Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Saturday chaired a high-level meeting in Kupwara and met families of three youths who were killed.
“Chief Minister told members of the civil society that she had a telephonic conversation with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar late last evening and also met Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda. She told them that incidents like the ones at Handwara and Natnusa are unacceptable and come as a major setback to the efforts of the state government in consolidating peace dividends…,” an official spokesman said. He said Mehbooba had told victims’ families that she had asked Hooda to exercise maximum restraint.
“Defence Minister has assured me of time-bound investigation into the unfortunate incidents that led to the death of civilians during protests at Handwara and Natnusa so that exemplary punishment is given to those found guilty,” Mehbooba said.
Meanwhile, security forces were sent from south and central Kashmir to Kupwara and Handwara amid fears that protests could spread to smaller villages.
Sources said the government is contemplating shifting some senior police officers from Handwara and Kupwara to cool tempers. Sources said the state government feels senior police officers failed to control the situation. The administration has snapped mobile internet services in north and central Kashmir to “prevent the spread of rumours”, officials said.
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