Top security brass favours tapping militant recruitment, minimising civilian casualties

The top security brass Wednesday reviewed the overall security situation of the Valley at a high level security meeting in militancy hot-bed Shopian district.
The crucial security review meeting at DPL Shopian, which was attended by top officers of army and police, discussed on maintaining a “robust counter militancy grid” in the hinterland particularly south Kashmir.
“The meeting was held to review the prevailing security situation and carve out future security strategy to deal with militancy and try to bring calm in the region,” an official, privy to the meeting said.
The high-level meeting was co-chaired by GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen AK Bhatt and DGP Shesh Paul Vaid while Awantipur-based General officer victor force, IGP Kashmir Swayam Prakash Pani and other army and police officers were present in the meeting.
Lt Gen Bhatt said the meeting was more importantly aimed at maintaining high-level of coordination between, army, police and paramilitary CRPF.
“Of course the issues are killing militants and breaking their over-ground network. In the meeting, measures to reach out to the general public were also discussed. It is a part of our security strategy,” Bhatt said.
According to the top officer, around 260 militants were active in Kashmir and meeting discussed to work out a joint strategy to stop the local militant recruitments.
Defence spokesperson said GoC 15 Corps and DGP also emphasised on maintaining a high level of vigil to minimise the “frequent militant initiated incidents”.
He said the top officers underlined the need to effectively counter such incidents in the region.
“With the primary aim of further strengthening the existing synergy amongst the various security forces, the review meeting carried out detailed deliberations on maintaining a robust counter militant grid in the hinterland,” the defence spokesman said.
He said the meeting stressed on positive engagement of youth to ensure peace and tranquillity in south Kashmir region and minimising “the collateral damage during operations against militants.
The top security brass was also briefed by local commanders about the ground situation, challenges and measures to be instituted to enhance efficacy of anti-militancy operations.
“The measures including stopping local youth from joining militancy and minimise civilian casualties near gunfight sites were also discussed in the meeting,” Vaid told Rising Kashmir without giving further details.
This was the second review meeting held on the security situation in volatile south Kashmir in the recent past.
A similar security review meeting was held at the district police lines (DPL) Kulgam.
In south Kashmir, the trend of youth flocking near gunfight sites during encounters have become a challenge for forces.
Civilians risk their lives by restoring to stone pelting near gunfight locations to help militants escape from the forces’ cordon.
The trend that is most prevalent at some places of south Kashmir, according to an official, was a cause of worry and challenge for forces.

javid@risingkashmir.com