Virtual SIM cards a challenge for security: IGP Kumar

IGP Vijay Kumar during a press briefing in Srinagar. GK Photo

Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, on Tuesday said that use of virtual SIM cards by militants was a challenge for the security agencies.

He was speaking to the reporters on the sidelines of the wreath-laying ceremony of Central Reserve Police Force personnel killed in a hit and run militant attack on Srinagar- Anantnag highway on Monday afternoon.

“We are trying to overcome the challenge,” he said.

There have been reports that militant outfits were using virtual SIMs in Kashmir for their activities. National Investigation Agency and other security agencies have indicated that virtual SIM cards were used in the Pulwama attack.

About yesterday’s attack on CRPF on the highway, the IGP said the militants opened fire on the Road Opening Party that subsequently resulted in killing of two CRPF personnel.

He said among the two bike borne militants one was a Pakistani while another was local. “We have put our human intelligence on alert and soon the attackers will be tracked down,” he said adding that soon after the attack, security forces launched Cordon & Search Operation (CASO) in adjoining areas but the militants managed to flee.

The Kashmir Police chief said that more measures are being taken to avoid attacks on security forces on the highway.

He said that security forces do not want to subject travellers to unnecessary trouble. “We carry out checking of vehicles only after credible inputs,” he said. “Checking every vehicle will lead to unnecessary trouble that we won’t create.”

During the ceremony, Deepak Rattan, IGP CRPF refuted the reports that militants snatched weapons from slain CRPF personnel.

HEIGHTENED SECURITY:

Security was beefed up in several areas of Srinagar on Tuesday following the highway attack by militants in which two paramilitary forces personnel were killed.

More security personnel, along with the flying squad, were deployed at the highway who were seen carrying random checking of vehicles.

Additional deployment was seen in Lal Chowk, Jehangir Chowk, Hari Singh High Street, Regal Chowk, TRC Chowk, Polo View and the areas around the city centre.

A police official said that random checking of vehicles and frisking of people was being done as part of the security drill.