February 2001 News

Ceasefire hasnít delivered desired results: Vajpayee

17 February 2001
The Hindustan Times

Mumbai: ON THE eve of a cabinet review of the twice-extended ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Vajpayee today admitted the unilateral gesture had not delivered the desired results. Though, he said, it has made life a little easier for people in the troubled state. 'When we announced the ceasefire, the militants should also have responded. But despite our good intentions, there were some incidents. So, we will have to decide about its future', the PM said. Surprisingly, Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today publicly announced his support for a third extension to ceasefire. He had opposed the first extension. The CM, however, attacked Hurriyat leaders for 'abetting violence.' The CM's statement came amid violent protests in Srinagar against the killing of six persons in firing by security forces on Thursday. Over two dozen persons, including some policemen, were injured when demonstrators threw stones at the police in Srinagar and Baramulla. Toady, yet again, mystery gunshots were fired on demonstrators at Zanpa Kadal that left two persons critically injured. One was hit in the abdomen and another in the shoulder. Both are battling for life. The police, present there in strength, swore they did not open fire. 'Some unidentified persons were involved in the firing', said a police spokesman. 'We are investigating', he said. But that's only the official position. Privately, the police accused the counter-insurgent Ikhwan, associated with a local BSF camp, of firing upon the people. 'That's not true,' reacted a BSF spokesman, adding that not a single Ikhwan man was working with the BSF in Srinagar. The local residents had another version. They blamed the Special Operation Group (SOG) of the state police. In the last two days, this is the second major incident when protestors were fired upon in full view of the police and security forces. On Friday, a youngster was killed and two persons were injured in Srinagar's Maisumma locality under similar circumstances. 'We're investigating the shooting,' has been the stock reply of the government. The indiscriminate firing on a mob at Haigam, which left six persons dead and 24 injured, is also mired into controversy. The Army had initially denied its involvement in the incident and blamed the police. The police, on its part, held the Army responsible for killing the civilians.


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