Core group meets to coordinate security in Kashmir

Srinagar, (Asian independent) A core group comprising top officials of civil administration, intelligence agencies and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir met on Friday at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar to review the security situation in the Valley, officials said.

The meeting was co-chaired by General Officer Commanding (GoC), Chinar Corps, Lt Gen D.P. Pandey, and Director General of Police, J&K, Dilbag Singh. The core group reviewed the intelligence inputs and security parameters of 2021.

“The year 2021 witnessed a reduction in terrorist infiltration, reduced terrorist incidents, reduced terror recruitment, increased operations based on HUMINT, reduced collateral damage, no civil casualties in law and order situation, reduced SF casualties, increased arrests of terrorists and bookings of OGWs — all pointing to effective conduct of joint operations and activities by intelligence and security agencies,” the Indian Army said.

“There has been increased neutralisation of Pakistani terrorists in last few weeks. The efforts of the frontline soldiers and operatives of all agencies were acknowledged by all present,” it added.

The core group discussed fresh strategies of the terrorist organisations and their handlers, including the use of Hybrid terrorists and targeting of soft targets. Fifteen terrorists killed in 2021 were fresh names who were not on the security forces’ radar.

“The setting up of SIA and the increased booking by NIA is showing impact of focused intelligence and investigation efforts. These efforts have been effective in targeting drug, hawala and the OGWs networks. Legal action on those wilfully harbouring terrorists has been increased as the harbourers have direct involvement in terror activities,” the Army said.

The officials stated that the ceasefire has improved the security situation along the border, however, intelligence inputs of terrorist launch pads and training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the Line of Control (LoC).

“On the Line of Control, late snow has kept the infiltration routes open for longer time. However, effective domination has ensured decrease in overall infiltration, including those from South of Pir Panjal. The vigil on the Line of Control against infiltration of men, drugs and weapons is continuing,” the Army said.

“The officials shared the challenges of propaganda of the nexus through internet and social media. Sadly, these efforts include propaganda to legitimise the killings of Kashmiri civilians by the terrorists. The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively by a joint effort. Efforts at synergy in exposing fake news, booking of radicals trying to foment unrest and proactive sharing of information by state agencies are being upgraded,” it added.

The DGP and the Corps Commander commended the officials present on improved security indicators. They appreciated that post the abrogation of Article 370, certain benchmarks were set, which have been achieved successfully for the restoration of peace and prosperity in the region.

DGP Dilbag Singh stated that reduction in local terrorist recruitment is one parameter that all must approach with continued focus.

A special mention was made on the measures taken to minimise the collateral damage in operations despite the risk to the soldiers.

He recommended continued efforts to give chance of surrender to local terrorists to give them a second opportunity at living a fruitful life.

Corps Commander Lt Gen D.P. Pandey called upon all to treat 2022 as a transformative year where the common man used to zero civilian casualties in 2021 should see 2022 as the year when things turned for good for the long term.

He cautioned the trend of the terrorists to use urban areas with thick built-up area for operations as they provide more avenues to hide or escape and puts higher onus on security forces to exercise restraint to avoid collateral damage.

He expressed satisfaction at low security forces casualties in 2021 by better intelligence-based operations and improved tactical drills. He called for continued efforts along with the civil society to counter the separatist propaganda and break the cycle of violence for long-term peace in Kashmir.

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