Srinagar, Feb 20: Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu, today revealed that the State Government is aware of the perception of another turmoil engulfing Kashmir valley this year and said ‘action is being taken at all levels to prevent recurrence of any unrest’ on the pattern of 2016.
“Government is fully aware of the thing (police report about apprehensions of another unrest recurrence) you are talking about and the action is being taken at different levels to prevent such events happening,” he told reporters in South Kashmir’s Anantnag town after chairing a Board meeting. Drabu was responding to a question with regard to J&K police report which apprehended another period of unrest in Valley.
The Finance Minister said the recent cases of bank robberies by armed militants in South Kashmir have been discussed at highest level and the security of all the banks has been beefed up to prevent further militant raids. “Security arrangements are in place,” he said, adding that the J&K Bank has become target of militants because of its presence in nook and corner of the Valley.
“It is not that J&K Bank is being targeted (alone). You see the J&K Bank is the largest bank here and is spread across with 600-650 branches while other banks have 20-25 branches. So, it is quite obvious that a branch located in remote area will be attacked,” he said. The militants in Kashmir, soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced scrapping of high value notes, started looting banks to overcome cash woes.
Drabu said he has spoken to “DG (Director General of Police) and also to district police on bank robberies by militants” and the security has been increased. “We are looking how and who is behind the attacks and two months ago there was surge in the attacks but now they have decreased and there was only one attack yesterday,” the Finance Minister said. The militants so far have successfully looted four banks and decamped with currency worth lakhs.
On being asked about the impact of recent crisis within PDP on upcoming by-polls and Panchayat elections after resignation of its two Ministers, Drabu said: “I don’t think there will be any impact on PDP in upcoming polls. It is also yet to be decided when shall be elections held. He said Tariq Hamid Karra joining Congress is his simple choice and it keeps happening in politics.
“Tariq Karra left PDP quite long ago and joining Congress is his own simple choice. Now it is a political dynamics; new people will come to us and some of our people will go out. I don’t think it is a great issue. It keeps happening is politics,” he added.