MHA discusses anti-militancy strategy for winters in Kashmir

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla leaves after chairing the MHA security review meeting, at North Block, in New Delhi.
  • Home Secy, top J&K officials review JK situation
  • Targeted killings, drone challenges figure

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Dec 6: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today discussed strategy to eliminate militants in the Kashmir valley during winters when they will come down to plains due to snowfall in upper reaches while drone challenge along the International Border and targeted killings of minorities and non-locals surfaced prominently at the high-level meeting in New Delhi chaired by Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and attended among others by top police officials of Jammu and Kashmir.
About two hours long meeting was attended by other top MHA officials, Incharge Jammu and Kashmir, officials from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh, Intelligence chief Rashmi Ranjan Swain among others attended the meeting.
Officials told the Excelsior that winter management strategy on the anti-militancy front in the Kashmir valley was prominently discussed in the meeting as there were inputs that in next about a fortnight some militants including commanders hiding in upper reaches will be forced to move to plains because of snowfall and there will be an opportunity to eliminate them.
“The issue was discussed threadbare and there was confidence among all security and Intelligence agencies that they will be able to intensify anti-militancy operations during the winters though generally such operations are hampered by the harsh weather conditions,” the sources said.
This year, a number of militants including top commanders have been killed or apprehended in the Valley while several infiltration attempts have been foiled by Army and BSF on the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB).
Drone challenge especially along the International Border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts figured prominently at the meeting as it has been observed that Pakistan Army, Rangers and militants sitting across the border are sending consignments of arms, ammunition, explosives, narcotics and currency through drones in Jammu and Punjab.
Though most of such bids originating from Pakistan have been foiled, the possibility of some successful attempts is not ruled out.
The issue was discussed prominently in the meeting, the sources said, adding the Home Ministry is of the view that drone threats have to be countered effectively to ensure that Pakistan isn’t able to push weapons and narcotics into Jammu and Kashmir to equip the militants.
“Anti-infiltration measures were also part of the meeting,” they said.
Among other issues, the steps required to ensure that hybrid militants are not able to indulge in targeted killings of minorities and non-locals were discussed .
The meeting also took stock of the prevailing security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
There have been reports that people from the Kashmiri Pandit community working in the Valley are in a state of panic after a militants group released a “hit list” of 56 employees from among them and the issues figured in the meeting.
Security of all employees from minorities and other non-locals was also reviewed, the sources said.
A blog linked to The Resistance Front (TRF), an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, published the list of 56 Kashmiri Pandit employees who were recruited under the Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Package (PMRP), and warned of mounting attacks on them.