The National Conference (NC) has accused the army of being responsible for the 2010 unrest that led to the killing of 112 protesters in police firing. “In 2010, a series of events resulted in the sort of protests that you saw on the streets and the origins of that lie in a fake encounter that took place in North Kashmir ‘s Machil area where a unit of the army took three people and killed them as terrorists infiltrating into the area when they had absolutely nothing to do with that,’ NC spokesman Tanvir Sadiq said in a statement.
The statement was issued after the recent firing on protesters allegedly by the army in Pulwama district on Friday in which seven persons were wounded. The state government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident. “We strongly condemn the Pulwama incident. Such incidents are highly unacceptable and will only alienate the people further,” the spokesman said. “There should be an impartial probe into the Pulwama incident. We demand the harshest punishment to anyone responsible. Uniformed men should show a lot of resilience and patience, there should be a difference between a civilian and a man in uniform,’ the statement said.
“An institution that has brought laurels to the country should learn from its past mistakes, your one wrong move can bring the state back on the boil. In the garb of AFSPA , you cannot simply go on doing what you want,’ the NC said.
Stating that Pulwama-like incidents provoke people to come out on the streets, the NC said in 2010, “fake encounter’ killing of three youth at Machil in frontier district Kupwara provoked the people to protest. “In the course those protests, a tear smoke shell hit a young man, who died and then you had another death, and that spiralled. Every death resulted in more protests and more deaths and the area of protests just spread and reached the point where virtually every corner of the valley was seeing protests,’ it said.
The army refused to react to the statement. “We don’t react to political statements,’ a Srinagar-based army spokesman said. Hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Geelani has termed the NC’s statement “opportunistic’.