March 2016 News

Army Issues Warning As Stone Pelting During Operations Rise In Kashmir

10 March 2016
Nazir Masoodi

Srinagar: The army has sent out a strong warning to crowds hurling stones at security forces during anti-terror operations in Kashmir. 'In case a crowd takes the law in its hands and threatens life and property, security forces will be constrained to initiate appropriate action to counter it,' said a defense spokesperson. The army said more than a dozen soldiers and an officer were injured on Tuesday after a crowd hurled stones on them at Ashmuqam village in Anantnag district. Two persons were injured when the army fired back. In a statement, the army said the troops were forced to open fire after they came under heavy stone pelting during a joint operation with the police following a tip-off about the presence of terrorists at Ashmuqam village. As the operation was on, a 'large crowd of approximately 1000 people gathered at the site to disrupt the operations in clear violation of existing orders which had also been recently reiterated by the police,' the statement read. The army said despite provocations, the Forces exercised restraint while trying to dissuade the crowd. But the crowd responded with intensified stone pelting, shouted inflammatory slogans and started closing in on the security forces, 'resulting in injury to more than a dozen personnel, including a JCO of the Army and an ASI of J&K Police' the statement read. Of late, large crowds have been trying to break security cordons in an attempt to help holed up militants escape during encounters. Last month, two persons including a college student, were killed in firing by security forces after a crowd tried to break the security cordon in Pulwama district. Police say this is a most disturbing trend and they are now deploying anti-riot squads to deal with crowds during counter-insurgency operations.