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news details
NC, Cong play politics over Army Chief's advisory
Stay away from encounter sites
2/17/2017 11:56:55 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Feb 17: Army Chief Bipin Rawat asking people to stay away from encounter sites has created ripples in Kashmir.
Separatists and political parties like National Conference and Congress have criticized the Army Chief's statement and have taken a strong exception to it and are busy playing politics over it. The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and senior Congress leader, Ghulam Nabi Azad, while reacting to Army Chief's statement, said, "The government should be blamed for the situation in Kashmir. Even we ran the government. It was not so bad then. To threaten the Kashmiri youth like this is unjustified. It can be the Centre's policy, not the Army's."
The National Conference, in power used to advocate bombing Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), but out of power it's toeing the line of separatists and wants the government to talk to the terrorists, who have unleashed terror and are out to destroy Kashmir.
An analyst while talking to Early Times said, "One can understand the outburst of separatists as they are paid for doing so but parties like National Conference and Congress need to realize that these are mainstream parties and they cannot side with terrorists and terrorism." He said, "Army Chief's statement has been blown out of proportion the fact of the matter is that he has conveyed to people that they should stay away from the encounter sites to avoid civilian casualties as their interference in anti-insurgency operations can prove fatal for them."
A Kashmir watcher claimed that people are "under pressure" from terrorists that is why they appear at the encounter sites and help the terrorists escape. "There are clear inputs about terrorists pressurizing the people. In 2016 terrorists used to move around in the villages and used to threaten people if they didn't participate in the protests. After the 2016 unrest ended terrorists kept on intimidating people and directed them to appear at the encounter sites if they want to live," he added.
Even Inspector General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Zulfiquar Hasan asserted that the "forces have been acting with restraint in crowded areas to check any collateral damage and the residents should not succumb to the threats of the terrorists."
"The casualties (of the security forces in recent operations) have taken place in crowded areas and the forces operate with restraint so that there is no collateral damage. But the crowds break the cordon and help the terrorists to flee. This is happening in certain areas of Kashmir, and villagers and local residents do this under pressure from terrorists," he added.
A Police official while talking to Early Times said, "Security agencies have tightened their noose around the terrorists and their sympathizers. Even the Hawala channels have been choked. Terrorists and their sympathizers are desperate to do something big but their wings have been clipped."
It's in place to mention here that after the Army Chief asked the people to stay away from encounter sites, Deputy Commissioners of all the 10 districts in Kashmir issued an advisory asking people to stay away from the gunfight sites.
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