Govt Failed To Protect Civilian Lives And Property: NC

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SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Saturday expressed outrage over the injuries four civilians suffered near a gunbattle site in Sirhama Bijbehara, saying the government has failed to secure the lives of people.

Expressing anguish over the fatal injuries suffered by four civilians following a gun battle, Party’s South Zone President Dr Bashir Veeri said the unfortunate incident cannot be justified at the preface of collateral damage.  He said that proper adherence to required SOPs and other sanitization measures is not being ensured near gunfights resulting in the unfortunate loss of lives and fatal injuries to scores of civilians besides damaging the civilian properties. Such incidents, he said does not augur well for the furtherance of peace in the strife-torn valley.

“Some time ago, unexploded shells at an encounter site in Kulgam had resulted in causing fatal injuries to civilians who had thronged the encounter site. In yet another incidence of slipup, an innocent man was shot at by the forces in Budgam. Most of the times the material losses and civilian casualties around such encounter sites are a direct consequence of bad execution and non-adherence to due SOPs and other post-encounter measures involving proper sanitization of the spots. It is the duty of the government to ensure safety and security of the citizenry. I fail to understand why the government is not learning lessons and handle the situation better. How long are we going to shoulder the bodies of our people? No probe is enough to bring back the dead innocent civilians and restore wellbeing to crippled ones. Kashmir in general and south Kashmir in particular is reeling under fear and the government has failed to assuage the situation and protect the civilian lives and their property,” he said.

He also rued the failure of the government to ensure the rehabilitation of families who bear the brunt of such encounters. “People who come in the line of fire during such encounters are no one’s baby and are left to fend for themselves. No proper plan is in place to ensure that such crippled persons are able to live a dignified life.  The government also turns a volt face to material losses of the civilian properties, livestock and other household items. This has to end; the government has to stop to look at the situation through the prism of security. On one hand, the government claims to give equal rights to Kashmir as countrymen enjoy, on the other hand they are being denigrated, maimed and treated as chattel,” he said demanding adequate compensation to the injured civilians at Sirhama.

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