Home Ministry calls high-level meet to discuss J&K security situation today

Top brass from J&K, MHA, CAPFs to attend
Targeted killings of cops, civilians high on agenda

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Dec 22: Amidst stepped-up attacks by the militants on Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) personnel, civilians and others, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla has called a high-level meeting with top brass of Police and Intelligence agencies from Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi tomorrow which will also be attended by top officials of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and heads of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).
“Besides security situation, the MHA meeting is also expected to take up functioning of newly created State Investigation Agency (SIA) on the lines of National Investigation Agency (NIA), modernization of Police Stations and Police Posts and misuse of certain prisons by the militants,” official sources told the Excelsior.
Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh and DGP CID Rashmi Ranjan Swain, who is also head of the SIA, are likely to attend the meeting among others from Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting comes in the wake of recent attacks on Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel including a bus in which three cops were martyred but the police personnel had thwarted major plot by the militants to snatch weapons and inflict more casualties. Even today, an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police and a man were killed in two separate targeted attacks by the militants in the Kashmir valley. Previously, the militants had targeted civilians from minorities, non-locals and others, killing over a dozen persons.
“Entire gamut of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir including steps required to contain the targeted attacks and eliminate militants are likely to come up for review at the high-level meeting. A strategy is likely to be formed to check the rising activities of the militants in the Kashmir valley,” sources said.
Noting that targeted killings by the militants including Pakistanis in the Kashmir valley have become a major cause of concern for the Central as well as Jammu and Kashmir Governments, sources said the MHA along with JKP, Intelligence chief of J&K, top officials of the Home Ministry dealing with UT and heads of para-military forces and Central Intelligence agencies will draft joint strategy to deal with the new threat.
“Multiple security and Intelligence agencies of the Central and Jammu and Kashmir Governments will sit and chalk-out the strategy to deal with threats posed by the militants with targeted attacks,” sources said and added that curbing such activities has been necessary to maintain the gains of normalcy.
Among other issues, sources pointed out, strengthening of the State Investigation Agency is also on agenda of tomorrow’s security review meeting. The SIA was set up recently by the Jammu and Kashmir Government on lines of the NIA to investigate terror-related cases. It had recently conducted simultaneous raids at various places in Kashmir in the first case registered by it pertaining to terror financing.
“The SIA will be strengthened jointly by the Central and Jammu and Kashmir Governments by providing it adequate manpower and infrastructure so that NIA doesn’t have to take up investigations in all terror-related cases. Only exceptional cases will be given to the NIA for investigations,” sources said.
They added that modernization of Police Stations and Police Posts in Jammu and Kashmir is also likely to figure in the meeting as the Centre as well as J&K Governments were of the view that more the Police Stations and Police Posts are strengthened and modernized the better they would function to tackle the terror attacks and other anti-national and anti-social activities.
“Misuse of prisons by the militants lodged there has also been reported again which is also likely to figure in the meeting,” as per the sources.