Geelani’s Stir Threat Will Be Ineffective: IGP

“Militancy Transforming Into Crime”  

Srinagar – Asserting that the Jammu and Kashmir police was ready to tackle any law and order problem, the inspector general of police (IGP) for Kashmir, SM Sahai, on Monday said that Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s threat to launch an agitation after Eid  “would prove ineffective.”

“The facts with regard to the yatra are contrary to what the separatists assert,” the IGP told the KNS. “People are with peace. It is the people of Kashmir who preferred and maintained peace this year.”

“If there is any law and order problem at any time, the police is ready to tackle it. In my opinion, his (Geelani’s) threat will have no effect,” he said.

“There is need for introspection over the 2008-10 unrest. We have to see the factors which gave rise to that situation. After understanding all those factors and introspection we’re improving with every passing day,” he said.

Rejecting criticism that the state police had forgotten its primary responsibility of fighting crime while dealing with law and order issues in the state, the IGP said: ”It may not be inappropriate to say that conventional crime has got less attention, but the situation prevailing at that time demanded it. But, alongside we have made significant breakthroughs as we succeeded in arresting habitual thieves and cracking murder mysteries. Our force is very much committed to fighting crime.”

The IGP said that the use of the gun in the valley had changed “as it is being used both for militancy related activities and criminal acts.”

“Today, the gun is being used to kill security personnel, panchayat members and common citizens. On one side, the militant is carrying out militancy related activities and on the other hand he is killing people to take personal revenge. Thus, he is becoming both a militant and a criminal. When you give gun into the hands of an individual, you never know his intentions and towards whom he is going to point it.”

“The state police is ready to take the responsibility of handling militancy and the security situation in the state. The J&K police is grateful to other forces who have helped it to control the situation,” he said. 

When asked whether the J&K Police was not capable of tackling 300 to 400 militants and whether army and other forces should not be sent back to barracks, Sahai said: “We should not see this in absolute terms. We must withdraw from areas where we are no more needed. We’ve to protect the people, but continued presence in populated areas is not healthy beyond a time. Militants can kill whether their number is small or large. We’ve to ensure the security of the state and we will continue to do that.”

“Wherever we feel there is a possibility of vacating army or paramilitary forces, we do that. Some bunkers have already been removed from places where we felt they were no more needed. It is a continuous process and will be done according to situation,” he said.

On the involvement of some police personnel in militancy related activities, Sahai said that the possibility of a few black sheep was there in every force.

“Ours is a large force. Every force has black sheep, but if we compare J&K with other states like Punjab, that witnessed disturbance, it happened more there in other states as compared to J&K,” he said. (Observer News Service)

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