Core group meets to discuss security situation in Kashmir

Srinagar, June 22 (IANS) A core group comprising top officials from the civil administration and the security agencies met at the army’s Badami Bagh Cantonment here on Tuesday to review the security situation in Kashmir.
The meeting was co-chaired by the General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps, Lt Gen D.P. Pandey, and Director General of Police, J&K, Dilbag Singh.
The core group also discussed the satisfactory handling of the Covid situation in Kashmir. The group appreciated how national and state civil departments along with the security forces worked as a joint team and kept the pandemic under control as compared to the other parts of India during the peak of the second wave.
A brief stock of the preparedness for a likely third wave was taken at the meeting.
The officials shared inputs about the security situation along the Line of Control (LoC) and the hinterlands.
They said the ceasefire has improved the security situation along the borders. However, intelligence inputs of terrorist launch pads and terrorist training activities in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the LoC.
“There are indications of heightened activity in the last two months. The cross-border smuggling of narcotics and weapons continues to be the focus of the intelligence agencies and security forces. This includes continued vigil and checks on all passes leading to the Kashmir Valley,” the army said in a statement.
The army said that the review of the violence indicators for the first six months of the year shows an improvement in all security parameters.
“There is a joint security forces effort at targeting the over ground worker (OGW) network that sustains terrorism and focused efforts by the police have led to the apprehension of nearly 400 such persons. Local recruitment, though lower than previous years, continues to be the focus area of the security and intelligence agencies.
“The effort is to engage with the vulnerable youth and target the OGW network engaged in the recruitment process. The recruitment is higher in some pockets where synergised counter actions are being executed,” the statement said.
The officials also shared continued focus on vehicles of dubious antecedents as they are used for transportation of arms and contraband, and also can be used for vehicle based IEDs.
“The efforts of some outfits to use variety of IEDs are being proactively countered. Reports of encroachments along the national highway are being checked as these can cause security threat to the convoy movement on the highways,” the statement added.
The officials also discussed the issue of criminal acts being carried out under the garb of terrorist attack and the need to differentiate between a terror attack and a criminal attack.
The shift of terrorists’ modus operandi in targeting soft targets and counter measures were also discussed.
The officials deliberated on the propaganda effort by Pakistan and their antagonistic information warfare tactics.
“These efforts include propaganda to legitimise the killings of Kashmiri civilians by the terrorists. The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively by a joint effort,” the statement said.
The DGP and the Corps Commander commended the officials present for the improved security indicators. A special mention was made on the measures taken to minimise the collateral damage in operations despite risks to the soldiers.
They called upon all to continue the efforts for better intelligence, better preventive security measures and effective intelligence-based counter terror operations.
They also called for continued efforts along with the civil society to counter the separatist propaganda and break the cycle of violence for long-term peace in Kashmir.

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