Situation tense, Pillai heads to Srinagar

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 15:08

Zeenews Bureau

Srinagar: Union Home Secretary G K Pillai
will visit Srinagar Wednesday to review the law and order
situation in violence-hit Kashmir.

He is scheduled to meet Chief Minister Omar Abdullah
and some top officials of the state government, official
sources said.

The Cabinet Committee on Security met had met in New
Delhi this morning and is understood to have discussed the
situation in Kashmir where Army has been deployed to assist
the civil authorities in restoring normalcy following
violence.

The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
reviewed the situation in the wake of the spiralling protests
in Srinagar following the killing of three persons yesterday.

Army staged a flag march in some areas of curfew-bound
Srinagar this morning.

Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K
Antony, Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrashekar, NSA Shiv Shankar
Menon, Home Secretary Pillai, and Defence Secretary Pradeep
Kumar attended the meeting.

There was no official word on any decision taken at
the hour-long meeting.

The state government had yesterday sought the help of
the army after curfew was imposed in the city.

Earlier, giving an indication regarding the Centre’s approach, Minister of State for Defence MM Pallam Raju said, “Army will stay in Srinagar as long as it is necessary. It will play a supporting role.”

Elaborating on the need to get the Army out on the streets, Raju said that the forces had to be moved in as situation was getting out of control in the restive region. He added that Army’s help was sought by the state government.

Indefinite curfew continued in the city and other
parts of the Kashmir Valley for the second day today after
violent protests left three persons dead and over 70 injured.

Army columns were deployed in the entire city which
saw widespread violence in Batmaloo and Maisuma locality
resulting in the death of three people yesterday.

Curfew was in force in Anantnag, Pampore, Pulwama and
Kulgam in South Kashmir and Kupwara and Bandipore in North
Kashmir. Restrictions were in force at Sopore and Baramulla
where Army also staged a flag march.

The Army was called out on the streets of Srinagar
late last night to enforce the curfew keeping in view the
non-availability of adequate number of police personnel, many
of whom have been deployed for Amarnath Yatra and
counter-insurgency operations, official sources said.

State Chief Secretary S S Kapoor had sought the Army`s
assistance in maintaining law and order.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had
appealed to the people to maintain calm and not to violate
curfew restrictions.

Protesters had yesterday clashed with security forces
in various places including Khanyar, Nowhatta, Rajouri Kadal,
Barzulla, Fateh Kadal, Braripora, Tatoo Ground, Hyderpora,
Baghat, Rambagh, Jehangir Chowk, Maisuma, and Habbakadal,
leaving many people injured.

The protests had begun on Monday night when a group of
men started throwing stones at a security contingent.

On the deployment of the Army in Srinagar, state
minister and Congress leader Taj Mohiuddin said, "We requested
the army to help us in maintaining peace. Peace is our first
priority. Army never takes over. They will be the supportive
force we need for keeping peace".

"The district administration thinks that the Army is
needed to keep calm in the Valley. The anger is there," he
said.

State Law Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar asked the people
to respect the curfew restrictions.

"We will strictly implement the curfew restrictions.
Government will try its best to restore normalcy. We are
trying our best to normalise the situation," he said.

Referring to stone-pelting protestors, he said, "Some
elements, some agencies were getting the youths on the roads
for implementing their political agenda. So we are trying our
best to control the situation. It is just the question of
saving the people from this situation".

With PTI inputs



First Published: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 - 15:08

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