Cabinet wants forces to maintain restraint – The Tribune

Amir Karim Tantray

Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 19

The state Cabinet has asked security forces to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with protesters in the Kashmir valley.
This was the outcome of the Cabinet meeting held onTuesday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.
The Cabinet discussed the law and order situation in the Valley following the unprecedented protests during the bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. Eight people had died on the polling day on April 9, which forced the Election Commission of India (ECI) to defer the bypoll to the Anantnag seat to May 25.
Since then the Kashmir valley witnessed widespread protests and on Monday college students held a protest and forced the government to close colleges for two days. All these issues were discussed and it was decided to ask security forces to exercise maximum restraints.
The meeting started at 2 pm and culminated around 2.45 pm. According to official spokesperson, the state Cabinet expressed deep anguish over the loss of lives during the violence and asked security forces to exercise maximum restraint while dealing with the protesters. The Cabinet made a fervent appeal to all sections of society to help restore peace and normalcy in the Valley.
“The Cabinet while reviewing the security and law and order situation in the state directed the police and security agencies to exercise maximum restraint while handling law and order situations to prevent loss of human lives,” the spokesperson said.
The Cabinet urged the civil society and parents to counsel the youth to stay away from violent protests, which, in spite of maximum restraint, can at times lead to fatal consequences, he added.
The Cabinet also directed the state administration to take all required measures to tackle the situation effectively and at the same time ensure that the public was not put to any inconvenience and their grievances were addressed.
A senior minister told The Tribune that ministers presented their views on the prevailing situation in the Valley and called for bringing peace back to the Valley. “Every minister gave his viewpoint and it was decided to engage different sections of society, including youth, so that situation doesn’t slip out of hand,” the minister said.
“The Cabinet also discussed the loopholes in the security system which led to the current situation and killing of eight people on the poll day. Yesterday’s unprecedented protest by students across the Valley was also discussed and it was decided to plug the loopholes,” he added.

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