Srinagar: The Army on Wednesday flayed separatist
leader Syed Ali Geelani for his call to people to obstruct
security forces saying it was a deliberate attempt to incite
local population and endanger their lives.
"The statement (of Geelani) is a deliberate attempt to
incite the local population and whip up passions while playing
with lives of innocent people who will be left to the mercy
of these mercenaries," a defence spokesman said.
On Monday, Geelani, chairman of the hardline Hurriyat
Conference, asked people to stage protests whenever security
forces launched cordon-and-search operations.
"Cordon-and-search operations are always conducted
based on specific intelligence reports about the presence of
militants in the area," the spokesman said.
He said "prior to launching operations, locals are
segregated and moved to safety with the sole aim of preventing
them from being taken hostage by militants and to avoid
casualties in the cross-fire."
"The operations are then carried out systematically
in the presence of elders and the police and records are
maintained to ensure transparency.
"The success of counter-terrorist operations in the
hinterland with no civilian casualties bears testimony to the
drills adopted by the Army," he said.
The spokesman said "the Hurriyat leader`s call to the
people to resist conduct of such operations is a ploy to drag
the innocent people and expose them to bullets of militants."
"The Army appeals to the people not to fall in the
trap of the Hurriyat leader. Militants are no friends of the
people and have committed numerous atrocities on innocents
including women and children. They are enemies of the peace
loving people of Kashmir," he said.
Reiterating the Army is for the people, he urged them
to assist and not hamper operations against the militants who
pose a constant threat to lives of the people in the Valley.