December 2017 News

Police Unveil 2017 Strategy: Breached Resistance To Launch Anti-militancy Ops In Out Of Bound Areas

31 December 2017
Rising Kashmir
Javid Ahmad

Srinagar: Police on Sunday said that civilian causalities during anti-militancy operations took place due to resistance shown by people in some areas which were earlier out of bound for forces. In 2017 however police managed to launch many anti-militancy operations in these areas. 'This year we have started operations in the areas where, for some reason, police could not enter for the last two years,' Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan, said at a press conference. Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid also addressed media to unveil achievements in 2017. IGP Kashmir said that there was a 'stiff resistance from public' at some places and during the course of encounters there were some civilian causality because of 'cross firing.' 'We have been appealing public to avoid going near the encounter sites because ultimately it will result in mishaps and civilian causalities,' he said. The top police officer said that there was a movement of militants in 'these and villages' and the target has been the leadership of militants who besides taking an active part in militant activities, were also recruiting local youth in militant groups of Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba or Jaish-e-Mohammad. 'Noor Trali was an old militant. He was recruiting local youth into Jaish. That is why after targeting the militant leadership, the things have improved-killings and militant recruitment have come down,' he said. IGP informed that 24 civilians were killed during encounters in Kashmir. About the 'Operation All Out' DGP Vaid said that the 'perception about it should not be only of killing militants.' 'J&K police is a people's police and policemen are state subjects. Our priority is to bring normalcy in Valley. The operation All Out is not only about killing militants but also aims to bring those militants into mainstream who give up militancy. They are counselled and rehabilitated,' DGP said. He said the challenges have always been there in Kashmir. 'As long as our neighbour (Pakistan) keeps sending militants to Kashmir, people and police will have to go through this (violence). It is unfortunate that this happens,' he said. The state police chief said that 206 militants, of them 85 locals and 121 foreigners were killed in anti-militancy operations in 2017. He said that 75 youth were prevented from joining militant groups while as 7 youth re joined their families. Police, however, did not reveal the identity of these youth. 'They were swayed by the anti-social elements and enemies of peace. Police is counselling them and their families,' DGP said and added, 'Our effort is to bring the local militants, who lay down arms, into the mainstream.' State police chief said that that there was a 'decline in the trend' of local youth joining militancy in Valley. 'The local youth joining militancy has drastically come down and hope things will improve further,' he said. Vaid attributed the 'success' (killing militants and bring others back into mainstream) to the 'cooperation' of people and 'professional investigation' of the militancy-related cases by police Besides IGP Khan, DGP Vaid was also flanked by Deputy Inspector General of Police Central Kashmir, Ghulam Hassan Bhat and Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar, Imtiyaz Ismail Parray at the press conference. The DGP said that the situation improved in 2017 than 2016. 'With the cooperation of people and determination of forces, we would soon see Jammu and Kashmir getting rid of militancy and violence.' On policemen joining militancy, DGP said that 'abrreations' do happen but 'I salute police which works for restoring peace' in Kashmir. About the speculations that forces were going slow against Zakir Musa who leads a small group of Al-Qaeda affiliate, Ansar-ul-Gazwatul Hind, DGP said that police was not going slow against anyone. 'For us, anybody who is enemy of peace shall be dealt under the law,' he said. He said people 'by and large' want peace in Kashmir and the disturbance has devastated valley-be it on development or tourism front. On allegations that forces were ransacking 'houses and harassing people' during anti-militancy operations, IGP said that 'we are taking corrective measures.' 'We are taking corrective measures and there have been instances where people have been punished.' Asked whether police was of the same view as that of a top army officer who recently advocated political initiative in Kashmir, IGP Kashmir refused to comment and said that it was not their 'mandate.' 'We will not talk about any issue which is not our mandate. We are not politicians and we are professional police officers. Keep us out of it,' he said. Amnesty to first time stone pelters On Amnesty to first time stone pelters, DGP Vaid said that due to 'improvement' in Kashmir situation 'this year government announced to grant amnesty to first-time offenders (not involved in heinous crimes) in stone pelting, so as not to ruin their future and help them continue their career.' He informed that cases were registered against 634 youth involved in 104 cases during the year 2008-2009 and were granted amnesty. 'As many as 4327 youth involved in 744 cases registered from year 2010 to 2014, were given amnesty and their cases are being pursued in courts.' The Government constituted committee, currently headed by Vaid, is also reviewing the cases registered against youth during the period 2016 to 2017. 'During this period cases have been registered against 5500 youth and the committee is examining these cases. The committee will submit its report to the government very soon,' Vaid said. 'They are our own youth, must be given chance to those who are reform,' he added.