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J&K CM holds security meet, advocates healing touch towards youth

J&K CM holds security meet, advocates healing touch towards youth
The worsening security situation in Kashmir was discussed on Tuesday at a high-level meeting where Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti directed the forces to exercise restraint and advocated a "healing touch" towards "our own youth" caught in the cycle of violence.

She said youth engagement should be prioritized rather than viewing it as a routine law and order issue and asked the security agencies to improve interface with the public to allay people's apprehensions and misgivings about the system.

She was chairing a meeting of the Unified Command Headquarters, the multi-agency security body, here against the backdrop of spiralling protests and violence in the Kashmir valley over the last few weeks.

"The youth unfortunately caught in the cycle of violence are our own youth who ought to be won over with healing touch," Mehbooba said at the meeting attended by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal
Singh and top officials of the state government, the army and the paramilitary forces.

"The Chief Minister directed the security agencies to exercise restraint while dealing with provocative situations," an official said.

She said that wherever restraint had been exercised, it had shown positive results on the ground for the government and helped in maintaining peace and order.

Advocating holding of counseling sessions for the youth, Mehbooba said it would not only help allay their apprehensions and misgivings about the system but would also give the security agencies a chance to reach out to people through community policing, the official said.

She said youth engagement should be prioritized rather than viewing it as a routine law and order issue and directed that care should be taken to avoid and minimize all collateral damage while conducting operations.

"She also directed that parents of the youth be taken into confidence as and when there is some complaint about any youth and in no way should the family be held accountable for the deeds of the said youth," they added.

Besides the Deputy Chief Minister, the meeting was attended by Chief Secretary B R Sharma, Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister B B Vyas, Principal Secretary, Home, R K Goyal, Director General of Police S P Vaid, GoC-in-C of Northern Command Lt Gen Devraj Anbu, Corps Commanders of various Army formations operating in the state; and Divisional Commissioners of Kashmir and Jammu.

Senior officers of CRPF and BSF were also present in the meeting.

Mehbooba had yesterday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi and emphasised the need for a dialogue with separatists to contain deterioration in the situation.

Attack on nomad family: Shutdown in Reasi, protesters seek fair probe

Normal life was hit in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir due to a shutdown called by a few right-wing Hindu groups to protest the "failure" of police to arrest members of a nomadic family for "smuggling cattle and raising anti-national slogans" on Thursday.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), the Bajrang Dal, transporters' and trading organisations have also demanded that the police release 11 people arrested for "thrashing" two members of the nomadic family while they were transporting bovines without permission.

"A complete shut down was observed in the town. A peaceful procession was taken out by the protesters. They have given a memorandum to the administration," SSP, Reasi, Tahir Bhat said.

The SSP said there was no untoward incident reported and the situation is under control. Normal life was disrupted due to the shut down. Public transport remained off the roads. Shops and other business establishments were closed. Police personnel were deployed in adequate numbers and troops of the CRPF were stationed at strategic places in the city. The army was kept on stand-by.

State Minister for Animal Husbandry, Sheep and Fisheries Abdul Gani Kohli said the civil and police administration have been asked to inquire into the recent incidents in the district and take action against the culprits.
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