Srinagar: Dozens of civilians were injured in clashes with security forces in continuing protests in the Kashmir Valley on Friday as the army was set to be deployed in the restive southern districts. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in Panaji that the situation in the valley was “under better control than earlier” and “will be under complete control” in coming days.
The comments came as government sources in Srinagar told IANS that more paramilitary troopers were being sent to the valley and the army was being deployed in south Kashmir, the hub of the ongoing unrest on the streets.
However, the army, which is neither trained in nor equipped with non-lethal weapons, has been told not to get into mob control and react only in “self-defense” if their pickets and camps are attacked by stone-pelting protesters.
The sources said the army would launch a major offensive against militants believed to have crossed over from Pakistan and are fanning trouble in the valley. At least 76 persons have been killed and over 12,000 injured in the violent unrest.
Also at Panaji, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the increased deployment of troops was for anti-terror activities as the “army does not act in internal matters unless asked by the local authority”.
“The local civil administration will have to ask (for) the army there like it happened in Haryana, where the (Jat) agitation took place. When the local administration called the army in, we went there only then and followed the orders of the local administration. We don’t operate anywhere internally on our own,” Parrikar said.