Tahir’s killing: Whose baby is handling law and order?

Baramulla Residents Seek Answers

IMRAN MUZAFFAR

Baramulla, Mar 7: The killing of 24-year-old Tahir Ahmad Sofi in Baramulla town on Tuesday has once again triggered the debate on the role of law enforcement agencies in J&K, especially with regard to handling the law and order situations.
 After Sofi’s killing, the residents of Baramulla town and its adjoining areas are questioning that “if everything in the town was normal on Tuesday and transport was plying partially despite a general strike call from the Mutahida Majlis-e-Mashawarat (MMM), what prompted the Army to ransack houses and damage vehicles?”
 People, by and large, are demanding answers as to why the Army didn’t call the local police to deal with the situation. “We want to know who is supposed to handle law and order situations. Which security agency has a lead role to shoulder? What is the role of police in such a situation? We are told that police only has the mandate to be on the forefront of tackling law and order situations. If it is so, how did Army open fire at the protesters?” asked a group of educated youth from Baramulla Town.
 After Tahir’s killing, an application submitted by forces in police station Baramulla stated that “a mob equipped with lathis and iron rods surrounded them and there were apprehensions of being attacked by the mob, the forces fired one fire in air and another on ground.” But people question as to whether the force required using the lethal weapon just on the basis of ‘apprehensions.’
 Tahir’s parents said their son was playing cricket when army went on “rampage”. “My son was playing cricket. His mother called him and asked him to shift his car from the lane where soldiers were causing damage to vehicles. After shifting his vehicle, he became the target of forces,” said Ghulam Rasool.
 Pertinently, even the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has sought an answer to some of the key questions while talking about Tahir’s killing in the State Assembly on Tuesday. Without naming Army, Omar demanded, "They need to answer as why they opened fire and what was the need. As per my information there was no militant in the procession and if somebody had stone in his hands it is not new thing."
 The residents of old town Barmulla say Tahir’s killing could have been easily avoided had the forces exercised restraint. “Soon after ransacking of houses and damaging of vehicles, we approached the police officials and apprised them about the situation. They didn’t act in time. Had they asked Army to vacate the place, the situation would not have turned ugly,” said residents of Kakar Hamam Baramulla, where the incident took place. “Such situations deal a blow to the peace in Kashmir and also lead to escalation of tension on ground.”

Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 8 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST




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