September 2016 News

Army To Help Enforce Prohibitory Orders During Eid

10 September 2016
Manan Kumar

New Delhi: Confronting the challenge to keep Kashmir peaceful during upcoming Eid festival, the government is planning to issue prohibitory orders across the state to stop people from congregating in large numbers and indulge in violence. Highly placed sources in the government said the state government would be invoking CrPC Section 144 (declaring assembly of more than four people as illegal) in nearly all the areas that witnessed violent protest during the over two-month- long unrest. The idea is to let people offer their Eid prayers at local mohalla mosques and not allow them access to bigger Idgahs or mosques that could lead to large congregations and give a handle to the resistance group to launch agitation afresh on a bigger scale. Sources said the government is not bothered that the clampdown during Eid in Kashmir could give Pakistan a diplomatic handle to drumbeat 'atrocities against Kashmiri Muslims' at the UN General Assembly meet that coincides with Eid. 'Right now, Pakistan does not figure in our scheme of things as the key question is to somehow arrest the turbulence,' said sources. But these arrangements still leaves South Kashmir out that is facing serious law and order problem because of complete absence of state police and central armed police forces. To tide over this difficulty, major troop movement is on the cards in the next two days in at least four districts of South Kashmir - Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian - to help local police and central armed police forces (CRPF) enforce prohibitory order, sources said. Besides bolstering the confidence of the local police and CRPF that has been on the receiving end in south Kashmir, the army also plans to go after the terrorists operating in these areas in a big way. Analysis done by the security agencies shows that most of the violent protests in South Kashmir coincide with the movement of terrorists. 'There is evidence to show that much of the stone-pelting is being organised and encouraged by terrorists who have infiltrated the ranks because of massive infiltration during last few months. Going after the terrorist will definitely dampen the protestors and make it manageable for CRPF and local police,' said highly placed security official. The resultant deadlock has firmed up government's plan to tackle separatists with a heavy hand and the agitating people with maximum possible compassion, sources said. The government also seems to have concluded that the current unrest has more religious elements and is not exclusively political and is an attempt towards formation of a theocratic state that will have to be nipped in the bud. 'The primacy of the state is under threat right now which needs to be reestablished. We'll do whatever is needed for it, as any softening of stand could have disastrous impact,' said sources in the security establishment.