‘Efforts on to finish residual militancy, drug menace’
JAMMU, Sept 26: Asserting that terrorism is at its lowest ebb in Jammu and Kashmir, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh today said efforts are on to finish residual militancy and also the drug menace from the Union territory.
He said the anti-terrorist operation in south Kashmir’s Kokernag about a fortnight ago was a successful one and there was no change in the peaceful atmosphere in the Valley after the gunfight.
“Militancy (in Jammu and Kashmir) has reached its lowest ebb with the contribution of the people. Police and other security forces, who have a lot of contribution (in controlling terrorism), are promise-bound to finish it off and efforts are on in this direction,” the police chief told reporters at Katra in Reasi district.
Accompanied by Additional Director General of Police (Jammu) Mukesh Singh, the DGP dedicated the newly-constructed modular police station to the people at Katra – the base camp for the pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi shrine.
Asked about the gunfight between militants and security forces in the forests of Kokernag from September 13 to 19 that left four security personnel including three officers and two militants dead, Singh said there was no change in the peaceful atmosphere in the Valley after the incident.
“Prior or after the Kokernag encounter, the situation continues to remain peaceful. People have the misunderstanding that one incident occurred somewhere and will unleash a tornado. We are watchful of movements of terrorist supporters and make attempts to bust their hideouts in the forest.
“Kokernag was one such operation where we had information about the presence of a particular terrorist and went there to neutralize him. Unfortunately, you are not familiar with the location and came under fire from the waiting terrorists, the loss was visible because it is the one who opens fire first has the advantage,” the DGP said.
In this case, Singh said “we were unfortunate that the first fire was taken by our brave officers and the soldiers due to which one colonel, one Major, one Deputy Superintendent of Police and one soldier laid down their lives.”
“I salute those officers and jawans who participated in this operation and laid down their lives and neutralized dreaded terrorist Uzair Khan (of Lashkar-e-Toiba) who was very active in the area. This was a successful operation. The chance of loss of life remains there for which we are all grieved but at the same time we are also proud of their contribution and leading from the front,” he said.
Singh said the attempts to revive militancy in the border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and adjoining Reasi was scuttled to a large extent by the security forces through various successful operations, while attempts are on to neutralize those who have managed to infiltrate into this side.
“We have had back to back successful operations in Reasi and Rajouri in the recent past, resulting in the killing of (several) terrorists,” he said.
About the challenge posed by narco-terrorism, he said the operations against narcotic smugglers were speeded up three times compared to previous years which is evident from the registration of cases, arrest of drug peddlers and busting of narco-terrorism modules.
“It (narcotics) is like a pandemic which is going on for sometime after starting from across the border. Pakistan-based agencies are using it as a tool to fund terrorism (in J&K). We have achieved a lot of success against the menace.
“We have to break all the nexuses and arrest all people, whether they belong to here (J&K) or outside it, associated with it. We are working on this side and are hopeful of rooting out this menace,” Singh said.
The DGP during his visit to Katra, was accompanied by IGP (Headquarters) PHQ B.S. Tuti and was received by ADGP Jammu Mukesh Singh, DIG Udhampur-Reasi Range M Suleman Choudhary, CEO SMVDSB Anshul Garg, SSP Reasi Amit Gupta, AIG (Building) PHQ Amit Bhasin, Principal STC Talwara Jameel Ahmad, SP Katra Vipan Chandran, other jurisdictional officers and prominent citizens of Katra. The DGP was presented guard of honour on his arrival.
Dilbag inaugurated the newly built Police Station building and inspected the facilities made available for the Jawans/officers as also for the visiting citizens. He directed for further improvement in certain facilities of the Police Station.