Violence in Valley over Tral killings, Masarat’s arrest
Nowhatta area of the city resembled a battle zone as masked protesters burnt the Tricolour and clashed with security forces, causing injuries to about a dozen people, including two policemen, official sources said. The protesters were also seen hurling stones at the police, which burst teargas shells and used force to disperse the crowd.
As Srinagar was on boil, the Centre said it was keeping a close watch on the situation and asserted there will be “zero tolerance” to militancy and separatism.
“The Central government is keeping a close watch on situation in J&K. The Union Home Ministry is keeping itself abreast of all the sequence of the events from time to time. They are also giving most valuable guidance to the state of J&K,” Union Minister of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh said.
Referring to the differences between the ruling allies in J&K – BJP and PDP – over tackling militancy, the minister said the two parties had come together “purely” to give a government in the troubled state after the Assembly polls threw up a fractured mandate.
Referring to Pakistan’s support to the separatists, Singh said, “Pakistan is always looking forward to fish in troubled waters but as far as we are concerned and the BJP is concerned, we are very clear about it. We have zero tolerance towards separatism and terrorism”, he said.
Meanwhile, leader of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led protests on Friday said “state terrorism” was the bigger issue in J&K.
Farooq accused the Army of killing the two men in Tral after labelling them terrorists. He led a procession against the killings in Tral and said it was “unfortunate” that the government had not given a clear statement on the issue. “The issue of fake encounter in Tral has not been addressed so far.”
He added, “There is no arrest, no FIR. The government has to put an end to state terrorism.” He said the people of Tral have been protesting for the past three days on this issue.
Reports of stone-pelting were also received from Tral and adjoining areas as part of a march call given by hardline Hurriyat faction led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The moderate faction of the Hurriyat led by Farooq also staged a protest.
Geelani has given a strike call throughout the Valley on Saturday against the killings and Friday’s police action.