Civilian killings, radicalisation; Poonch encounter dominated session
SRINAGAR: Union Home Minister Amit Shah who arrived on a three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir chaired security reviewed meeting with top security officials in Srinagar.
The Home Minister soon after arriving in Srinagar, first visited the residence of slain police inspector Pervez Ahmed at Nowgam, Srinagar and then straight away drove to Rajbhawan, Srinagar to chair the high-level security review meet.
Top officials from police, army, CRPF, BSF and intelligence participated in the meeting.
The Home Minister, as per sources, sought details from the police and other security officials about the stepped-up militant attacks in Srinagar and elsewhere in Kashmir, especially the “selected killings of non-local labourers and the members from the minority community.” J&K LG Manoj Sinha Co-Chaired the meeting.
“The Home Minister stated why militants managed to carry out these killings despite the deployment of security forces personnel in large numbers in Srinagar and other districts.
The Home Minister also inquired as to why militants managed to kill non-local labourers in southern districts of Kashmir despite killing of record number of militants in counter militancy operations since 2019,” an official, who was present in the meeting, revealed on the condition of anonymity.
Today’s visit of Home Minister was the first post rollback of Article 370 and slicing of erstwhile J&K State into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.
The official said that the Home Minister sought details of active militants, local- militant recruitment graphs and the radicalisation propaganda being used to lure youth into militancy. Shah was told that this year 32 civilians have killed in militancy-related incidents against 41 last year.
Sources said Shah was told that this month almost 15 militants including, those involved in the killing of non-local labourers and minority community members were killed. “He was also told that this year 124 militants were killed, including 54 newly recruited militants. This year, Shah was told that 98 local youth joined militancy, a figure far less than the last year,” he said.
On the infiltration bids, the Union Home Minister stressed on taking all possible measures to plug the infiltration completely. This year in Kashmir, two major infiltration bids took place and both were foiled including the one in Bandipora.
However, in the Jammu region, the Union Home was told that it seems that a fresh group had infiltration that engaged troops for the past 13 days in an encounter first at DKG and now at Bhata-Dhurian in Poonch district in which so far nine soldiers including two JCO’s were killed. Shah sought details of the ongoing encounter and directed the security agencies to “find out how the militants are managing to prolong it and whether they were getting support from across.”
At the conclusion, Shah stressed on framing a “joint strategy for providing security to areas where minorities live, and to starting well-thought out counter radicalisation steps across the Valley,” sources revealed.
A new challenge on the militancy front—“Hybrid militancy and increase in pistol shootings” was also discussed on which the Union Home Minister sought “immediate counter-strategy and stepped up vigil by the security forces and intelligence agencies to prevent pistol attacks.” Shah also laid special emphasis on preventing the social media challenges including radicalisation propaganda etc through innovating technical moves—(KNO)