Kashmiri chief minister seeks phased withdrawal of Indian paramilitary troops

Other News Materials 2 July 2009 12:25 (UTC +04:00)

The Chief Minister of India-controlled Kashmir (Jammu and Kashmir), Omar Abdullah, has sought phased withdrawal of Indian paramilitary troopers from the region, according to officials of the local government Thursday,reported Xinhua.

Abdullah Wednesday evening said that he had given 10 days time to officers to formulate a strategy for the first phase of withdrawal of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from the region.

Concerned about death of four people due to police firing over the past few days, Abdullah said his government would not give license for unwarranted use of force and directed placement of magistrates in every district.  "No law and order situation or protests should be dealt without the presence of a magistrate," Abdullah said.

Abdullah also chaired the meeting of the Unified Headquarters in Srinagar, the summer capital of the region, to discuss the prevailing situation with top officers of the Indian army, police and paramilitary, besides the civil administration.

During the meeting Abdullah has asked the army to produce the youth that has been subjected to enforced disappearance allegedly by the army in Larkipora village, 70 km south of Srinagar on Sunday.

According to the family members, the 15-year old boy, Basharat Ahmad Bhat, was summoned by Indian army troopers stationed in the village and his whereabouts are unknown since then.

Army officials said they have released the youth the same day.

The villagers have been demonstrating for the past four days seeking whereabouts of the Bhat.

Since a fresh spate of violence erupted on Monday in the region' s Baramulla town, 52 km northwest of Srinagar, situation has remained tense and the district has been placed under curfew.

So far four people were killed and more than 20 others were injured in clashes with police.

The Muslim dominated areas of the region are observing a complete shutdown for the third consecutive day in response to the strike call given by separatist alliance against the police firing in Baramulla and inordinate delay in identifying the culprits involved into the rape and murder of two women in Shopian town.