Centre rushes more forces to Kashmir

Centre rushes more forces to Kashmir

Doval back in Delhi

Centre rushes more forces to Kashmir

The Kashmir Valley remained tense on Monday with spiralling violence and more deaths over the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, prompting the Centre to rush in additional forces.

Three days of violence has left 22 people dead and 1,365 injured. The local media, however, put the toll at 31 by publishing the names of those killed.

In the fresh spell of violence on Monday, protesters torched a police station in Sopore and targeted an air force airport in Pulwama, where agitators set afire dry grass inside the airport complex.

Protesters also set ablaze an abandoned police post in Lassipora and a special operation group’s camp at Litter, both in Pulwama. There was no let up in stone pelting incidents too. The Munsif court at Dooru in south Kashmir was another target. There were reports about dozens of police stations being targeted in other areas.

The rising violence saw National Security Advisor Ajit Doval return from Africa a day ahead of schedule. Doval had accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his African tour. “If there are problems, there are solutions. We are quite confident and competent of finding solutions,” Doval, who returned from Kenya on Modi’s direction, was quoted as saying by PTI.

In New Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh telephoned Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah to discuss the situation and held a series of review meetings along with senior ministers and Doval.

A concerned Centre rushed 800 more Central Reserve Police Force personnel to the Valley where around 60,000 personnel are already deployed. This took the total additional deployment to 2,000 in the last three days. The decision to deploy additional forces was taken after mobs targeted security installations in the state.

Sources said they expect the situation to come under control in 72 hours, while adding that security agencies are looking into social media activity over the latest round of protests.

Reports from various parts of the state said that around 40 people were injured in Monday’s clashes. Protesters claimed that one Aamir Latoo is critical after he was shot at by CRPF personnel at Zirpora in Shopian. But the police said: “At Zirpora Bijbehara, militants fired upon the police and CRPF personnel which resulted in injuries to three people.”

Meanwhile, Modi will chair a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security on Tuesday to review the situation in Jammu & Kashmir. The meeting will be held early in the day soon after Modi returns from Kenya.

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