Improve J&K’s Counter-terrorism grid

Ronik Sharma
Due to recent terrorists attacks by hybrid terrorist groups in various districts of Jammu and Kashmir, notably in places where the minority community resides, Jammu and Kashmir has seen an upsurge in terrorism operatives over the past few months. These hybrid terrorists can be characterised as unlisted, radicalised individuals who do terrorist acts and frequently disappear into ordinary life thereafter. Selective target killings of innocent people have continued and grown over the previous few months. These targeted assassinations not only put the security agencies and the armed forces in a precarious situation, but they also made the general public aware that they should be vigilant about the selective target killings. The protection of each and every person is a top priority for the Central Government as well as the administration of the union territory. However, since a few months ago, the terrorist organisations and those operating under their aegis have modified their strategy and are now focusing primarily on targeted killings rather than attacks on law enforcement and military personnel. Security agencies are now faced with a complex position, including how to sort out such covert cells that are working with terrorists and their organisations.
The situation in Kashmir is becoming more and more horrific as a result of the terrorists’ and their groups’ exclusive targeting of the working class and non locals, especially those who are members of minority communities. The over ground workers (OGWs) of terrorists in addition to providing all logistical support, also actively assist them in carrying out such deliberate killings of innocent people in various locations with the active connivance of terrorists organizations. Despite the inflated assertions of the Union Territory Government that the security situation in J&K has significantly improved, the latest instances suggest that the security situation is deteriorating and that things are becoming worse by the day . The lack of cooperation among many agencies and security personnel leads to a chaotic environment. The administration of the Union territory lacks a firm commitment to permanently destroy the terror network. Minorities are the targets of terrorism everywhere. Day by day, the situation across the border deteriorates, and terror groups and the ISI waste no time in sending terrorists with weapons to Jammu and Kashmir to cause mayhem just as they did at Dhangri in Rajouri and many other places in recent incidents .
To eradicate terrorism, the Central Government as well as Union Territory administration must exercise an iron fist. As time is running out, quick decisions and coordinated security apparatus are needed. All advancements gained by the security forces would be lost in the event of any delay or laxity. It is important to deal firmly with those who participate in hawala transactions to fund and promote terrorism in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Their resources and properties need to be taken and designated as Government property and further allot item to Martyrs families.
These deterrent measures will undoubtedly be successful in reducing the threat of terrorism. To regain the public’s trust, the security system in districts like Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, etc. where minorities reside must be strengthened by sending additional troops. Otherwise, ethnic cleansing could occur given the current state of affairs and the rise in terrorism. To counter the threat posed locally by Pakistan’s proxies and their agencies, let there be a full-fledged battalion of locals which includes security intelligence grid . Along with reducing direct terrorist risks, this Government action will significantly strengthen the security grid and aid in reducing both underground and overground workers . In yet another recent incident in Poonch, some unknown people have pelted stones at the houses of members of a minority community in the village of Bainch in Poonch. These people allege that they are being targeted. At the same time, after getting the information, the police reached the spot and took stock of the area. People who came in panic after the incident have demanded protection from the police and armed forces. People fear that an incident like Rajouri should not be repeated.
This is an appropriate time to restart police public meetings which aims to improve police public relations, increase community trust, and foster better crime prevention and detection outcomes. It also seeks to address issues facing the general public. These small gatherings at panchayat levels as well as ward level will continue to be held in the future in order to gather opinions and get public feedback and support for better policing. Such police public gatherings not only enlist support from the community in spotting criminal activity, but also aware the general populace to keep an eye for overground workers and local anti-national elements who frequently attempt to disturb atmosphere of harmony. The Central Government is already striving to improve village defence guards; nevertheless, the process needs to be ramped up and village defence guards need to receive sophisticated firearm training as soon as possible, so that they are able to protect both their families and the entire village’s populace. The Union Territory Administration and the Central Government must make sure that the security grid is further strengthened to guarantee that there is no cross-border infiltration and to completely eradicate terrorism, narco -terrorism, hawala transactions and network of over ground workers in order to achieve the goal of a peaceful and prosperous Jammu and Kashmir.
(The author is an Advocate)