JK Police facing challenge of law and order: DGP
‘Stone-Pelters Have To Be Dealt Without Showering Bullets’
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, Aug 31: With militancy ebbing away in Jammu and Kashmir, the challenge for state police has changed from counter-insurgency to law and order, Director General of Police Ashok Prasad said.
In an exclusive chat with Greater Kashmir, first since he assumed office, Ashok Prasad urged his men to avoid firing of bullets while dealing with a law and order problem.
“If somebody throws a stone, he has to be dealt without showering bullets. The force has to be trained and that is a challenge,” he said.
DGP Prasad said that law and order problems are also on decline in J&K and police force is taking to normal policing. “The cops have to manage the traffic. They have to investigate the crime and the force is getting transformed day by day. The transformation is a challenge,” he said.
He revealed that J&K has witnessed a fall of 60 percent in militancy related incidents over the preceding year. “Around 150 militants are active all over the state with maximum concentration in Sopore and Tral areas of Valley.”
The police chief said that a militancy-related incident in the capital city of Srinagar has more impact than in the hinterland. “A grenade attack in Sopore has less impact than in Srinagar, where it catches much media attention and makes headlines,” he said.
He said it were the militants in the countryside who come to the city and strike the security installations. “We arrested people in different militancy related incidents and saw that they belonged to other districts, like Pulwama and Ganderbal.”
The DGP said that militants use non combatants and police personnel to carry out attacks. Citing the example of Abdul Rashid Shegan alias Omar Mukhtar, he said that Shegan was sitting here and his mentors instructed him from somewhere else.
Shegan is an Indian Reserve Police Personnel (IRP) being investigated for his alleged involvement in militant attacks in Srinagar.
He said that further investigations into Shegan’s involvement are going on. “Cracking of the case is a success,” he said but denied any further arrests in the case. “No serving or retired police official is under scanner,” he said.
“In Sopore, two little boys were arrested for lobbing grenades and they were paid Rs 500 for the job. Same exercise is going on here. The boys are being paid by people to hurl grenades on security forces,” he said.
The state police chief said that infiltration of militants from across the LoC has been very low during the current year. “Infiltration can’t be completely brought to zero. Some groups have succeeded in sneaking via Gurez, Machil and Keran this year,” he said adding that those who slipped in are hiding in dense forests of North Kashmir.
About the recent Wullar Barage incident where some unidentified persons are said to have threatened the engineers and workers, the DGP said that police was ascertaining the facts. “Investigations are in full swing and facts will soon unfold,” he said.
CALLING OF YOUTH TO POLICE STATIONS:
DGP Prasad confirmed the frequent reports of calling of youth to police stations, saying, “Whenever there is any incident of stone throwing, youth are being called to police station to zero in on the perpetrators. We have to investigate and our effort is to reach to the real culprit and not to harass any innocent.”
“It is only the youth of a respective neighborhood who have the knowledge of trouble makers. The youth who were arrested for earlier stone throwing incidents and street protests know about the new faces of stone throwers,” the state police chief said.
“Our strategy has worked and there is a considerable decline in stone throwing incidents. After arrest, most of them are handed over to their parents with requests for their proper counseling and guidance,” he said.
DGP Prasad said that they are formulating a policy to deal with media. “Statements from different police officers in one district about one incident create confusion. A middle rung police officer tells one thing and his senior something else, which creates confusion. Sharing information on sensitive issues hampers the investigations and at times the image of police and an individual is maligned. You can request Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Kashmir zone for clarifications and versions,” he said.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 31 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 31 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 1 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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