Srinagar: As tension prevailed in Kashmir, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday held a high-level meeting with top police and intelligence officials of the state here to review the situation and directed that no harm should come to civilians while dealing with law and order issues.
Mehbooba, who arrived here from Delhi after a three-day visit, will be camping in the Summer capital of the state to monitor the law and order situation “as long as necessary”, official sources said.
Soon after arrival here, she met top police and intelligence officials of the state including Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar at her official residence.
“The Chief Minister directed the police officials to strictly follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and ensure that civilians are not harmed while dealing with law and order situations,” official sources said.
The security review meeting was held in the wake of tense situation prevailing in the Valley since Tuesday when three persons including a woman were killed in firing by army during protests in Handwara town of Kupwara district.
Another youth died yesterday when he was hit by a teargas shell in the head in Drugmulla area of Kupwara district as protests spread to many areas of the north Kashmir district, forcing the authorities to impose curfew-like restrictions.
Meanwhile, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir Asgar Hassan Samoon also reviewed law and order situation in the Valley following the Handwara incident.
The meeting was attended by DIG, Central Range (Kashmir) G H Bhat, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Farooq Ahmad Lone and other Deputy Commissioners of Kashmir division through video conferencing, an official spokesman said.
He said the Deputy Commissioners told Samoon that situation is peaceful overall and the necessary deployment of forces has been made at sensitive places.
The Divisional Commissioner asked Deputy Commissioner Kupwara to carry out time-bound probe into the Handwara incident.
Samoon, while stressing the need for maintaining vigil, directed the police officials to strictly adhere to standard operating procedures in their respective districts and ensure that there is no loss of life or property during law and order situations.
He also directed officials to remain present at their offices and maintain close liaison with the police.
Rural development minister Abdul Haq Khan who is camping in Kupwara district said, “I am in constant touch with the civil and police authorities at Handwara to ensure that normalcy is restored in the area at the earliest.”
Khan last evening visited the families of those who died in action by police and security forces in Handwara and assured them that the guilty would be punished.
Expressing solidarity with the bereaved families, the minister said while no amount of compensation would be enough to alleviate the grief of the bereaved families over the loss of their dear ones, the government would, however, try to reach out to them with whatever can be done for them.
Khan said chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has already taken up the matter at the highest level in New Delhi and action would be taken against the forces personnel who allegedly resorted to avoidable use of force against the protesters in Handwara resulting in tragic civilian casualties.
“The police and other security forces have been asked to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with the public protests,” the spokesman said.