Srinagar attack: Day after lathi-armed CRPF jawans were killed, govt may turn to guns
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THE Jammu and Kashmir government will review its decision about providing lathis to police and para military personnel who are deployed on routine law and order duties in the Valley.
Giving an indication about it, the Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Sham Lal Sharma, said that following Wednesday's fidayeen attack that killed five CRPF personnel in Srinagar, "there was a need to revisit the SOP (standard operation procedure) available to police and para military personnel deployed in the Valley. We will take up the matter in the cabinet," he added.
With assembly elections coming nearer, there has been spurt in incidents of militant attacks, Sharma said. The government thought that days of militancy in the Valley have been over, but yesterday's attack has proved that militants were still hiding there, he added.
The rethinking over the present SOP available to police and para military personnel in the Valley has come within the state government following yesterday's fidayeen attack in Srinagar which shattered peace in state's summer capital after a period of three years. According to reports, only one of the five CRPF men killed in attack was carrying the gun.
Significantly, this had been the second such incident during the last fortnight when police and para military personnel in the absence of weapons have been caught as sitting ducks by armed militants. Earlier on March 2, two police men carrying lathis were shot dead by militants at Handwara in Kupwara district on North Kashmir.
The decision to provide lathis in place of weapons to cops deployed on routine law and order duties in the Valley was taken following argument by state government that armed police and security force personnel moving around in the Valley instilled fear among the people. However, while CRPF agreed not to carry arms, the Border Security Force rejected it.
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