Won’t deploy police if people give undertaking: DGP
Srinagar: Residents of Kamangarpora, Gojwara, Nowhatta, Pandan and others adjoining the Jamia Masjid said that the deployment of government forces outside the mosque provoked youth to hurl stones.
“Why do they deploy police here when they know it will invite trouble and will escalate the situation,” the residents said.
A local shopkeeper, Omar Hafiz, said that people were extremely angry with the police. “The mere sight of their men invites wrath,” he said.
A resident of Kamangarpora, who wished to be quoted by only his first name – Sarwar – said that the civil administration should listen to the local population of the area and act on their advice. “We do not wish that there are clashes every Friday here. But it is the police that are to be blamed,” he said.
“The police should understand that people are angry with them and they should stay away from Nowhatta, at least,” he said.
Kashmir’s chief cleric and Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also aagreed with the locals. In a tweet he said: “Heavy deployment of govt forces around #JamaMasjid even in this holy month leading to tension & agitation. Dozens of civilians injured after forces resorted to pellet & teargas shelling! Large number of people unable to come out of the mosque. Condemn the deployment and forces action.”
Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid said that he was ready to end the deployment of forces around Jamia Masjid if the locals give an undertaking that there will be no violence on Fridays.
Speaking to Kashmir Reader, Vaid said that police would respond if the locals take responsibility and assure that the youth there will not resort to stone-pelting and raising of provocative slogans.
He said that it were the youth who had been causing damage to public property and causing trouble to the local population.