Srinagar: J&K’s Core Group on security comprising General officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lieutenant General D P Pandey and Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh besides other top officials of security grid held a crucial meeting in Srinagar on Friday to chalk out strategy for year 2021. The new strategy to be adopted by the security agencies in the ensuing year will entail countering false narrative, misinformation campaigns on social media, giving second chances to militants during encounters and putting in collective efforts to plug local-militant recruitment.
The CG on security, however, expressed its satisfaction over what it termed achieving all set benchmarks successfully, post rollback of Article 370.
In an official statement, Core Group consisting of top officials of Civil Administration, Intelligence Agencies and Security Forces in J&K, met at Badami Bagh Cantonment, to review the security situation in Kashmir. The meeting was co-chaired by the GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen DP Pandey and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh.
“The core group reviewed the intelligence inputs and security parameters of 2021. Year 2021 witnessed a reduction in terrorist infiltration, reduced militant incidents, reduced militant recruitment, increased operations based on human intelligence, reduced collateral damage, no civil casualties in law and order situation, reduced forces’ casualties, increased arrest of militants and booking of OGWs; all pointing to effective conduct of joint operations and activities by intelligence and security agencies,” the statement said, adding that “There has been increased neutralization of Pakistani militants, in last few weeks. The effort of the frontline soldiers and operatives of all agencies were acknowledged by all present.”
The statement said that the Core Group discussed fresh strategies of the militant organizations and their handlers including use of Hybrid militants and targeting of soft targets. “15 militants killed in 2021 were fresh names not on the security forces radar. The setting up of SIA and the increased booking by NIA is showing the impact of focused intelligence and investigation efforts. These efforts have been effective in targeting drug, hawala and the OGWs networks. Legal action on those willfully harboring militants is being increased as the harbourers have direct involvement in militancy activities,” the statement read.
It further said that the officials stated that the ceasefire has improved the security situation along the border, however, intelligence inputs of militant launch pads and terrorist training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the Line of Control.
“On the Line of Control, late snow has kept the infiltration routes open for a 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 statement said. “The officials shared the challenge of propaganda of the nexus through the internet and social media. Sadly, these efforts include propaganda to legitimize the killing of Kashmiri civilians by the militants. 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.”
The statement said that 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. The DGP stated that reduction in local militant recruitment is one parameter that all must approach with continued focus,” the statement said, adding that “A special mention was made on the measures taken to minimize the collateral damage in operations despite risk to own soldiers.”
The statement quoting DGP, said that “he recommended continued efforts to give chance of surrenders to local terrorists to give them a second chance at living a fruitful life.”
“The Corps Commander called upon all to treat 2022 as a transformative year where common man used to zero civilian casualties in 2021 should see 2022 as the year when things turned for good for the long term,” the statement said. “He cautioned the trend of the militants 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.”
The GoC, as per the statement, 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,” the statement said.