OPINION Govt Can Take Naxal Cue, Khalistan Ops and Ensure J&K Police Plays Key Role in Cashmir’s Internal Security Management

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The Jammu and Kashmir Police are one of the country’s most professional combative police forces operating mostly in the inner cordon during anti-terrorism ops and most of the Valley’s success stories of eliminating terrorists can be attributed to their intelligence and courage.

The Narendra Modi government has abolished Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution in pursuit of its’ one country, one Constitution ‘ objective, thus taking the final decisive step towards full legal inclusion of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India.

This constitutional integration leads us to believe that lastly, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, we can attain the Utopian idea of India. This trip, however, is not the one to be accomplished by abolishing articles alone.

The fact that the Modi government has the necessary mandate, political will and vision to take the necessary steps to bring about economic development and prosperity as well as people-to-people interaction and integration of the region is contrary to the fact that Kashmir’s complete integration with the Union of India can not materialize with the presence of terrorism and worldwide interaction.

It’s not that India’s only internal security concern is the Kashmir issue. India has effectively neutralized the Khalistan movement in the past and to a few areas has also contained the Maoist uprising.

These achievements provide us with useful insight into how to approach internal security. An assessment of these movements shows that state police are playing a significant role in addressing these issues.

During activities under the leadership of KPS Gill, then secretary commissioner of police, Punjab, the Khalistan movement was crushed by state police by neutralizing armed separatists in the internal cordons while the Army and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) were operating in the exterior cordon.

As far as Maoism is concerned, the Andhra-Odisha border region is one of the worst-hit regions in India. But the information from the region’s most affected districts over the past five years indicate that Naxalism is at its lowest ebb.

In 2015, in Malkangiri district of Odisha, there were 16 civilian murders that fell to six in 2018 and three in 2019 until June 30. Similarly, there were three police officers murdered in Malkangiri in 2015, which in 2018 is lowered to zero. So far this year, there have been zero deaths.

In Vishakhapatnam, in 2010 there were 11 civilian murders that fell to two in 2018 and one in 2019 until June 30. Civilian murders have been decreased from nine in 2014 to zero in 2018 in Odisha’s Koraput district. This year, till now, no such fatalities have been recorded.

At the same time, 44 Maoists have been neutralized in Malkangiri and 14 in Koraput over the past five years. The numbers above obviously indicate that in its hotbed the motion was hit hard. These information also show how state police forces such as Andhra Pradesh’s Greyhounds and Odisha’s Special Operations Group (SOG) were effective in countering the Maoist threat, while Punjab police could do the same to counter the Khalistan movement.

An assessment of the last 10 years information on the Andhra-Odisha frontier demonstrates that 99 percent of Maoists ‘ effective encounters and arrests were carried out by specialized units of state police forces such as Grey Hounds, SOG or District Voluntary Force.

Central Paramilitary Forces perform exercise and ground-holding operations predominantly in the region. The same applies to Punjab, where Khalistan’s separatist movement was mostly curbed by Punjab Police, while the CAPF or Army was operating in the outer cordon.

The second best reason for achievement in curbing the area’s Red rebellion is the approach taken by the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to put young IPS officers at the front line of the fight. Most of them were assigned as policemen in the Maoist-affected fields for special duties and police superintendents.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police are one of the country’s most professional combative police forces operating mostly in the inner cordon during anti-terrorism operations and most of the Valley’s success stories of eliminating terrorists can be attributed to their intelligence and courage.

Now, with the repeal of Article 370 and the establishment of the Union Territory of Jammu and Cashmir, the topic of police and public order falls solely within the domain of the Centre, and this offers an chance for the Modi government to establish an administrative framework that plays a prominent role for the state police in addressing the region’s inner security / terrorism problems.

(i) State police should play a leading position in the management of the scenario.

(ii) State police should coordinate the multiple safety forces in the region.

(iii) The intelligence sharing organization should be the lead organization.

(iv) Reinforcing and modernizing the Jammu and Cashmir police forces.

(V) the establishment or upgrade of specialized qualified units within the Jammu and Cashmir Police on the Greyhounds and SOG lines, although the former has its own SOG unit. These elite units would be in a better position to cope with terrorism tactically.

(vi) Initially, CAPF may place the frontline state police forces in the region of domination and in the support scheme so that specialized teams can maintain the activities for a longer period of time.

(vii) On a long-term basis, youthful IPS officers may be appointed as assistant commanders or deputy commanders and lead the activities in the front-line squad of CAPF for two-three years after their academic training. State police forces ‘ achievement in fighting operations in Maoist fields is primarily attributable to the age profile of state police staff and young district police or specialized state forces IPS officers.

(viii) capacity building in social media monitoring of state police personnel through which young minds are radicalized and attracted to the ideology of terrorism. Under the oversight of District Police Superintendents, each district should have a well-equipped and active social media cell.

(ix) State police should play a proactive role in teaching individuals about the role of the Union of India in the fight against terrorism and in promoting good governance in the region. In addition, the youth should be made aware of the crimes committed in the region by terrorists and their modus operandi.

(x) On the border front, the army requires to reinforce its reliance on technology-based alternatives, find hotspots and work on them, fix pores wherever they are, and work on innovative intelligence methods such as social media monitoring, broad CCTV coverage and cadres penetration.

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