November 2016 News

Worst Phase Of Crisis In Kashmir Is Over: Mehbbooba

5 November 2016
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: With the unrest in the Valley set to complete four months, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said worst phase of crisis in Kashmir is over and asked police to give local militants chance to return to the normal life. 'The worst phase of the prevailing crisis is over,' Mehbooba said while chairing a meeting of top civil and police officials, here. She was informed by the officials that the situation is slowly returning to normalcy with almost 90 percent drop in street protests during this month as compared with July. 'Kashmir has witnessed a very painful and frustrating situation over the past few months. Now as the situation is returning to normalcy, we have to prepare a roadmap to pull our people out of this agonizing and complicated situation and heal their wounds,' Mehbooba said. She said the government has to support the affected families of the unrest. 'Those who died or suffered injuries are our own people. The administration should reach out to these families. It will be good to involve elders and local Auqaf Committees in the process'. At least 92 people have been killed, more than 13000 injured and over 9000 including separatists, youth and government employees arrested in Kashmir in over three months of unrest triggered by the killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. The life in Valley has remained paralysed for last 120 days due to separatists sponsored shutdown. Mehbooba said the government will review the cases against those youth, who have been participating in street protests. 'We will review those cases, where students and first-timers are found to be involved. We will talk to their parents and get their assurances that their wards will not participate in protests in future. We can't go on arresting people. There should be a different and empathetic plan of action to contain the situation,' she said. Expressing concern over burning of schools in Valley, Mehbooba said such incidents have inflicted colossal loss on the society at a time when the process of development has been halted due to the ongoing situation. 'As if the casualty suffered by the process of development in Kashmir due to the ongoing situation was not enough, we now have people burning down schools. Such incidents will not only destroy the social fabric of our society but it will also impact the future of our children who are toiling hard to shine in every field, despite the odds,' she said. At least 32 schools have been torched by unknown persons in the Valley in last three months. On local youth joining militant groups, Mehbooba said it is a cause of concern. 'The civil and police administration should take steps to wean away such youth from the path of violence with compassion. Such youth must be given an opportunity to return to normal life and provided an honorable livelihood,' she said. Mehbooba asked the officials to get in touch with their families and talk it out with them. 'We should seriously think about how and what kind of future they should have in a welfare society like ours where every citizen has equal rights'. A local militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba surrendered before security forces in Sopore area yesterday after the house, where he was hiding, was encircled by the security forces. The security officials asked the militant to surrender and took his father to his place of hiding so that he can motivate his son to surrender and lay down weapons. After being motivated by father and local elders, the Lashkar militant surrender. However, another local militant of Hizbul Mujahideen was today killed in an encounter by security forces in South Kashmir's Shopian district.