Union Home Minister Amit Shah today reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir – for the first time since the Taliban captured Kabul. With the changing situation in Afghanistan, there is concern about the growing radicalization in the Kashmir Valley.
Today’s meeting was attended by Army Chief MM Naravane, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Secretary RAW Samant Goel and other stakeholders of Jammu and Kashmir. Paramilitary chief Pankaj Singh of the Border Security Force and Kuldeep Singh of the CRPF were also present.
Manoj Sinha, who was the first to reach North Block, told NB that he would review the development and security situation of the Union Territory.
Asked about reports of rising radicalization, he said the security situation is being monitored continuously.
“Some restrictions were imposed after the death of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, but now they have been lifted and the first Friday after Geelani’s death also passed peacefully,” he told NB.
Reports reaching the North Block indicate that radicalization is on the rise in several areas of South Kashmir, especially in Sopore, Shopian and Srinagar city.
A senior police officer in the Kashmir Valley told NB, “The situation in Afghanistan has acted as a major boost for radical elements in Kashmir and we are continuously monitoring it.” “Pakistan is going to step up efforts to increase the level of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, so we need to further strengthen our security grid,” he said.
Officials on the ground also claim that the local people are paying attention to the human rights violations that are being reported from Afghanistan. “We fear it may act as a motivator (for radicalization),” he said.
“Comparisons are made between the previous governments and the present administration. Not much is visible in terms of employment or development, which is creating a sense of alienation,” an official said. He said that the need of the hour was to focus on development projects.
Home ministry figures show that 82 people have gone missing from their homes so far and reports indicate that they have joined terror groups.
Another thing that is a cause for concern is that out of 120 terrorists killed in the first 8 months of this year, only 10 per cent were foreign terrorists and the rest were local.
Home Ministry figures show that there are still around 200 terrorists active in the Kashmir Valley. Most of them are from Jaish and Lashkar and some are from Al Badr.