Governor's Rule in Jammu and Kashmir: Forces gear up to curb militancy, will cover 'no-go' areas in Valley too

Editor's note: With Jammu and Kashmir under Governor's Rule for the eighth time, Firstpost will run a series of reported pieces, analytical articles and commentary to track the progress of events in the state.

Soon after the withdrawal of Non-Initiation of Combat Operations (NICO) and the fall of the Mehboobba Mufti government after Eid, three militants were gunned down in Tral area of Pulwama indicating the resumption of Operation All-out. Now with Governor NN Vohra at the helm of affairs, the anti-militancy operations will receive impetus and the forces have been asked to deal with the incidents of stone-pelting with a firm hand.

The audit of different security outposts, increasing the patrolling in the militancy-infested areas and working on intelligence inputs to launch special anti-militancy operations are some of the measures which are being undertaken to deal with the rise in incidents of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir.

 Governors Rule in Jammu and Kashmir: Forces gear up to curb militancy, will cover no-go areas in Valley too

File image of Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra. Wikimedia Commons

Unlike NICO during Ramzan when security forces observed maximum restraint and the militants operated freely along the Line of Control (LoC) and in the forest areas, the operations will be launched even in residential areas.

Officials said that with the forces getting a free hand under Vohra, they will be launching operations even in some "no-go" areas.

"There are many areas in southern part of Kashmir where we have been wary about launching the operations as the boys indulge in stone pelting, but now it will become easy to launch the operations at these places," a police official said.

Earlier former chief minister Mehbooba used to receive regular briefing fromn the police over the security situation in the state. However, an official said that now the newly appointed advisor to the governor, Vijay Kumar, who was serving as the security advisor in the Ministry of Home Affairs, will oversee the launch of the anti-militancy operations in Kashmir.

The security agencies are worried as the militancy has spread from the southern part of Kashmir to even the areas of Srinagar city. Besides the regular snatching of weapons by the militants, the infiltration from across the border has also continued.

As per a report of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of incidents of infiltration which have been reported for the years of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 is 97, 65, 33, 119 and 123 respectively. The report further noted that the year 2017 witnessed an increase in incidents of militancy. The year 2017 witnessed a 6.21 percent increase and 166.66 percent rise in the number of militant-related incidents and fatalities of civilians respectively in comparison to the corresponding period of 2016.

The number of militant incidents was 342 in 2017 and as 213 militants were killed, the number of civilian deaths and that of government forces was 40 and 80 respectively. The police official said that the situation continued to remain grim in 2018 as well with "youth keeping on joining the militant ranks" and even the attacks on the government forces continued when NICO was active.

J&KHowever now under the Governor’s Rule, the state forces will not only be tough on the militants but "they will continue with the arrests of the youth who are indulging in stone pelting", an official said.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, North Kashmir, Sunil Gupta, said that the anti-militancy operations would continue "the way they were carried out before the Ramzan ceasefire". He said that the "security audit of the different installations was an ongoing feature".

The DIG said that the special anti-militancy operations will be tackled at the level of Director General of Police (DGP). Given the protests which were witnessed after the killing of 13 militants in a single day on 2 April in three separate operations, Gupta said, "The decision on the launch of special operations will be taken at the state level."

Director General of Police, SP Vaid, said that on the basis of inputs all anti-militancy operations will continue. "Wherever we will receive the information about the presence of militants, we will continue with the operations."

A day after the Governor’s Rule while the patrolling was intensified in many parts of south Kashmir, police officials said the cordon and search operation was launched by the army in Kachipora area of Pulwama. However, a police official said that the cordon which was launched around 12:30 pm and continued for nearly one hour was later called off as the militants were not found as per the information that was received . "The cordon was lifted and many houses were searched where the army seemed to have information about the presence of militants," said a police official.

Updated Date: Jun 22, 2018 08:31:12 IST