir, Principal GMC, Srinagar, Director Health Kashmir, An Associate Professor of SKIMS and an SSP of CID.

The Government has announced ex-gratia at the rate of Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 for those who got permanently and partially disabled respectively, in the recent law and order disturbances.

The ‘controversial’ Pellet Gun

Pellet Guns

The Pump Action Gun or Pellet Gun is being used in the situation where all other means of dispersing furious mobs get ineffective. This is last need based requirement to handle uncontrolled situations. The men and officers dealing with the law and order are regularly sensitized about the use of this weapon as per the laid down SOP.

During the recent law and order situation, the police and the CAPFs as a first resort, used less lethal ways for brining law and order situations under control. The Pump Action (Pellet)Gun was used as a last resort while facing rampaging mobs and in consonance with the laid down SOP.

The usage of this weapon has come to be challenged before the High Court at Srinagar in bunch of Write Petitions filed vide No OWP (PIL) No. 01/2013, PIL No. 04/2013 and 12/2013, wherein the petitioners had averred that the said weapon is lethal and ban upon usage of such weapon was sought.

After hearing the parties, the write petitions came to be dismissed by the High Court vide order dated October 31, 2013. Aggrieved by the dismissal of their petitions, they filed a review petition which is sub-judice. But so far no prohibitory orders against the use of such gun have been issued by the High Court.

(A file pic by Bilal Bahadur)

In the wake of the turmoil of 2016 summer, the MHA constituted a committee to explore availability of less lethal riot control equipment. The Committee after thorough deliberations and practical demonstration has submitted its recommendation under which some equipments have been referred to specialized labs for conducting of ballistic and other required tests. Out of the demonstrated alternatives, PAVA shells have been received by J&K Police and are being used. The feedback regarding their effectiveness is being compiled for recommendations to the developers and other concerned.

A file pic: BILAL BAHADUR

Investigations

Neither any Enquiry Commission has been constituted nor any judicial probe has been ordered. However in pursuance of the statement made by the Chief Minister on the floor of the legislative assembly on January 9, 2017, the following orders have been issued by the police headquarters:

  1. The Range DIsG, vide order no 93 of 2017 dated January 9, 2017, have been directed to constitute District Level Investigation Teams headed by the Dt SP headquarters for carrying out time bound investigation of all such cases where deaths of civilians and police personnel are involved.
  2. The Range DIG SKR vide Order No 92 of 2017 dated January 9, 2017 has been directed to constitute Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by an Additional SP for carrying out time bound investigation in case FIR No 156/2016 registered in police station Pampore.
  3. The Rang DIG CKR vide Order No 94 of 2017 dated January 9, 2017 has been directed to constitute Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by an SP (South), Srinagar for carrying out time bound investigation in case FIR No 57/2016 registered in police station Karan Nagar.

The Rainawari Case

A missing report of Mr Fayaz Ahmad Sofi had been received in Police Station Rainawari on July 13, 2016 from his father namely Ali Mohammad Sofi. It was reported that Fayaz Ahmad Sofi was mentally unsound and missing since July 9, 2016. Subsequently on July 16, 2016 a dead body eas reocered by the police station Kangan. On receipt of this information, the parents of missing persons, namely Fayaz Ahmad Sofi were informed, who after approaching the police station Kangan, identified the dead body as of Fayaz Ahmad Sofi.

Accordingly, the dead body was handed over to his legal heirs for last rites, who later on buried the dead body at their ancestral graveyard.

The autopsy report conducted by the police station Kangan through government hospital Kangan by Dr Sajad reveals that there is no mark of violence on the dead body. The viscera was taken for examination whose report is still awaited. After the report of viscera is received by the district administration, the case for ex-gratia / job will be examined, in light of the norms governing the subject.

 

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