Bhat to camp in Anantnag as DIG; SP Anantnag removed
With two more fatal casualties, Kashmir turbulence toll reaches 47
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Jul 22: With South Kashmir continuing to be on the edge and death toll reaching 47 with two more fatal casualties on the 14th consecutive day of shutdown and curfew, after militant Burhan Wani’s killing in an encounter on July 8, Government on Friday ordered replacement of SP Anantnag while asking DIG Central Kashmir Ghulam Hassan Bhat to camp in Anantnag and hold the charge of DIG South Kashmir.
Sources in the State Home Department told STATE TIMES that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was getting increasingly perturbed over mounting of the fatal casualties in South Kashmir---ruling PDP’s stronghold in the mainstream political arena. Almost all the 47-odd deaths have occurred in South Kashmir during the two-week-long turbulence even as several Police Stations and vehicles have been torched by angry crowds and a cluster of houses and an apple orchard have been destroyed in Bamdora where Wani had died, along with two more Kashmiri militants, earlier this month.
According to sources, Government had earlier decided substantive transfer of DIG South Kashmir Nitish Kumar and three SPs. However, in the evening it was decided that only SP Anantnag Abdul Jabbar would be shifted substantively to a new place of posting. Home Department’s Order No: 403 said that SP Anantnag Abdul Jabbar and SP Traffic, Rural Kashmir, Zubair Ahmad Khan would swap their places with immediate effect.
Home Department’s Order No: 404 said that DIG Central Kashmir Ghulam Hassan Bhat would hold the charge of DIG South Kashmir and camp in Anantnag with immediate effect till Nitish Kumar returns from foreign training (Core Module IV) scheduled to be held at International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) Vienna, Austria with effect from 25-07-2016 to 05-08-2016. With intervals of three months, Mr Kumar is required to attend the studies of a course in Austria for 10 to 20 days.
The order said that incharge IG Traffic Viplav Kumar, who is currently senior most DIG, would hold the additional charge of DIG Central Kashmir during Mr Bhat’s camping in Anantnag.
Toll reaches 47
Earlier on Friday, a 19-year-old Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Chursu, Awantipora, was hit directly by a teargas shell, causing a 4-inch wide wound in his abdomen. He was rushed to a Srinagar hospital but he succumbed to injuries. Sources said that Police and paramilitary forces fired tearsmoke canisters when a crowd gathered at the highway at Chursu and staged an anti-India and pro-Pakistan demonstration immediately after conclusion of Friday afternoon prayers.
During previous night, another civilian, Ashfaq Ahmad of Hillar Kokernag, who had got critically injured in Police action on a crowd last week, breathed his last at SKIMS in Soura.
With the addition of two deaths, including a fresh one on Friday, toll has reached 47---including one Police driver---in Kashmir valley in the last 14 days.
On the 14th day of complete shutdown in the Valley and strict enforcement of curfew in several areas, demonstrators clashed with Police and paramilitary forces at around 20 spots in different districts. Official sources said that over a dozen protesters and Police and CRPF personnel sustained injuries. According to the union Home Minister, over 2100 civilians and over 1600 personnel of Police and security forces have sustained injuries during the 14-day-long clashes.
Due to strict enforcement of curfew and all the separatist leaders being either under house arrest or in Police detention, Friday congregational prayers were not held at the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of the summer capital and several other community mosques. GPRS Internet services and all mobile phone services, excluding BSNL’s postpaid, have remained frozen after Wani’s death that led to a huge turbulence in the Valley.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is scheduled to arrive in Srinagar for a two-day visit during which he would attempt an interaction with the civil society and hold a high level meeting with the top Government functionaries and representatives of security and intelligence agencies. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti would also attend the meeting.
[Published in Saturday’s STATE TIMES]