Several organisations including some Hindu outfits on Wednesday staged protest here against the state government’s decision to give ex-gratia to the family of Khalid Muzaffar Wani, brother of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed by the armed forces on July 8.
Raising anti-government slogans, Bajrang Dal activists led by its convenor Rakesh Kumar burnt the effigy of government and threatened to launch agitation if government grants compensation to the family. Shiv Shakti Sena also staged a demonstration, opposing the move, against Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for showing soft corner to the militants, in Janipur here. An effigy of Mehbooba was also burnt.
Criticising the chief minister, Shiv Shakti Sena President Rakesh Gupta said, “On one side, Indian Army is fighting bravely with the militants to avoid loss of life and property in the Kashmir Valley whereas on the other hand, Mehbooba Mufti is granting compensation for Khalid Wani.”
“She is playing dual policy to play with the sentiments of the nationalist persons,” he said. Claiming that Mehbooba government is soft towards terrorists, Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party staged protests in Jammu and Udhampur districts.
“The government has set a new precedence in J-K by granting compensation to kins of top militant Burhan Wani.
This is shameful,” JKNPP Chief Harsh Dev Singh said.
Jammu West Assembly Movement led by Sunil Dimple too held protest at New plot road in Jammu against the government’s decision.
Meanwhile, the CM Mehbooba Mufti asked security forces to restrain themselves from using pellet guns and differentiate between stone-pelters/militants and their families, while noting that force was used to deal with law and order in the Valley during the recent unrest.
“When we have to deal with such situation, we have to use force sometimes and I have no hesitation in saying this. We should all speak truth. We had to use force because we had to protect the lives and properties of all the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.
The chief minister was speaking at the passing-out parade of Jammu and Kashmir Police at Commando Training Centre here in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Mehbooba said if force was not used, losses would have been more.
“If we had not done so, there could have been more killings, more losses. But now, our endeavour should be to see towards those people who were confined to their homes because of the situation, strikes and curfew and what they have gone through in these six months,” she said.
The chief minister said now that the situation has improved and the time has come to “change our ways”.
“But now I think that when the situation has improved, the time has come to heal the wounds of the people. Now, we have to change our ways. We have to differentiate between the situation as of today and what was four months back. We will have to give special focus to the youth,” she said.
She said security forces have to differentiate between offenders like militants and stone-pelters and their families.
2 militants killed in separate J&K encounters
Two militants were on Wednesday killed in separate encounters with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. The encounters took place in Anantnag and Baramulla districts.
Militants opened fire on a patrol party of army at Beewra in Srigufwara area of Anantnag district this morning, a police official said. He said the army personnel retaliated, triggering a gunbattle.
One militant, identified as Basit Ahmad Dar, was killed in the encounter. Dar had recently joined Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit.
In another counter-insurgency operation, a militant –believed to be a foreigner –was killed in Bomai area of Sopore in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, the official said.
He said the identity and group affiliation of the slain ultra is yet to be ascertained.
However, police sources said the deceased is believed to be Abu Bakar, a top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit.