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IndiaSecurity forces were unaware of Wani’s presence: Mehbooba

Security forces were unaware of Wani’s presence: Mehbooba


Srinagar, July 28: and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday claimed that the security forces were unaware of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani's presence at the scene of the July 8 encounter.

“How can one know everything about every encounter?” Mehbooba asked.

“As far as I know, what I heard from the police and the army, who said they only knew that there were three militants inside the house but did not know who they were,” she said.

The Chief Minister told reporters that had the security forces known about Wani's presence inside the house in Kokernag area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district, it would have been possible to keep the situation “from turning to what it is today”.

“I feel if they knew, perhaps we would not have such a situation,” she said. The police and intelligence agencies say they did not know who was there, she said.

The Chief Minister said the government did not get enough time to make arrangements to contain the situation, unlike when Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged in 2013.

“When Afzal Guru was hanged, (then chief minister) Omar (Abdullah) knew, so he made all the arrangements beforehand. We knew nothing and came to know suddenly. But, despite that, we tried to impose curfew so that children did not come out,” she said.

Violence has rocked the Valley since July 8 when Wani was killed in an encounter, leaving 47 people dead. At least 5,500 people, including 3,000 security personnel, have also been injured.

Mehbooba said an atmosphere should be created in the state for peace dialogue and the government would do “everything” to provide relief to the people affected by the violence.

“An atmosphere should be created in Jammu and Kashmir where there is dialogue, transparency like in (former prime minister Atal Behari) Vajpayee's time when a peace process was started and there was ceasefire with Pakistan,” she said.

On the use of pellet-guns, Mehbooba said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that the government would seriously rethink its use as a crowd-control measure.

 “Today is the foundation day of our party–the PDP–and the main aim of forming the party was to have reconciliation in Jammu and Kashmir, better relations between countries, to have dialogue, creation of peace, movement of people (across the borders) and to remove the difficulties of people. But unfortunately, there are some elements waiting for the spring, for and development to start and then to do something to create trouble and worsen the situation,” she said.

She said the people of Kashmir had understood that they had gained nothing from strikes. “I feel people understand that many youths have lost their lives in the past 30 years, there have been strikes and curfews, so many buildings have been burnt, but Kashmiris have not gained anything except the opening of the Muzaffarabad road in (her father and former chief minister) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed's time,” she said.

Unfortunately, the peace process did not move forward from 2005, Mehbooba said.

“Today, the alliance that we have with the BJP, it is the same peace process which began with Sayeed and Vajpayee to improve the situation,” she said. PTI

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.


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