‘Be tough but just’, Centre’s message to JK officials is loud and clear

SRINAGAR: Amid continued unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has asked the state government to be tough against those taking law into their hands but ensure no innocent person is harassed.
The message was put across by Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi during the meetings he had with top civil and police officials in the course of his visit to the Kashmir valley on Thursday.
The message of the central government is clear that security forces have to be tough against terrorists and those involved in stone pelting but no innocent should be harassed, official sources said.
The home secretary told the security forces to “be tough but just”, sources privy to the meeting said.
Mehrishi, however, did not broach the issue of political dialogue with his interlocutors as the matter was within the purview of the political leadership.
During the visit, the home secretary had called on Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, and discussed with them the security situation as violent clashes between locals and security forces continued to rock the valley.
In his meeting with civil and police officials, Mehrishi was briefed about the ground situation and the steps taken to restore normalcy in the valley, which is witnessing uninterrupted violence, including the killing of a Kashmiri Army officer by terrorists two days ago.

The home secretary was told that the Army along the LoC was fully alert to checking infiltration attempts from Pakistan as summer has set in and snow has started melting, sources said.

Jammu and Kashmir had witnessed large-scale violence during the April 9 bypoll to the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in which eight people lost their lives in more than 200 incidents.

The Election Commission had cancelled the May 25 bypoll to Anantnag Lok Sabha seat, noting the situation there was not conducive to holding election.

There have been protests by students in the valley last month against alleged police excesses. Students, including girls, were seen pelting security personnel with stones.

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