GOC, 15 Corps Lt General Om Prakash was cited by Kashmir Watch hinting that Government may request Army to help contain protests in Kashmir, for which a ‘counter-agitation strategy’ involving Army besides Police and CRPF can be put in place to deal with the prevailing situation. The GOC was quoted while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Old Air Field in Srinagar on 09 March saying: “We have a counteragitation strategy, which is a joint strategy involving Army, Police, paramilitary forces and intelligence agencies. That has been in place several times. We will go by that strategy. The strategy has worked well. We will be able to control the situation with that.”
Stating that investigations into the killing of Baramulla youth are going on at fast track, the GOC clarified, “In the investigations, representatives from Army, civil administration and police are involved,” and added that Army’s only motive is that inquiry should be transparent. “For the same, Army is cooperating,” he said. Gen Prakash said there are apprehensions of infiltration as snow would melt soon on mountains. “We are meeting today and devising a strategy to bring infiltration to zero. We will keep in view the past experience,” he said. He said north Kashmir is more prone to militancy than south. “We are ready to tackle any militant threat. We are aware of the threats and are dealing with them,” he said and added that soldiers at Line of Control are always alert. Meanwhile, Army held this year’s first Core Group meeting at Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar on March 9 to review the overall security situation in Kashmir and to draw the roadmap for sustaining peace in the Valley. In this meeting cochaired by Lt Gen Prakash and DG of Police Ashok Prasad and attended by senior officers of all security systems , Prakash complimented the officials for “high level of synergy” and elaborated on the key security initiatives put in place to manage the law and order situation in Kashmir.
While major efforts required to be taken by various security agencies with regard to sustaining peace and harmony through the summer of 2013 were also discussed, there are some other important aspects that New Delhi needs to address or review. While separatists are allowed to proceed to Pakistan where they are confabulating with vehement anti-India elements, it is astounding how Delhi police was so insensitive in intimidating not only journalist Iftikhar Gilani but his family members too. Iftikhar may be Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law but he is a well-regarded senior journalist, who when previously — again insensitively and without thoroughly ascertaining the offence — arrested under the Indian Official Secrets Act, was released six months later after being given a clean chit by none other than Indian Army’s DG, Military Intelligence, who clarified that whatever documents Iftkhar had with him were unclassified/not compromising any operational security.
Contrarily, New Delhi has allowed separatists not only to freely meet Pakistani High Commissioner and intelligence operatives under the garb of diplomats, who are reported to have been paying them for anti-Indian terrorist/disruptive activities, but also issuing them visas to visit Pakistan. Terrorist attacks and disruptive activities like stone-pelting or killing of sarpanches succeed because there are separatists/anti-Indian elements in the Valley who are on the payroll of Pakistan’s ISI. Placing separatists under house arrest whenever there are disturbances barely hinders their activities. What with — Pakistan — supported terrorist attacks on Parliament, Red Fort, Akshardham, Kalu Chak etc, the Indian political establishment must acquire the hardheadedness and firmness , effective intelligence, effective and speedy judicial system for the safety of India’s public and its institutions. Terrorists and heinous rapists-murderers once proven to be so, must speedily be dealt with in the language they best understand. And that if those involved in lesser level of anti-national activities who deserve imprisonment, must not merely be placed under house arrest, but in jails – better still out of their home states. — The author is the editor of Words Sword features