Kashmir: Under Siege' CISF Men Had Orders To Fire At Protesters

Kashmir: Under Siege' CISF Men Had Orders To Fire At Protesters

4 January 2012
India Today


Srinagar: All units of the CISF were told last September not to wait for the arrival of the police and take 'any step' to safeguard the security of an installation threatened by mob violence. A circular to this effect was issued on September 30 by CISF deputy inspector general Shikha Goel who had written that it had been noticed by the CISF directorate that some units were 'failing to take proactive action' in protecting and securing the undertakings. 'The CISF personnel should be utilised effectively for protection of installation against mob violence particularly where there is a delay in arrival of police,' the circular said. This circular is believed to be the reason behind the incident at the NHPC premises in Baramulla on Monday where the CISF personnel guarding the power unit fired at a mob of 400 protesters killing a Class XII student. The killing of Altaf Ahmad Sood has raised questions as to why the CISF did not call the local police to handle the matter since the force is not on counter-insurgency law and order duty. 'We may not wait for the arrival of the police or the presence of a magistrate for taking any steps against any activities which threatens the security of the installation. Such activities which are potentially illegal must be prevented within premises of the undertakings or installations,' the CISF circular reads. It has long been debated if the CISF should be given immunity under the AFSPA Act. Unlike the army and the police, it is only meant to guard industrial installations and is not part of the armed forces.