The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, a coalition of political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday said that the killings of civilians in the Union Territory “have created a climate of fear”. The alliance also criticised the Centre for failing to contain militancy in the region.
“The onus to create a conducive security environment lies with the Government of India, however, we as responsible political parties of Jammu and Kashmir will play our role to the best of our ability to reduce the levels of suspicion and fear,” the statement said.
The Gupkar Alliance said that the current situation in Kashmir had resulted from the failure of the Union government’s policies.
“Whether it was demonetisation or removal of Article 370, these decisions were sold to the country as a solution to the problems of militancy and alienation in Kashmir,” the statement said.
The alliance further said that some of the decisions taken by the Jammu and Kashmir administration had “served to heighten differences between the communities that otherwise were living peacefully amongst each other”.
The alliance also noted the killing of Yasir Ali on Thursday by the Central Reserve Police Force in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The police claimed that the CRPF had fired at Ali in self-defence as the driver of his car had failed to stop and instead sped at a checkpoint on Monghal bridge around 9.35 pm.
“The killing of Yasir Ali yesterday [Thursday] evening is the direct result of the heightened state of alert and justification for use of force,” Tarigami said in a statement. “Harassment of innocent civilians and the killings like Yasir Ali will only serve to worsen the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.”
The alliance urged the Jammu and Kashmir administration to ensure that the security forces do not adopt a “shoot at sight” policy.
Since Sunday, eight civilians, including Ali, have been killed in Kashmir.
The Resistance Front, an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, has claimed responsibility for five of these deaths.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Friday said that the administration had given a “free hand” to the security agencies to kill the “enemies of humanity”, according to the Hindustan Times. “I want to assure the people that we will completely demolish their terror ecosystem,” he said.
On Thursday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asked security agencies to send their counter-terror experts to help the police in Jammu and Kashmir identify the members of The Resistance Front, the Hindustan Times reported.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday took note of the deaths in Jammu and Kashmir and said that it was “worried about cross-border terrorism”.
Several politicians have spoken out against the violence in Jammu and Kashmir.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed neither the Centre’s demonetisation decision, which it claimed would curb terror financing, nor the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status had stopped terrorism.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said that condemnation was not enough “for this inhuman act of terror” and that he was praying for the deceased.