Top police, army officials review security in Kashmir ahead of Republic Day

A Core Group consisting of top officials of civil administration, intelligence agencies and security forces in J&K met on Friday at Badami Bagh Cantonment to review the security situation in Kashmir.

According to the sources, the meeting was co-chaired by the General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps, Lt Gen DP Pandey and Director General of Police Jammu & Kashmir, Dilbag Singh.

“The core group reviewed the intelligence inputs and security parameters of 2021. The year 2021 witnessed a reduction in terrorist infiltration, reduced terrorist incidents, reduced terrorist recruitment, increased operations based on human intelligence, reduced collateral damage, no civil casualties in law and order situation, reduced security forces casualties, increased arrest of terrorists and booking of OGWs,” the GNS report quoted an army spokesman saying.

“All pointing to effective conduct of joint operations and activities by intelligence and security agencies. There has been increased neutralization of Pakistani terrorists in the last few weeks. The effort of the frontline soldiers and operatives of all agencies were acknowledged by all present,” the spokesman added.

As per the spokesman, the core group discussed “fresh strategies” of the militant organizations and their handlers including the use of “hybrid militants” and targeting of “soft targets.”

He said that 15 militants killed in 2021 were “fresh names not on the security forces radar”. “The core group discussed the setting up of SIA and the increased booking by NIA is showing the impact of focused intelligence and investigation efforts,” he said, adding, “These efforts have been effective in targeting drug, hawala and the OGWs networks. Legal action on those willfully harbouring (militants is being increased as the harbourers have direct involvement in terror activities.”

Officials stated that the ceasefire has improved the security situation along the border, however, intelligence inputs of militant launch pads and training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the Line of Control.

“On the Line of Control, late snow has kept the infiltration routes open for a longer time, however effective domination has ensured decrease in overall infiltration including those from South of Pir Panjal,” it said, adding, “The vigil on the Line of Control against infiltration of men, drugs and weapons is continuing.”

The officials said there was a challenge of “propaganda of the nexus through internet and social media”.

“Sadly, these efforts include propaganda to legitimize the killing of Kashmiri civilians by the terrorists. The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively by a joint effort,” it said, adding, “Efforts at synergy in exposing fake news, booking of radicals trying to foment unrest and proactive sharing of information by state agencies are being upgraded.”

The DGP and the Corps Commander commended the officials present on “improved security indicators”. They said that post the abrogation of Article 370, “certain benchmarks were set which have been achieved successfully for the restoration of peace and prosperity in the region”.

The DGP stated that reduction in local militant recruitment is “one parameter that all must approach with continued focus.

“A special mention was made on the measures taken to minimize the collateral damage in operations despite the risk to own soldiers.”

He recommended continued efforts to “give a chance of surrenders to local militants to give them a second chance at living a fruitful life”.

“The Corps Commander called upon all to treat 2022 as a transformative year where a common man used to zero civilian casualties in 2021 should see 2022 as the year when things turned for good for the long term,” an official said, adding, “He cautioned the trend of the terrorists to use urban areas with thickly built-up area for operations as they provide more avenues to hide or escape and puts higher onus in security forces to exercise restraint to avoid collateral damage.”

“He expressed satisfaction at low SF casualties in 2021 by better intelligence-based operations and improved tactical drills, the army statement reads further. He called for continued efforts along with the civil society to counter the separatist propaganda and break the cycle of violence for long term peace in Kashmir”.