The State Cabinet which met here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives during the prevailing law and order situation in Kashmir and called upon various shades of political opinion, who have expressed concern for people’s lives, to help restore calm.
“The Cabinet expressed grief and anguish over the loss of precious human lives and made a fervent appeal to all shades of political opinion, including the mainstream and the separatists, to help restore calm as the violence has neither served any purpose in the past nor is it going to do so in the prevailing circumstances,” Minister for Education, Mr Naeem Akhtar said while briefing the media about the proceedings of the Cabinet meeting.
Mr Akhtar, who is also the State Government spokesman, said the cabinet also urged the civil society and the parents to counsel the youth against indulging in violent protests and targeting public and private properties and police and security forces installations. “The parents of young children also have a responsibility to keep an eye on their wards,” he said adding; “If you see the footages, you see small kids who do not know why but are still having stones in their hands,” he said.
He said the Cabinet also asked the police and the security forces to exercise restraint to prevent loss of human lives as any fatal retaliatory action only leads to a vicious cycle of death and destruction. He said the complaints of disproportionate use of force are being looked into to restore public confidence in the law and order setup. He said while the loss of property can be compensated, the loss of lives cannot be compensated.
Mr Akhtar said the Government is seized of its responsibilities. He said it was resolved in the cabinet that all steps will be taken for ensuring safety of life and property of the people. He cautioned the people, especially the youth against the machinations of the forces who want to add fuel to the fire for their vested political interests.
The Minister said there were a number of attacks on police stations and security force camps which forced the law enforcement agencies to retaliate. “Even today when I m talking to you, a cop was pushed into river Jhelum near Sangam alongwith his vehicle by a violent mob resulting in his on the spot death,” he said and added that the mobs set ablaze so many police stations and police vehicles and tried to overrun security forces camps at various places. “I urge the youth not take protests to a level where the forces are forced to use their weapons in retaliation,” he said.
Mr Akhtar said the Cabinet was also apprised about the adequate supply of drugs and other requirements in the hospitals and it was also decided that any injured person, requiring treatment outside the State, shall be provided such facility by the Government.
The Cabinet, he said, also desired to request different Airlines to provide additional flights for taking out the stranded tourists. The Cabinet also said efforts are being made to resume the Amarnath Yatra so that the people can undertake the Yatra smoothly.
Mr Akhtar said earlier the Chief Secretary, Mr B R Sharma, the Director General Police, Mr K Rajendra Kumar and the Home Secretary, Mr R K Goyal gave a comprehensive briefing to the Cabinet about the casualties of civilians and policemen including injuries in the ongoing law and order situation, the damages caused to the public and private properties and police and paramilitary installations.
The cabinet, he said, was also briefed about the incidents of violence across the Valley, where the public and private properties have been targeted by the violent mobs.