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Wean away local youth from militancy, stone pelting: NSA

Counter-militancy, infiltration grids reviewed

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 22: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval has called for weaning away local Kashmiri youth from the militancy, stone pelting and other such activities to maintain peace in the State. At the same time, he has also asked security agencies to strengthen counter-infiltration grid all along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) to ensure that the militants didn’t succeed in infiltration into the State.
Doval chaired a high level meeting at the Police Headquarters in Srinagar, the summer capital of the State, for over two hours this afternoon before flying back to New Delhi during which he shared vital Intelligence inputs on the militancy and infiltration attempts by the militants in Jammu and Kashmir available with the Centre and got detailed briefing from top police brass.
The NSA, who concluded his two days visit to Kashmir and returned to New Delhi at 5 pm today, also had separate one-to-one meeting with Srinagar based 15 Corps General Officer Commanding (GOC) Lt Gen Subrata Saha last evening and discussed with him in detail the security situation along the LoC in the Kashmir valley and hinterland and the steps being taken by the troops to thwart intrusion bids.
Official sources told the Excelsior that Doval drove to the Police Headquarters this afternoon and held detailed meeting with top police officers including Director General of Police (DGP) K Rajendra on security situation in Jammu and Kashmir. All senior police officers including Kashmir police chief, Intelligence chief and others were present in the meeting.
Sources said the NSA wanted police to take steps to wean away local youth from the militancy and incidents of stone pelting. The Centre was concerned about frequent hoisting of Islamic State (IS) and Pakistani flags and wanted such incidents to be curbed effectively.
Sources said the NSA wanted the police authorities to devise strategy to ensure that the local youths didn’t join the militancy as there were reports that a good number of them have joined militancy this year, which was alarming. However, police authorities briefed Doval that number of local youths, who have joined militancy, was not too high but still they were taking all steps to keep the youth away from the militancy and incidents of stone pelting.
Various security related aspects figured in the meeting, sources said, adding police officers also projected their demands before the NSA like raising more battalions at the earlier, purchase of more sophisticated weapons, new vehicles etc.
The NSA reportedly voiced satisfaction over the reports that incidents of street protests and stone pelting have come down sharply.
In his meetings with GOC Lt Gen Subrata Saha and police officers, Doval was also reported to have discussed in detail the security scenario along the LoC and hinterland in the Valley and steps being taken to maintain peace in the Valley.
He was briefed on counter-infiltration and counter-insurgency grids in Jammu and Kashmir, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) adopted by security agencies, coordination among different agencies engaged in anti-militancy operations and general law and order situation.
Yesterday, Doval had reviewed all aspects of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir in his meetings with the Governor, the Chief Minister and heads of various security agencies including the Army.
Apart from this, Doval also wanted to take an overall view on the situation from the Governor and the Chief Minister to set his agenda for talks with Pakistan’s NSA, which would be first high level contact between the two hostile neighbours. Modi and Sharief in their meeting at Ufa had agreed upon the meeting between two NSAs in New Delhi in August followed by meeting between Director Generals of BSF and Rangers in August. It was also agreed upon that Modi will visit Pakistan to attend SAARC summit next year.
Though the talks were agreed upon in August, the two countries were yet to decide the dates.
There have been a series of ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan which has resorted to mortar shelling of Indian areas over the past few days killing and injuring civilians and security personnel. India has responded in effective manner. Significantly, the resumption of shelling from Pakistan side came within few days after the two Prime Ministers announced resumption of talks between the two countries.
This was first visit of the NSA to Jammu and Kashmir after PDP-BJP coalition Government came to power in Jammu and Kashmir on March 1. Doval is key security strategist of the country and was chosen for the job by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he takeover at the Centre.


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