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Jammu Kashmir
Centre mulling various options for J&K, including talks
P L Uniyal
NEW DELHI, Apr 17: The Centre today reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir where various options, including initiating peace talks, to bring back normalcy in the restive Kashmir valley were discussed.

The meeting, chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended by NSA Ajit Doval besides others, took stock of the prevailing situation in the state, which saw massive violence during the April 9 by-poll to Srinagar Lok Sabha seat.

The top brass was given a detailed presentation on the critical situation the Kashmir valley is facing and the steps taken to restore normalcy there, official sources said.

In the meanwhile, the agencies reports quoting unknown sources said that the Centre was expected to issue a favourable statement supporting the security forces.

An FIR was also registered against Army's 53 Rashtriya Rifles for tying a man to a jeep allegedly as a “human shield” against stone pelters who took on security forces in the Kashmir valley over by-elections held last week.

“The Centre has taken a serious note of the issue and Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to issue a statement in this regard later today,” the agency report said.

“On April 9, violent clashes were reported between the stone pelters and the security forces in the Kashmir Valley. More than 300 people were injured – including Army officials - and eight killed amid polling unrest stirred by miscreants in the region.

The government is of the view that the army officer responsible for ordering his men to tie 26-year-old Farooq Ahmed Dar to the bonnet of the jeep took the decision reluctantly and as a complete last resort. He took the decision after he realized that his unit had to pass a street, crowded by hordes of stone-pelters, who had also occupied positions on rooftops. The army claimed that the particular unit which is under the scanner were on a mission to bring back trapped personnel including a dozen local J&K employees, about 9-10 ITBP personnel, couple of constables and a bus driver,” the agency report said.

“Defence Minister Arun Jaitley is expected to address the issue when he meets Army commanders today. The government believes that the controversial decision was taken in an 'extraordinary situation' where the officer incharge of the unit had a difficult choice to make. The army brass is of the view that the unfortunate incident was unavoidable as the unit was surrounded by hundreds of protestors who were bent on violence. As things turned out, the man used as a human shield was handed over to local authorities and no lives were lost. The video of the incident, released by former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, went viral and sparked off protests by human rights activists and political parties. BJP, meanwhile, said the incident was being probed but the challenging situation the army has to deal with on the ground must be appreciated,” said the agency report.


News Updated at : Tuesday, April 18, 2017
 
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