Omar Sniffs Mischief In Triple Hits - NC Hints At Army Hand In Valley Attacks

Omar Sniffs Mischief In Triple Hits - NC Hints At Army Hand In Valley Attacks

25 October 2011
The Telegraph (Kolkata)
Muzaffar Raina

Srinagar: Three attacks in close succession today prompted the National Conference to allege that vested interests were out to ruin the calm in the Valley, days after an announcement that restrictive laws would be relaxed in some parts. The ruling party did not name the army, which is opposed to withdrawing the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, but said suspicion could fall on those “people who said there is no question of withdrawing the AFSPA”. At 12.20pm today, a person lobbed a grenade towards the CRPF’s sentry post at its local headquarters in Maisuma, which is close to Srinagar’s commercial hub. Three jawans were injured. Another grenade was lobbed at a security picket in nearby Batmalloo 15 minutes later. It injured none. In Anantnag, constable Anzar Ahmad was shot at near a bus stand in the afternoon. National Conference additional general secretary Mustafa Kamal said the attacks had happened after a long time. “There is no (single) figure of suspicion but a strong possibility that those very people who said there is no question of withdrawing the AFSPA, despite their claims there are a few dozen militants… would like the situation to continue,” he said. In reaction, army spokesperson Lt Col. J.S. Brar said: “It (Kamal’s statement) is not worth any comment from our side.” The armed forces act virtually gives the security forces immunity from prosecution as a victim’s family needs the sanction of the defence and home ministries, almost impossible to obtain. Many in Kashmir and the Northeast, where too this law has been enforced in some parts, believe that military personnel kill innocents because they enjoy immunity. On October 21, Omar had said several restrictive laws would be withdrawn in calmer parts of the Valley. Kamal today said police were capable of dealing with the attacks and there was no justification to use such instances to continue with the armed forces act. He compared the militancy problem in Kashmir with the one earlier in Punjab, hinting that vested interests were at work in Kashmir. It took security forces only eight years to wipe out militancy in Punjab, he said. “Why is it continuing here for so long?”


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