Governor Expresses Grief

In the wake of killing of seven civilians by forces in southern Pulwama district, governor Satya Pal Malik chaired a security review meeting here on Saturday directed forces to “minimise collateral damage during anti-militancy operations”.

An official spokesman said in a statement the governor expressed grief over the loss of lives during the anti-militancy operation in Sirnoo area of Pulwama district in which seven civilians died “after post-operation clashes (sic)”.

The governor reviewed the latest security scenario in Kashmir, including details of counter-infiltration and counter-militancy operations undertaken recently, the spokesman said, adding that the governor directed the forces to “minimise the collateral damage during anti-militancy operations and recommended people-friendly measures during such operations”.

“He also asked the security forces and the administration to address the post-operation complications,” the statement read, adding that after reviewing the prevailing security situation and arising challenges, the governor “emphasised the crucial importance of maintaining sustained close watch on the ground situation, and appreciated the sustained real-time coordination and synergy between the security forces and the civil administration”.

“Pained by the unnecessary and avoidable loss of civilian lives in the (Pulwama) operation, the governor appealed to the people to keep a distance from areas where anti-militancy operations are in progress. He appealed to them not to go near such areas during or immediately after such operations”, the statement read.

The governor directed forces to “give time to people to evacuate from an area during an anti-militancy operation as per the laid down SOP”.

“Governor also directed divisional commissioner, Kashmir to inquire into the incident that happened in Pulwama today and suggest precautions to minimize civilian casualties in anti-militancy operations,” the statement read.

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