SOP Violated in Kulgam Encounter, Says Tarigami

SRINAGAR — MLA Kulgam and CPI (M) senior leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami on Thursday said that the government forces violated the standard operating procedure (SOP) in the recent encounter at Kulgam which left seven civilians dead.

Raising questions about the encounter in which two militants were also killed, Tarigami said that “while violence has engulfed Kashmir the response of Government of India has been only use of disproportionate force which compounds the vicious cycle of violence.”

A party spokesman quoted Tarigami saying that “ instead of listening to the grievances of Kashmiris and resolving the issue through a credible process of dialogue, the BJP government’s stubborn attempts to subdue people’s political aspirations are making the situation worse.”

“The unarmed innocent civilians killed in Kulgam have deeply shaken whole Kashmir. Legitimate question of the people is whether this tragedy could have been averted. The SOP of 2012 makes it mandatory on security forces to sanitize the encounter site before leaving. Why was it not done in Larro, Kulgam?” he asked. “Strong voices are emerging that a credible inquiry should be held to fix the responsibility so that such tragedies could be avoided in future,” he said.

“Will the government heed to this demand is to be seen. Though no amount of money could heal the wounds of the families of the victims, they should be provided jobs under SRO-43 to give them some relief.

What happens in Kashmir today is, of course, a matter of life and death for its citizens. But it is also a test case for the policies of the Government of India pursued in relation with Kashmir,” he added.

Tarigami said that “ addressing the anger of younger generation should be the priority for the present administration, it must give a clear-cut direction to the law enforcing agencies to desist from using excessive force.”

He also added that indiscriminate arrests, registering cases and slapping “PSAs is not going to solve the problem.”

“However, contrary to this, the present dispensation in New Delhi led by BJP continues to refuse to draw lessons from the previous mistakes. It has compounded the problem in the last more than four years and thereby deepened the alienation and mistrust among the people further,” he said.

Tarigami added that the government of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, was “consistently refusing to initiate a political dialogue with all the political forces including the voices of dissent.” “This has resulted in a number of young men joining the militants. For the last three years, there has been a steady escalation in violence. Dozens of unarmed people got killed and a number of people injured. This disastrous policy of the government is alienating more sections of the population and driving number of youth to militancy,” he said.

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