January 2000 News

J&K Governor reviews security measures

9 January 2000
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Mr. G. C. Saxena, has asked the security agencies to gear themselves up to fight the militants, who have taken recourse to "suicidal missions."

Mr. Saxena who flew in here on Saturday, chaired a high-level meeting of the heads of security agencies in which the law and order situation in the valley with special emphasis on the recent attacks of security installations was discussed.

Attended by the State DGP, Mr. Gurbachan Jagat, the IG's of CRPF, BSF, as also senior officers from the intelligence agencies, the meeting addressed itself to the various measures being taken by the security forces to foil the militants' attempts to storm the security camps.

Intelligence inputs about their plans to strike at bigger targets were shared, sources said. The Governor, the sources told The Hindu was worried about the deteriorating security scenario in the valley. He asked the top brass of the security forces to revitalise themselves to take on the militants.

Mr. Saxena said coordinated strategies always yielded good results. He said restoring normality in the State was the priority of the Government.

Expressing deep shock over the recent bomb blast in Srinagar in which many civilians were killed, Mr. Saxena said security forces should take utmost care in saving civilians lives and frustrate militants' designs to get publicity through such acts.

Though much importance is being attached to Mr. Saxena's visit to the valley and the meeting, the sources described it as a "routine visit."

The sources said Mr. Saxena would be visiting New Delhi to attend a high-level meeting with the Central leadership where a new action plan to deal with militancy will be approved.

The new strategy was necessitated after the attacks of the Fidayeen group of Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkatul Mujahideen organisations. In the recent months, the militants have stormed many security camps including that of the Badamibagh cantonment, SOG headquarters and some in Kupwara and Baramulla districts.

Though security around the camps have been tightened, it is impossible to stop a determined militant from sneaking in, he observed.

Authorities are also apprehensive of new life to militancy in the wake of the release of the three militants - Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar and Umar Sheikh. "This has emboldened the militants and many more may be waiting to cross over to this side" said a senior official.


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