J&K Police have come into focus after the rise of armed insurgency in Kashmir. A role which JK Police could never have imagined has been imposed on the organization. It calls for far-reaching reformation and reorganization of Police Department. Militancy has spread its tentacles in some parts of the State though it is very active in Kashmir. Keeping in mind the support provided to Kashmir militancy by Pakistan army and her fundamentalist organizations and also knowing the scale of brain-washing of Kashmiri youth in Islamic religious seminaries, it is immensely huge task to take on violence and mayhem propagated and practiced by militants.
The State has a police structure that is essentially meant for peace times for maintaining law and order. Our police force is under an impression that it has to deal with crimes and criminals in various forms. It has had little idea of the type of job it will have to perform in a state of turmoil which has erupted in the State in 1990. It is a proxy war. As years rolled by and militancy maintained its crescendo, the pressures on police increased manifold. Police authorities found that the fight against the terrorist was far different from fighting ordinary law and order situation. The Police had to suffer casualties just because they were ill-equipped and ill- trained. On the other hand, the terrorists are not only well trained and well equipped but are considered the vanguard of Pakistan army because Pakistan has extended patronage to fundamentalist organizations in Pakistan to train youth in all branches of offensive strategy and equip them with all the paraphernalia required for sneaking into Indian part of Kashmir and unlashing mayhem.
When the police is called upon to be part of defence force against the terrorists, the Government must treat them not as ordinary police but something more than that and close to the regular soldiers of Indian army to fight the terrorists on the border, in the towns, in their hideouts and other places. Realizing that the State Police needed deep reforms and reorganization, the members of the legislature as well as the seniors in the Police Department suggested and insisted on reorganizing the police rather overhauling it in a way that the police become effective in checkmating terrorists within the State. The Departmental Related Standing Committee-IV on Home Department responded to the instructions of seniors and drew a reorganization plan in 2013 in which creation of new Police Sub-Divisions, Police Stations and Police Posts in different parts of the State was proposed.
It was noted by the Committee that there was no uniformity in the jurisdiction of existing Police Stations in Jammu and Kashmir and large numbers of Police Stations are having area of operation much bigger than adjoining Police Stations. Moreover, it was observed that huge area of operation was also affecting maintenance of law and order, prevention of crime and protection of life and property of citizens. However, these ground realities could make no impression on the Finance Department which turned down the report on the plea that as much funds were not available. Consequently, the Police Department revised the draft proposal, slashed down many suggestions and remained content with only most essential items on the basis of priority. The revised proposal was resubmitted. More than three years have gone by and nothing has moved to convince us that there is movement at some stage or some level. No earnestness is shown by State authorities of equipping the police with necessary and unavoidable paraphernalia so as to make it effective against the crawling militancy.
Not only that, most importantly, the State has to ensure that the police suffer least rather no casualty while fighting to contain terrorism. Unless the policeman is equipped with adequate weaponry, training, morale and gadgets, he cannot be a match to a militant. Already many police men have made great and glorious sacrifices of their lives while fighting terror in Kashmir. They won name and fame as martyrs and the State and the nation have paid them due tribute. It is important to see to it that each life in the Police Department is precious and has to be safeguarded against odds. It is in this spirit that we take the liberty of impressing upon the Government to give up endemic lethargy and treat this issue on priority basis. Most of the State and especially sensitive and vulnerable areas of the State, need to have police posts, stations and sub-divisional level police presence close at hand if spread of anti national propaganda and movement of terrorists is to be monitored and countered. There is no short cut to this requirement.