Amit Shah seeks reply on terrorism, bigotry in Jammu and Kashmir security meeting

Amit Shah in Jammu and Kashmir on a three-day visit


Prolonged encounters with terrorists, growing threat of radicalization, killing of civilians and increase in cross-border infiltration – these were the key issues at a high-level meeting chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar today.

A senior home ministry official told NB that security agencies took their stand in the investigation as to why, despite the massive build-up of Indian forces in the region and the government’s massive efforts, the twin threat of radicalization and domestic terrorism continues. Huh. Ascend

Government figures say 32 civilians have been killed so far this year; In the last full year, 41 were killed. Moreover, in the first nine months of this year, there were 63 cases of encounters initiated by terrorists and 28 cases of atrocities committed by terrorists.

A ministry official told NB, “The Centre’s story is that J&K is safe for all… But these killings prove that minorities and outsiders are not safe. This is a big concern for the government. … so a strategy to reassure people was discussed.”

The threat of radicalization – topping the list of government’s concerns for Jammu and Kashmir – is something that has been flagged by all intelligence and security agencies operating in the Kashmir Valley.

Government figures say that 97 youths (local residents) left their homes to join terror outfits; 56 has been ‘neutralised’. An on-ground officer explains that several pistol-related shoots indicate they are turning violent.

Last year’s numbers were higher – 178 joined terror outfits and 121 were ‘neutralised’.

Yet, the government’s strategy to counter the narrative of pro-Pakistan voices is not working – this is after various raids and arrests by the NIA, or the National Investigation Agency.

Mr Shah has also sought clarifications on protracted encounters and counter-insurgency operations.

This comes when the army and security forces are engaged in a 13-day counter-terrorism operation – longest and fiercest in recent times, which saw the death of nine soldiers. Army and police sources have said that the fight has given rise to speculation Pak commandos must have given training to terrorists.

Statistics show that this year only 14 infiltration attempts were successful but the number of encounters (even around Srinagar city) has gone up. A more proactive approach has been worked out and its blueprint was discussed with the Home Minister, revealed an official.

Sources said that 114 terrorists belonging to various organizations were killed this year, but the number of terrorists operating in the Valley is not coming down due to continuous activity along the International Border or the Line of Control.

On ceasefire violations, 93 were reported till October, of which 48 were on the International Border (along the Jammu border) and the rest along the LoC, or the Kashmir border.

Internally, 80 civil protests, 32 stone-pelting incidents and three bandhs were called.

In 2020, these numbers were 166, 68 and two respectively.

Amit Shah landed at Srinagar airport in Jammu and Kashmir this morning For the three-day visit – his first since leading the government’s charge of scrapping Article 370 two years ago. After landing he went to meet the family of Jammu and Kashmir police officer Parvez Ahmed, who was among those killed by terrorists this month.

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