Railway Protection Force asks staff to prepare for impending unrest in Kashmir

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) held a security meeting in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on Saturday after the security agencies sent an input regarding the prediction of deteriorating situation in the Kashmir Valley.

After the meeting, the RPF issued a set of directions for its staff in case of an “emergency situation in the Valley for an extended period of time”. A copy of the directions is with India Today TV. The precautionary security measures include purchase and storage of at least four-month dry ration and water to “meet any crisis situation”.

The Railways has, however, said that the directions are “without any basis” and “not authorised”.

In an official statement, the railways said, “The Senior Divisional Security Commissioner had proceeded on one year study leave on July 26, 2019. The next in line had issued this letter based on his own perception which has no basis and is not authorised to issue any such letter.”

“It is also clarified the letter does not have any approval from the authorising authority. IG (NR) RPF is being sent to Kashmir to assess the situation and take corrective action,” the official statement read.

The letter, which was issued earlier by the RPF, stated that the meeting was held “as per the inputs received from different security agencies and SSP/GRP/SINA regarding forecast of a deteriorating situation in Kashmir Valley and the issue of law and order for a long period.”

The steps discussed in the meeting also include “no negotiation with the mob”. It said, “There should be no negotiation with mob and mob should not be allowed to come near railway installations if it happens as insurgents may be in the mob.”

The railway staff were also asked to shift their families with their relatives or at their native places as “it would be safer over there for their families”. The precautionary measures have also been issued for the Amarnath pilgrims.

“Nobody should keep their family or relative in Kashmir Valley who may have come for the Amarnath Yatra. They should be sent back to their native places for safety reasons by July 28,” it said, adding, “The administration will not hold any responsibility for eventuality”.

It said, “In case of suspension of trains, DME/BDGM should ensure that the rakes are placed for safety reasons during the crisis situation as precautionary measures.”

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah slammed the government after the precautionary measures released by the RPF went viral.

In a tweet, Omar Abdullah said, “It’s easy to blame valley residents for fear-mongering but what are we to make of such official orders which forecast deterioration in the law and order environment and even predict disturbances lasting for an extended period of time? Why is the government silent?”