Army warns of ‘appropriate action’ if crowds violate law

Army warns of ‘appropriate action’ if crowds violate law

SRINAGAR: Army on Thursday warned of “appropriate action if a crowd takes law in its own hands and threatens life and property”.
The warning came two days after soldiers fired upon a group of people in Anatnag’s Ashmuqam area, wounding two youths.
Earlier, two students, a girl among them, were killed in forces firing in Pulwama during an encounter last month.  The phenomenon of people risking their lives to help militants escape during gunfights has worried government forces.
“In case a crowd takes law in its hands and threatens life and property, security forces will be constrained to initiate appropriate action to counter it,” an army spokesman said in a statement.
The statement, however, did not elaborate on what “appropriate actions” means.
Quoting findings of an army investigation into Aishmuqam firing incident, the spokesman said, “It has been confirmed that security forces were forced to open cautionary fire to prevent any further injury, loss or damage to personnel, weapons equipment and other government property.”
The statement added that army and police had launched a joint operation on Tuesday in Aishmuqam, based on specific information about the presence of militants in the Magray Mohalla.
“As the search operation was in progress, a large crowd of approximately 1000 people gathered at the site to disrupt the operations in clear violation of existing orders which had also been recently reiterated by the police,” it said.
“Soon, some unscrupulous, rogue elements from the crowd started resorting to heavy stone pelting and sloganeering. Despite this provocation, the security forces exercised full restraint in trying to dissuade the crowd from interfering with their operations. However, not paying any heed, the crowd responded by intensified stone pelting, shouting inflammatory slogans and started closing in with the security forces which resulted in injury to more than a dozen personnel including a JCO of Army and an ASI of J&K Police,” the spokesman said.

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