Forces fully prepared: IGP Kashmir

Vijay Kumar (IGP) Pic/GK

Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, on Thursday said that there are apprehensions about militants targeting the elections, but the security forces are fully prepared to deal with the situation.

He said whether there is an election or August 15 or January 26 or a VIP visit, apprehensions are always there.

“We are providing security to the candidates and they have started going to the field for campaigning, there is nothing to fear,” he said.

For the last few days, he said, there are increasing attempts to infiltrate militants and to disturb the elections. “Jammu Police have done a good job by neutralizing four Pakistani militants,” he said. “ Their (militants’) aim was to come to Kashmir to disturb the election process.”

When asked that the candidates were alleging they had not been provided security, Kashmir police chief said that providing security to each candidate is difficult. “We are providing them collective security and they are being put up in secure areas,” he said adding that whenever any candidate goes out for campaigning, police provide a double escort with him and secure the area for him to campaign.

IGP said that there were a lot of more forces coming to J&K from outside, which he said, “will be deployed during the poll days.”

Kumar who visited Bandipora and Kupwara districts along with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir said the security situation in North Kashmir was very much under control and there was no problem. “In comparison with South Kashmir there are fewer militants active in North Kashmir, and those who are active are being tracked down,” he said adding that encounters and operations will continue, while as sleeper cells or persons with militant connections will be detained. “Such an atmosphere will be created that elections are held in a secure environment”.

Asked about Wednesday’s grenade attack in Kakapora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, he termed it an unfortunate incident. “It was an unfortunate incident. The target was CRPF and police, but 12 civilians were injured — out of whom four were rushed to a Srinagar hospital, but their condition is stable,” he said adding that they have identified the militant who threw the grenade.

(With Owais Farooq in Bandipora)