Governor orders probe into attacks on political activists since Oct 2018

Days after killing of a BJP leader in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the Jammu & Kashmir government on Wednesday ordered a high-level probe into all attacks on political functionaries since October last year.  The government also announced slew of measures to ensure protection of mainstream leaders and activists in Kashmir.

After chairing a high-level security management meeting here, Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Satya Pal Malik, decided to reach-out to mainstream leaders to address their security concerns.

The Governor Malik, according to an official spokesman, said that he would be inviting the leaders of different political parties to discuss their security concerns to create a “secure political environment for one and all.”

The Governor, he said, also stated that leaders of different political parties and other organisations should raise their security concerns with the security headquarters of J&K Police and “the due diligence of threat perception would be carried out by the intelligence agencies before arriving at a decision on the provision of personal security to persons with a perceived threat,” the Governor said.

On the directions of the Governor, the state government also ordered a high-level enquiry into all attacks that have taken place since October, 2018. Additional Director General of Police, Muneer Ahmad Khan, has been appointed as the enquiry officer.

The official spokesman said the probe has been ordered with a  view to ensure that all possible measures, general as well as specific, are taken for security of political workers to enable them to continue their political activities, particularly in view of the militant  attacks on them in the recent past.

The enquiry officer has been asked to submit his report, covering all the relevant aspects, along with appropriate recommendations within 15 days.

Among other measures, the Government has also decided to provide secure accommodation to elected representatives of Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies. “Keeping in view the threats issued by militant organisations during the elections to ULBs and Panchayats and the heightened risk faced by elected sarpanchs, councilors, mayors/ presidents. It was decided that in case any of them requires safe accommodation, they will be provided a secure room either at the state or district level. This decision will come into effect immediately and the Divisional Commissioners and Inspector Generals (IGs) would operationalise this after contacting the sarpanchs and ULB members,” the spokesman said.

Speaking during the meeting , the Governor expressed concern over the killings of political functionaries of various political parties in the state during the past few months and stressed the need for ensuring safety of protected persons. He advised security agencies to give due consideration to genuine apprehensions of political activists working at the grass root level.

“The Governor reiterated the need to constantly maintain a close watch on the ground situation and underlined the importance of sustained efforts to bring peace and harmony in the society for the overall benefit of people,” the spokesman said.

The meeting was attended by Governor’s Advisor K Vijay Kumar, Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, Governor’s Principal Secretary, Umang Narula, Principal Secretary Home, Shaleen Kabra, ADGP Security, L&O and Home Guards, Muneer Ahmed Khan and Inspector General of Police-Kashmir range, S P Pani. It may be recalled that during the past few months, unidentified gunmen have targeted mainstream leaders and activists in the Valley.  In a latest attack the BJP’s district vice-president for Anantnag, Gul Muhammad Mir was killed in south Kashmir. The state BJP alleged that withdrawal of security cover led to his killing.