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J&K police urge Kashmiri youths to not converge at encounter sites

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-03-2017 PTI

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police on Thursday urged youngsters of the Kashmir Valley to not converge in conflict zones for their safety.

“In an encounter, even security forces and police take cover of a bulletproof vehicle or a house. Youths storming the encounter sites are committing suicide,” J&K DGP S.P. Vaid said in Srinagar on Thursday.

Youngsters in the Kashmir Valley often resort to stone-pelting at the police at encounter sites and are caught in the crossfire between the army and the militants.

Vaid said these youngsters were being misled and misused by elements opposed to peace in the Kashmir Valley for their short-term political gains.

“A bullet does not know whom it will hit. My appeal to all the young boys is that they should remain at home and not come to encounter sites. The youth must understand that they are being used by people for their short-term political gains,” Vaid said.

The DGP said the antisocial elements were misusing social media to instigate the youths to hurl stones at security forces to help militants flee.

“I would say this is misuse of social media by elements inimical to peace in the valley and to our country. The moment an encounter starts, they activate around 300 WhatsApp groups, each with more than 250 members, instigating young boys to reach the encounter site and resort to stone-pelting so that the terrorists escape from the spot,” Vaid said.

These WhatsApp groups and other social media accounts were being monitored and action will be taken against people operating them, said the police officer.

“Some of these accounts have been traced across (the border). It is an attempt by the enemies of India to create problems. All these numbers are being monitored and we will take action against those operating them from here,” Vaid said.

The DGP urged the people of J&K to think about the families of those who lost their lives during the incidents of stone-pelting recently. “Think of the mother, father, sister or brother of those who died two days ago. People soon forget those who died. Their family suffer the most. We all would be doing our jobs,” he said.

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