Removing Army From North Kashmir Has Helped Militants2 June 2010
Srinagar: The Centre’s decision to remove army camp from strategic Bomai axis in north Kashmir last year has heavily “compromised” the security situation and helped the militants to trickle into the mainland Sopore from the border district of Kupwara. A secret police document DNA could access revealed that the relocation of 22 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) from Bomai camp has left the area unguarded, providing easy access to terrorists from Kandi, Kupwara via Zaloora to mainland Sopore. The camp was relocated after massive protests rocked Sopore following the killing of two civilians - Muhammad Amin Tantray and Javid Ahmad Dar - by the troops of 22 RR at Bomai Chowk on February 21, 2009. Three soldiers including a junior commissioned officer (JCO) were indicted for various lapses during the operation in which the two youth were killed. Under the pressure, the government decided to relocate the camp from Bomai area a month later. “The decision of relocating Bomai camp seems strategically incorrect. Given the ideology and psyche of Soporites the decision was not to our advantage,” reads the six-page police document. “One more administrative decision which was not properly thought was relocating of 02 company of CRPF from Ningli and Hathi Shah Bridge. Removal of these two CRPF companies gives access not only to terrorists but to stone pelters also,” it adds. An year later the army has decided to break its silence over the mistake committed under pressure. “There was a certain compulsion due to which the post had to be vacated. Yes it has made a compromise,” Major General N George said. George is the general officer commanding (GoC) Kilo (counter-insurgency) Force of the army. The army is now taking a series of measures to stem the rot and stop militants from exploiting the situation. “There are measures already on to make up for that absence. You are right when you say we could have a better spread, and it is happening,” George said. More than 20 securitymen and 15 ultras were killed in Sopore during the past eight months. LeT chief Abdullah Uni has given the security cordon a slip at least five times in the past few months. This year alone, Sopore has seen more than eight militant attacks ranging from grenade lobbing, to point blank shooting at police personnel and brazen attacks on other security installation. And most of the attacks have been carried out by the module comprising LeT, Harkat-ul-Mujhadeen and Hizb-ul-Mujhadeen headed by Uni.