Handwara killings: 3,600 troops rushed to Valley

The Centre is concerned over the loss of lives in the state, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: April 17, 2016 12:52:00 am
Handwara, Handwara killings, Handwara molestation, Handwara protests, J&K Handwara This week’s killings in Kashmir’s Handwara, sparked off by false rumours that a young woman had been sexually harassed by soldiers.

As many as 3,600 paramilitary personnel will soon be rushed to the Valley to control the spate of violence that has erupted in Kashmir in the past few days.

Alarmed by the continuing violence in the state — five people have died in the last four days — the Centre Saturday decided to rush 3,600 additional paramilitary personnel to the Valley and asked the state government to ensure there are no more casualties. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting in the capital.

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Curfew-like restrictions continued for the fourth day in parts of Kashmir following the killing of five civilians by security forces during protests. Among the dead is a young cricketer who was well known in the area. Clashes first broke out after allegations surfaced that an Armyman had molested a local girl in Handwara.

The Centre is concerned over the loss of lives in the state, a Home Ministry spokesperson said.

Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal, who holds additional charge of Union Home Secretary, chaired the meeting which was attended by senior officials from Intelligence Bureau, Defence Ministry, Central Armed Police Forces and Home Ministry. The meeting reviewed the situation in the Valley and assessed requirements of the state government to control the situation, he said.

It was decided in the meeting to send additional central armed police forces to strengthen the security grid in Kashmir.

While 12 companies of paramilitary personnel were scheduled to reach the state Saturday, 24 more will reach by Sunday. One company of paramilitary comprises about 100 personnel.

The Home Ministry is in regular touch with senior officials of the state and has been monitoring the situation on a regular basis. It has assured full cooperation to the state government.

Saturday’s meeting also took stock of the development package announced by PM Narendra Modi during his visit to Kashmir in November. The package is being expeditiously implemented for overall development of Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson said. The package is expected to generate employment for local youth and bring overall prosperity to the state, he said.

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