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After Shopian killings, J&K Police advisory to people: Stop when signalled at checkpoints

A senior police officer told The Indian Express that aim of these messages is to create awareness among the people traveling on different roads and highways in the Valley.

Written by Mir Ehsan | Srinagar |
Updated: March 10, 2018 7:31:51 pm
SHOPIAN KILLING, j&k POLICE For area dominance across the Valley, the Army, police and paramilitary forces have been patrolling various highways and roads across Kashmir.

After the killing of four civilians on the highway near Pohano Pinzoora in Shopian, the J&K police have now issued an advisory for the people driving vehicles on different highways especially during night and asked them to stop when signaled by the forces personnel.

For area dominance across the Valley, the Army, police and paramilitary forces have been patrolling various highways and roads across Kashmir, even at times Mobile vehicle checking points are established in the rural areas in the late hours.

The killing of four civilians who were first termed as overground workers by the army and police had raised many questions about the way they (civilians) were killed on the road where the army had set up a Mobile vehicle checking points (MVCP) in the Shopian district.

The family members and relatives of youth killed blamed the army for killing these youths in a cold blood and said that they all were innocent civilians.

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Read | At stake in Shopian

J&K chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti and the Peoples Democratic Party legislator from Wachi Shopian, Ajaz Ahmad Mir also termed the slain youth as civilians. Legislator Mir also demanded a fair and judicial probe that led to the killing of the civilians.

“In order to ensure the overall security of the area, police and security forces have established checking points / naka points/ mobile vehicle checking points in various areas on main roads and peripheral roads in the district. We understand it’s a major inconvenience but its –inevitable- to ensure the safety and security of public,’’ reads the message posted on various social networking sites by Baramulla Police soon after the killing of four civilians.

In December last year, the sumo driver Asif Iqbal Bhat was killed when army opened fire on his vehicle when he was ferrying a patient from Batapora village in north Kashmir’s Kupwara village. The villagers had then blamed army for opening fire on the vehicle without any warning or provocation. The killing of young driver sparked series of protests in north Kashmir.

Also Read | Shopian firing: Centre files plea to quash FIR against Major Aditya Kumar

Seeking cooperation from the people on wheels, the police have asked people to stop their vehicles when signaled by the forces personnel or officials to stop. “Please don’t jump these checking points and feel free to contact officers,’’ reads the message. Sources said that other police districts have been asked to make people aware of the checking points and issue an advisory to avoid any civilian killing in future.

In its defense, the Army said that two vehicles in which four persons who were killed in Shopian didn’t stop at the checking point set up by the army when they were asked to stop and the patrol was fired from both the vehicles.

A senior police officer told The Indian Express that aim of these messages is to create awareness among the people traveling on different roads and highways in the Valley, especially during night time when there are night patrols going on. “The aim of this awareness is to avoid any collateral damage and innocent killings.’’

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