J&K parties object to CRPF’s takeover of community halls

New security bunkers puncture BJP government’s claims of normalcy, says CPI(M)’s Tarigami

Jammu & Kashmir’s regional parties, including the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday said the takeover of marriage halls by security forces and the installation of new bunkers belies the Central Government’s claims of normalcy in the Union Territory.

In south Kashmir, militants hurled a grenade at Central Reserve Police Force personnel on Sunday evening.

“Taking over of even marriage halls by the CRPF in Srinagar and the coming of new security bunkers across the valley has punctured the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) government’s normalcy claims in Jammu and Kashmir after the unconstitutional abrogation of the erstwhile State’s special status under Article 370,” CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said.

He said security bunkers were coming up at “every nook and corner of Srinagar”, and new paramilitary companies had been called into Kashmir. “The BJP’s fake narrative on ‘progress and development’ in J&K after August 5, 2019 gets trashed by such incidents. Every day, more draconian laws are brought in with the sole purpose of suffocating people into silence,” Mr. Tarigami said.

The CPI(M) leader also said, “J&K is a political issue and needs a political outreach.”

“J&K does not need additional forces, more draconian laws, and repression. When the already available forces and draconian laws could not control the situation, how can additional forces and new draconian laws do so?” he asked.

NC vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said his government had built community and marriage halls, and demolished bunkers, in Srinagar. “It’s disappointing to see the security situation in the city has now regressed so far that new bunkers are being constructed and marriage halls are being used as barracks for security forces,” Mr. Abdullah said.

PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti said that after placing security bunkers in all parts of Srinagar, CRPF personnel had been pushed into marriage halls, the only private space left for people here. “Every day, more draconian laws are brought in with the sole purpose of suffocating people into silence,” she said.

Grenade attack

Officials said suspected militants hurled a grenade at CRPF personnel manning Nehama Chowk in south Kashmir’s Kulgam on Sunday evening.

The incident took place around 6.25 p.m. “Militants threw a grenade at the 18 Battalion CRPF party. It exploded on the roadside. There are no immediate reports on injuries,” officials said.

Earlier in the day, a militant affiliated to The Resistance Front (TRF) was found critically injured in the Hermain area of south Kashmir’s Shopian.

The militant, identified as Sahil Bashir Lone from Hermain, was found with bullet wounds by locals and shifted to a hospital. “Lone is in a critical condition,” officials said.

Lone joined the TRF on October 12 this year.

The police have not yet issued a statement on the incident.

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