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Maintain utmost restraint to avoid civilian deaths during anti-militancy ops: Mehbooba

By Ians

Srinagar, May 10: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday asked security forces to maintain utmost restraint to avoid civilian killings and collateral damage to civilian property while carrying out anti-militancy operations in the state.

Chairing her first meeting of the unified headquarters, the state's apex security grid comprising the army, paramilitary forces, state police, state and central intelligence agencies, she said that during conduct of anti-militancy operations, the safety of people must be ensured so that an environment of peace and tranquillity is maintained and enables the government implement its agenda of good governance and development.

Mufti laid stress on a humane approach while dealing with law and order on the ground, and insisted that standard operating procedures should be maintained at all costs.

"Any incident of civilian killing reverses all the gains that have been achieved so far," she observed.

She also said that it would be apt to give an option of homecoming to the local youth who have picked up guns, while to increase sense of normalcy, visibility of the security forces and bunkers should be minimised in the civilian areas.

Mufti also stressed upon reducing the footprints of security forces at various tourist places and airports so as to cause less inconvenience to visitors.

Referring to the importance of peace and tranquility along borders, the chief minister insisted upon taking forward the initiative of border tourism, started by her late predecessor Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, at Suchetgarh, in Jammu.

She also asked security agencies to showcase the area of Baba Chamliyal as a symbol of great reverence, observed by people from both the sides.

On the smooth conduct of Amarnath Yatra, Mufti stressed on involvement of local population to facilitate the visiting pilgrims.

"Kashmiris have for long been an epitome of hospitality which they have proved time and again during the yatra. Our young boys should be made part of this activity," she said, adding this will go a long way in generating a very positive perception about youth who are otherwise being demonised.

The chief minister also said that the civil administration with active support of police and other agencies should try to resolve problems of common people like water scarcity, power disruptions, and traffic mismanagement as these lead to public discontent and subsequent law and order situations.

Appreciating the role of security forces and state police in civic action programmes, wherein youth are being provided different platforms to showcase their talent especially in the field of sports, she also asked them to involve the local youth in larger activities like maintaining micro-hydel projects etc.

Mufti also praised police for doing a great job in drug de-addiction with minimal resources as well as divisional commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir for taking a very tough stand against drug peddlers. She also complimented the army for its Super 30 coaching initiative whereby students from the state have been able to crack national level competitive exams.

The chief minister was also briefed by top officers on the overall security scenario as well as the steps taken to maintain peace in the state.


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