Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that though the police and security forces have worked with discipline in the past three months, excesses and mistakes have happened sometimes. She said she wanted to ban pellet guns, but that was only possible with the support of the forces.
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The CM said her government wanted to ban pellet guns and sought cooperation of the police, saying they should “tolerate” and refrain from using such weapons as the protests would not continue forever. “If there is an injury to you, and we save a youth’s eyes or arms from pellet guns, then I think it will be your biggest sacrifice. Because this (protests) will not continue forever, it is temporary. But I need your cooperation,” she said, addressing the Police Commemoration Day function in Srinagar.
She said that the persons “behind” the youths and children throwing stones had been identified and the process would continue in future. “There has been excess too sometimes, but unfortunately the way our youth and small children were pushed towards police stations and camps with stones and attempts were made to lynch police and security forces, in comparison to that you people worked with patience and tolerance,” she said.
Speaking about the recent deaths of civilians during action by the forces — including 12-year-old Junaid Ahmad, lecturer Shabir Ahmad Monga and ATM guard Riyaz Ahmad — she said that there were many other episodes that should not have taken place. “I want action to be taken against those involved (in the killing of Junaid),” she said. “I am serious about these (avoidable incidents) and seek your (police) support.”
On allegations of disproportionate use of force by the police and security forces during the past three months, Mehbooba said that all such incidents would be probed.
“More than policing, the forces have to do parenting while dealing with children,” Mehbooba said. “You have to hand-hold the children,” she said.
Mehbooba said the police were an important link to create a conducive situation for dialogue in the state and the agenda of the BJP-PDP alliance would be impossible without the help of forces. “You have to help in owning the children who take to the streets and our agenda of alliance is impossible until the police, security forces and Army help in creating the (peaceful) situation,” she said.