Kashmir: Pulwama civilian killings evoke sharp response

“6 civilians killed and numerous more injured, many critically. Any way you look at it this was a badly executed encounter. Protests around encounter sites are now the norm not the exception. Why are we unable to learn how to handle them better? (sic),” Omar, the National Conference leader,  tweeted. (PTI File Photo)

The killing of seven civilians in security forces firing during clashes near encounter site in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday evoked sharp reactions in the Valley with former chief minister Omar Abdullah calling it a ‘badly executed encounter.’
 
“6 civilians killed and numerous more injured, many critically. Any way you look at it this was a badly executed encounter. Protests around encounter sites are now the norm not the exception. Why are we unable to learn how to handle them better? (sic),” Omar, the National Conference leader,  tweeted.

Terming the day as ‘horrible and blood soaked’ weekend, he said, “The administration of Governor Malik has one task & one task only – to focus on the security of the people of J&K & restore peace to a troubled valley. Sadly it appears that’s the only thing the administration is not doing. Publicity campaigns & full-page ads don’t bring peace.”

PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti while questioning Governor administration for the killings, tweeted: “How long are we going to shoulder the coffins of our youngsters? So many civilians killed today post encounter in Pulwama. No country can win a war by killing its own people. I strongly condemn these killings, and once again appeal for efforts, to stop this blood bath.”

Separatist-turned-BJP ally Sajjad Lone in a tweet said: “Extremely disturbing news coming from Pulwama. The administration needs to seriously evaluate the costs of its operations. If there is even a remote chance of civilians getting killed during military operations it is better to call off such operations.”

Terming the encounter as ‘Rambo mindset’, he said, “The preparedness of security forces would in the Pulwama context be the ability to make the distinction between combatants and non-combatants. If u end up killing 7 civilians in order to kill 3 militants. It is time for heads to roll. We can’t afford a state of impunity.” 

Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, while calling for a protests and strike for three days against the killings, urged the people to march towards Badami Bagh Army cantonment in Srinagar on Monday. “#PulwamaMassacre, Bullets and pellets rain!As Govt of India has decided to kill Kashmiri’s through its #ArmedForces who control us, JRL and people will march towards Badami Bagh Army cantonment on Monday 17 Dec to ask GOI to kill all of us at one time rather than killing us daily.. (sic),” he tweeted.

In another tweet, he said: “SOS # to all humanity! Kashmiri’s being massacred as Indian forces go on a killing spree in #Pulwama firing indiscriminately! civilian death toll has crossed 7, more than 40 youth have been hit with Bullets many critical, death toll may rise!”

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Kashmir: Pulwama civilian killings evoke sharp response

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