Atmosphere conducive for anyone to visit Kashmir: CRPF DG
New Delhi, March 17: There has been a sharp decline in the infiltration of foreign terrorists as well as in stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 from the erstwhile state, Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Kuldiep Singh said on Thursday.
However, noting the targeted killings in Jammu and Kashmir, the officer said, “Some time there is a spurt in terrorist incidents” and the recent killing in “periodic series” are among those, and “it occurs”.
Replying to queries during a press briefing here at the CRPF Headquarters, Singh said, “CRPF immediately try to control terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir soon after it gets inputs. These incidents are not totally controlled by internal terrorist people who are there. On many occasions, it is controlled by those sitting across the border and it is directed whom to be targeted or not.”
The CRPF DG reiterated that “some directions comes from foreign lands too”, and thus, “terrorist incidents some times increase and sometimes decrease”
“It does not mean that things are out of hand…You can see that the incidents of stone-pelting are almost nil. There has been a sharp decline in the number of infiltration of foreign terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir. Sometimes, there is a spurt in terrorist incidents but it happens,” he said.
The officer informed that the CRPF has neutralized 175 terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir and apprehended 183 from March 1, 2021, to March 16, 2022.
Meanwhile, the CRPF has recovered 253 arms from Jammu and Kashmir and seized 7,541 ammunition as well as 96.38 kg explosives, 23 Improvised Explosive Device (IED), 232 grenades, and 36 detonators from the Union Territory, Singh said.
Further, he informed that as many as 91 encounters have taken place from March 1, 2021, to March 16 this year.
CRPF is the premier Central Armed Police Force (CRPF) entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the internal security of the country. It is deployed across the length and breadth of the country, assisting various state police in the discharge of their duties.
CRPF is providing security cover to 117 protectees of various categories, he said adding that 32 women personnel have been inducted into the VIP Security Wing.
A total of 41 VIPs were provided security cover by the CRPF during recently concluded Assembly elections in five states, the DG said adding that the security of 27 protectees has been withdrawn post-elections.
The CRPF chief also said that under financial assistance from the risk fund, ex-gratia for personnel martyred in action has been increased to Rs 30 lakhs from Rs 20 lakhs, and for all other cases, the ex-gratia has been increased to Rs 20 lakhs from Rs 15 lakhs.
Meanwhile The atmosphere is conducive for anyone to visit Kashmir but that call for Kashmiri Pandits has to be taken by them or ”agencies”, CRPF Director General (DG) Kuldiep Singh said on Thursday.
The chief of the country’s largest paramilitary force, which has deployed close to 65,000 personnel in the Kashmir Valley, said the CRPF will ensure that ”whenever they are asked to make the atmosphere conducive by the government, they will do it”.
”The atmosphere is conducive for anyone to visit Kashmir, come and go. For Kashmiri Pandits, that call has to be taken by them or agencies. I don’t know that…,” Singh said, adding that ”whatever the government asks us to do, we will do that”.
He also said that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will vacate the premises of those Kashmiri Pandits who come back to ”claim” their ancestral properties in the Valley.
The force, in Kashmir, has in its possession as many as 737 premises on which it has established camps and offices.
These include 333 government buildings, 265 private buildings, including those of Kashmiri Pandits, 71 pieces of agricultural land, 26 industrial units or factories, 30 hotels, eight orchards, two cinema halls, a school and a hospital.
Singh said the force has been transferred 524 kanals of land for creating its camps at 10 locations in Jammu and Kashmir.
The administration of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir pays rent to owners in case of private properties, a senior CRPF officer said.
”If they (Kashmiri Pandits) come to claim their properties held by us, we have no objections. We will immediately seek another place from the government,” the DG said.
Asked if the about 3.25 lakh personnel strong force will hold an exclusive screening of ”The Kashmir Files” movie for its staff, Singh said the CRPF has not taken a call on this as of now.
”Any film or drama that has motivational or inspirational content should be watched. We are a big force that is spread across…we will have to make arrangements. We will think about it,” he said.
”The Kashmir Files” is a Bollywood film based on the atrocities against Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.
The CRPF will hold its 83rd Raising Day on March 19 in Jammu where Union Home Minister Amit Shah will take the salute of the ceremonial parade and also address troops.
The minister will subsequently chair a multi-agency security meeting on various operations being conducted by them in the Union Territory. (Agencies)