Kavita Suri

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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Militants increasingly focussing on Jammu and Kashmir Police now

It was a routine thing to happen in militancy-infested areas of Rajouri district. The Pak-sponsored militants had gunned down two civilians including a PHE employee and a newly elected Sarpanch in Ghambir Mughlan village and had issued diktat that nobody would dare perform their last rites. The news about the innocent civilians killings when reached Rajouri, a team of 28 persons including 26 Jammu and Kashmir Police(JKP) jawans and two medical assistants (to conduct the post-mortem) left immediately for Ghambir Mughlan. As the militants have a very strong communication network in the area, this news reached them. And the massacre was waiting to happen. At Ghaloti- midway Ghambir Mughlan and Rajouri in Manjakote block, just  a few minutes ago two army trucks had passed through the spot but were not touched by the mercenaries. Instead the cops who dared to disobey the militants' command were ambushed by them. Fifteen policemen and the two medical assistants were killed on the spot. Two cops who were trapped inside the Tata Sumo carrying them to Ghambir Mughlan, even could not take their positions in the overcrowded vehicle. The Rajouri ambush was the first major attack on the jawans of Jammu and Kashmir police early this year. What followed it was the attack on Police Control Room in Srinagar in which 10 policmen were killed. And now the recent fidayeen attack on the Poonch police station which claimed seven lives of the policemen. Well, these are not two or three isolated cases. The Jammu and kashmir police which had come to the fore as one of the pioneer forces fighting insurgency in the valley under the dynamic leadership of the then DGP Mr Gurbachan Jagat, is now facing a tough time for the past few months.Things do not seem to be moving smoothly for over 50,000 police force in the trouble-torn state of Jammu and Kashmir as most of the policemen seem to have developed a sagging morale.A couple of more such incidents, the observers feel,and things would be very difficult. The Pakistan-sponsored militant outfits who have already declared a war on the military and  para-military forces in the state, have now increasingly been focussing on the Jammu and Kashmir police. More and more police personnel in the state are becoming the targets of militants bullets.  In the past ten years so far, 3053 police and security forces personnel including 191 SPOs and 54 VDC members have lost their lives in this proxy-war  since its out-break. A total of 516 of them have been officers and jawans of J&K Police and the remaining 2292 of other security forces. The data for this year (till 15 August) is also a pointer to the fact that the killings of police and security forces jawans have increased. As many as 359 police and security forces personnel have lost their lives and 872 sustained injuries in counter-insurgency operations across the state since January till August 15 this year.  The martyrs include 76 officers and Jawans of J&K police, 232 security forces personnel, 46 SPOs and five village defence committee members. The casualties have mostly occurred due to grenades and IED explosions hurled and triggered by Pak sponsored mercenaries during ambushes. The militants, on the other hand, suffered  three-fold casualties. Police and security forces have eliminated 1059 militants, most of them foreign mercenaries, during the period. 49 of the militants also surrendered to the authorities alongwith arms and ammunition. Four militants and two civilians died in six inter-group clashes of militants. A total of 209  incidents of abduction at the hands of ultras have also been registered. Innocent people have been made the target by militants to create scare in the minds of peace loving people of the state. Continuing with their tool of terrorism, militants have killed 589 civilians, 99 of them in grenade attacks and explosions and 490 in firing. Besides, militants have inflicted injuries on 1372 civilians with their firing and explosions. 99 of the civilians have lost their lives in cross firing between militants and police/security forces from January to August 15 this year. Nothwithstanding the fact that the Disturbed areas Act has been extended to entire Jammu region, many political observers in J&K feel that the situation is heading towards the one that prevailed in Kashmir in early 90's when the entire system had crumbled down. With various outfits like LeT and Jeish-e-Mohammad having threatened to intensify their suicidal and other attacks in the state in the post-Agra period, the entire focus is now on the state police. "With the militant organisations openly issuing threats to the state police, panic has also gripped the families of the police personnel. The police force which one had high morale is now facing a peculiar situation. And the incidents like Rajouri and Poonch are a gruesome reminder for the rest of them and they do know what lies next for them," feels Mr Chander Mohan Sharma, vice-president, state BJP adding that not only the police officials have laid down their lives fighting militants, but even their families have also paid the price. Take the case of Inspector Altaf who along with the HT photographer Pradeep Bhatia and many others, was killed in the car bomb blast outside heavily guarded Residency Road on 10 August last year .Sole bread earner for his family, now his wife and three young daughters are finding it very difficult to make both the ends meet. Not only the regular state police force but the Special Police Operations Group of the J&K Police which was specially created in 1994 to fight insurgency, has come under focus also. Though for many years the SOG did an excellent job under the dynamic leadership of the then Inspector General of Police Mr P.S. Gill( who has now been posted elsewhere in the state and has been promoted to ADGP), the SOG cops are also feeling lost and directionless in the absence of some good command. The six long months of ceasfire which ended in May, also saw an increase in attacks and killings of SOG officials. In May only, three SOG cops-Inspector Kanwal Singh, Sub Insepector Mohammad Amin and ASI Mohammad Sultan were killed by the Lashkar men while they were basking in the sun in the gardens of SOG Baramulla camp near Pattan in North kashmir. Mr P.S.Gill, Additional Director General of Police, J&K feels that the state policd has come to increased focus of the militants as it is the only force which has to work on the roads all the time." Army and other para military forces are mostly in the camps but not the cop as he has to perform his duty in the open ; a traffic cop has to stand at a roundabout well aware of the fact that a bullet can come from all the directions pierce his body or even a fidayeen can emerge from nowhere,"he says adding that the policemen are the ones who have to yield actionable intelligence which would then help the army and para-military force. But isn't it that the incidents like Fidayeen storming Police control Room Srinagar on Police Station poonch which have been forcing many of the JKP men to slink back to the barracks? "Not that is not the case, says the ADGP who is known for his role in crushing militancy from Kashmir valley. He adds that when a fidayeen is ready to blow himself, no security measures can help. However, he asserts that the force has fully been energised and has always been rady to take on any kind of challenge. With renewed threats by various militant outfits, the "energised" Jammu and Kashmir police has now to use its capability to lead the other forces into some solid action to nullify such threats. They have to kill or get killed - that is the rule of the war... even if it is a proxy war initiated by Pakistan in the state of Jammu of Kashmir. That is the golden rule. 

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