If police had not used force, losses would have been more: CM Mehbooba

KL News Network

Srinagar

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti inspecting guard of honour during the passing out parade of Jammu and Kashmir Police family at Letpora in south Kashmir on WednesdayPHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti inspecting guard of honour during the passing out parade of Jammu and Kashmir Police family at Lethpora in south Kashmir on Wednesday. KL Image

CM Mehbooba Mufti while admitting that force was used in dealing with law and order situations in the Valley during the recent uprising, Wednesday asked forces to exercise restrain while dealing with law and order situations.

Ms Mufti was speaking at a passing out parade of Jammu and Kashmir Police at Commando Training Centre in southern district of Kashmir, Pulwama.

She said the use of force at times is necessary. “If the forces had not used force, the losses would have been more. There could have been more killings, more losses otherwise,” she said, “but now, our endeavour should be to see towards those people who were confined to their homes because of the situation, strikes and curfew.”

The chief minister said now that the situation has improved, time had come to “change our ways”.

“But now I think that when the situation has improved, time has come to heal the wounds of the people. Now, we have to change our ways. We have to differentiate between the situation as of today and what was before four months. We will have to put special focus on youth,” she said.

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She said that security forces have to differentiate between offenders like militants or stone-pelters and their families. “We cannot weigh every youth by the same scale, we cannot see every youth with suspicious eyes. The situation will not improve that way. We have to differentiate between militants and their families. We have to differentiate militants from their parents, siblings and children and we cannot weigh them by the same scale.”

CM Mehbooba asked forces to restrain themselves while dealing with law and order situations.

“I hope that you will not deject me because I want JK to prosper again, where guns or pellet guns are not used. I hope that police and security forces try not to use pellet guns. If there is an attack on your camp or police station, then I understand, but if someone throws stones at you, you should try to restrain yourselves till we find an alternative to pellet guns and ban them completely,” she said.

The chief minister further said that she is of the belief that there is no way forward in Jammu and Kashmir other than reconciliation. “PSA and AFSPA are temporary and I want you to help me, our government, in creating such an atmosphere in the state where a time will come when PSA is used only against criminals, drug addicts and smugglers and not against 40-year-old or 80-year-olds.

Asking police and people to help the government, she said her government would gradually revoke laws like AFSPA from the state once peace is established.

Jawans during the passing out parade at Letpora in south Kashmir on Wednesday 14 December 2016PHOTO BY BILAL BAHADUR
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“I request you all to help our government so that a better atmosphere is created in the state where people live a normal life and role of PSA is limited to criminals and not children, youth and elderly. We had army and security forces here before as well, but when militancy erupted, AFSPA had to be imposed.”

Mehbooba said, “Now, we all have to try together to create such an atmosphere where such laws like AFSPA, PSA or other hard measures are gradually revoked. I or my ministers cannot do this alone, after the role of people of the state, your role is very important for that,” she said.

The chief minister said once peace is established in the state, it can act as a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan.

“If you all help us in creating peace in Jammu and Kashmir, then I assure you the people that the way PM Modi went to Lahore by keeping everything else on the side and offered a hand of friendship, and when there was unrest, he sent a delegation from Delhi to listen to people, understand and talk, so if we can create a better situation, then we can create conditions for dialogue with everyone not only in the state, but we can act as a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan,” she said.

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