J&K police geared for poll: DGP
30 July 2002
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir police are ready to face any challenge in the coming elections even as infiltration from across the border continues and the ''militants are bent upon discouraging people from taking part in the poll process''. The Director-General of Police, Ashok K. Suri, told The Hindu today that the State had asked for more forces to ensure the smooth conduct of elections. Negating the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf''s claim, Mr. Suri said: ''Infiltration has not stopped at all, it is a continuous process. May be there is some change in the level of infiltration. They (Pakistan) have not lived up to their own promises and have been pushing militants into our territory''. He said the training camps for militants across the border were continuing to add fuel to the fire. There were intelligence inputs that these camps were relocated in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after September 11, but the fact was that they still existed there and there was no let-up in the support to terrorist groups. About 3000 militants were still active in the State. The Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Jaish-e-Mohammad and the Hizb-ul Mujahideen were the main outfits bent upon creating disturbances during the electoral process. The killing of National Conference workers is also an indicator about the militant intentions to disrupt the poll process and discourage people''s participation, he said and added ''we are here to thwart their plans''. The police, along with other security agencies, were fully geared to take on them (militants). But in any case there is room for subversion as it would be impossible to cover every part, the DGP said. The State Government had requisitioned a good number of paramilitary forces with the Centre and ''we are expecting full cooperation, though the additional deployments are yet to be finalised''.