Now, fresh strategy to tackle stone-throwers

New Delhi: Two days after stone-throwing youth had interfered with Army operations in Handwara, a high-level review committee has laid down fresh guidelines to deal with stone-throwers.The review committee that met on February 15 has circulated a fresh set of rules for all stakeholders – Army, Central forces like the CRPF, J&K Government and the J&K Police. This comes against the backdrop of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s warning that people obstructing Army operations would face tough action.Top sources confirmed to The Tribune that a four-step procedure had been laid down.First, a joint control room (located within an armour protected vehicle) will be set up at the encounter site. Encounters, mobilisations to end ‘mopping up’ can usually last for few hours. The joint control will ensure greater coordination between the Army, CRPF and the J&K Police.Second, Deputy Commissioners of the state have been asked to prevent the assembly of people at the encounter site where the security forces engage with militants. In Handwara, where four soldiers, including Major Satish Dahiya, lost their lives, a huge crowd pelted the Army convoy with stones. This aided the militants, who opened fire on the soldiers. In the ensuing melee, two Militants escaped.Third, the police will pro-actively start identifying people who are providing shelter to militants in urban areas. Due to the severe snowfall and cold in the Valley, militants cannot remain holed up in their jungle hideouts and take shelter in villages and towns.Fourth, the police will earmark and identify the stone-throwers and further action under law will be taken.

Tribune News Service