Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday reviewed the security situation in the state after the recent civilian killings in Pulwama and directed security forces to adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure to avoid civilian casualties, PTI reported.
This was Malik’s second security review after seven civilians were killed and several people injured in firing by security forces during clashes that followed a gunfight with suspected militants in Pulwama district on Saturday. Restrictions were imposed in Srinagar and Pulwama after separatist groups called for a shutdown in the Valley.
The review meeting was held with senior officials of the state administration, police, Army, and intelligence agencies at the Northern Army Command in Udhampur.
“The governor reviewed the latest security scenario in J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] including details of the counter-infiltration and counter-terrorist operations undertaken recently,” an official spokesperson said, according to The Indian Express. “He reiterated the vital importance of the laid down Standard Operating Procedures being adhered to by the Army and all security forces to avoid incidents of civilian casualties and collateral damage.”
The spokesperson said Malik reiterated the importance of collaborative action between the armed forces, the state police with the civil administration in dealing with difficult situations to ensure civilian lives are not lost. He also lauded the role of security forces in ensuring that the elections to the urban local bodies and panchayats went by smoothly.
National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said the Army should have used water cannons or tear gas to disperse the crowd in Pulwama. “People who died, can’t come back,” ANI quoted him as saying. “We hope army [and] police will not carry out such operations in the future.