Protest near encounter sites ‘big challenge’ for Forces

Protest near encounter sites ‘big challenge’ for Forces

Special Correspondent

Srinagar, Dec 25: Recently the Inspector General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Ravideep Sahi cautioned people to stay away from encounter sites so that “rule of law prevails.”
Referring to the killing of a woman in alleged forces firing during Shopian gunfight last week, Sahi said that people need to follow the “rule of law” to avoid such killings. “Rule of law is very important. Once the restrictions have been imposed in the area, it becomes imperative on the citizen to follow the instructions. Now, if the rule of law is not being followed and if somebody comes out and as you know that encounter is going on, the bullets are flying all over, there is a chance that it may hit somebody,” he said.
Sahi is not the first officer or the person who has asked people to stay away from the sites of gunfight. “When civilians started disrupting the anti-militancy operations the Director General of Police S P Vaid asked people to stay away from encounter sites. The Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat in the beginning of this year minced no words and said that anyone who would disrupt anti-militancy operation would be treated as anti-national and would have to face the consequences,” said an analyst.
He said despite stern warnings and advisories people continue to risk their lives and stage protests near the encounter sites. “Till date many people, including women, have died near the gunfight sites. The repeated warnings have had little impact. People know it very well that at encounter sites bullets keep on flying from one place to another. The situation becomes more volatile when people come to know that local militants are trapped,” the analyst added.
A Kashmir watcher said, “New strategy of Jammu and Kashmir Police and other security agencies about catching militants alive from the gunfight sites is still in its initial stages. Some boys have been caught alive and a few others have laid down the arms but still lot needs to be done.”
He said, “The warnings being issued by the top brass of the security agencies are a clear indication that anti-militancy operations would continue and if people come in between they would have to face the bullets.”
A security expert said, “The security situation in Kashmir has improved but local boys joining the militant ranks is a cause of concern. The security agencies would have to work on it and the reasons needs to be ascertained why local boys are joining the militant ranks.”
He said, “It’s better for unarmed people to stay away from encounter sites and remain safe.”