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While claiming that the state law and order machinery has no objections to the political activities of separatist leaders, Director General of Police Ashok Prasad said imposing restrictions on their movement was a compulsion for the state police. He also confirmed that so far around 200 people were detained as a preventive measure however, he said most of the arrested people have already been released.

“We have no problems if they come back to their homes and carry out their activities peacefully. But if they announce shut down or protest calls we will have no other choice but to restrict their movement”, said the DGP on Thursday while talking to a local news agency, KNS adding “We cannot allow the atmosphere of peace to vitiate. Nobody can be allowed to violate law of the land. If Geelani wants to return to his homes we have no objection but in case they give calls for protest programmes, we will be compelled to put restrictions on their movement as maintaining peace and order is our prime responsibility”.

“If they call it wrong, we can defend our decisions as it is a matter of peace, law and order and people’s security.  It is our responsibility to maintain peace and we will take all necessary measures to fulfill it”, he added.

“They go to other parts of the country and meet people there. Who stops them, but when they announce programmes we have no other choice but to put restrictions on their movement”, he reiterated.

On the issue of calls of bandhs and protests, Prasad said the state law and order machinery was keeping a close eye on the situation. “We are constantly monitoring the situation and we will chalk out a strategy accordingly keeping in mind the upcoming tourist season and student’s schooling”, he added.

He said the calls for protests, bandhs and civil curfews by the separatists were responsible for imposition of restrictions and curfews in the valley.

“People don’t fear police and security forces as they are accountable to them and to the law while as the separatists and militants are not accountable before anyone, so people are afraid of them. After calls we have to take measures to maintain law and order. Nobody can be allowed to violate law of the land”, he added. He said the Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was detained as a preventive measure from the Srinagar airport.

While thanking people of the valley for helping the forces in maintaining law and order, he said the forces expressed utmost restraint while dealing with protestors and stone throwers.

“We had directed forces not to carry lethal weapons while dealing with people as a result they had to suffer more damage. By and large people also cooperated with us. While dealing with people, 120 CRPF troops, 78 jawans of JK police were injured while 60 vehicles were also damaged. Even SP Kulgam received serious injuries. Although 3 people died and 1 was critical (now out of danger), we tried our best to minimize casualties”, he said adding “Nearly 50 civilians were also injured”.

Prasad said the state police was facing unique challenges in dealing with different categories of people and situations. “At the same time our force is handling law and order problems, militancy and normal policing. We have to tackle all these things at the same time which is not easy”, he added.

He added that there is marked improvement in the overall situation in the state as compared to year 2010.


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