SAS Geelani’s burial a major challenge in 2021: IGP Kashmir

‘Hybrid militancy test ahead’
SAS Geelani’s burial a major challenge in 2021: IGP Kashmir
File photo of IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar.

Srinagar, Dec 31: Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar on Friday said that the biggest achievement and challenge during the year 2021 was managing the burial of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in a “peaceful manner”. Kumar said hybrid militancy poses a major challenge for the new year.

“The biggest achievement and challenge has been burial management. We have been preparing for the last ten years. We were under tremendous tension,” IGP told reporters here during the annual press briefing. “Pakistan and separatists here were preparing for mobilising people, taking out protests. There was no stone-pelting, no one was injured. The biggest contribution was of the people, who cooperated with us,” said Kumar.

The Kashmir Police chief said some politicians and journalists were trying to portray that the prevailing situation in Kashmir is similar to that of the 1990’s. He said the reality “on the ground is completely different” and there has been a lot of improvement in the situation.

“Some political party leaders, some sections of the media, keep on saying that the situation has not improved. Some have gone to the extent of saying that the situation was like that of the 1990s. The factual data on the ground shows that whatever they are saying is wrong,” Kumar said.

“You can see how much improvement has been there. Last year, 238 terror incidents took place, this year only 192 incidents have taken place. The number of civilians killed last year was 37, while it was 34 this year, even as the militants openly instigated that they will kill civilians, political workers and forces. And just to hide their terror crime, legitimise it, they call them informers. We took several preventive measures to protect the people.”

The number of security forces personnel killed last year was 57, while it is 29 this year which includes 9 JKP personnel. “I am pained as Kashmir police chief that this year more policemen were killed in my tenure. But, at the same time, I am happy that all the cases of attacks on security forces have been solved, except the Bandipora incident.”

Kumar said the people, the media talked much about new recruitment, while “several articles were written by Delhi-based media that there will be spurt after the Taliban takeover”. “But, by the support of the people, the families, we have been able to stop it to a large extent. Last year, 167 youth joined (militancy), this year it was 128, out of which 30 were killed within a month only.”

About the law and order incidents, he said last year there were 147, “this year there were 64 even as there has been instigation from mainstream politicians, Hurriyat on little things by spreading rumours. But, I want to credit the general public here as they did not allow the law and order to deteriorate.”

IGP Kashmir informed that more than 300 MPs visited here (Kashmir), around 75 ministers, President, Union Home Minister, Supreme Court judges and VVIPs from other states, came to Kashmir and the visits were incident-free.

“During my tenure, in the last two years, not a single civilian was killed in a law and order incident. Only one civilian was killed near the encounter site,” he added.

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