‘Revive SOG; Control Mosque, Media To Contain Situation’

SRINAGAR: In a first such report where Pakistan has not been blamed for situation in Kashmir, the union home ministry has suggested a slew of measures to contain the Valley.

“Control” of the Masjid, Madrassa, print and media, changes in the political atmosphere, strengthening of intelligence set-up and reaching out to the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference are some of the suggestions in an assessment report prepared by the Union ministry of home affairs, government of India, about the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley.

The report, compiled after securing inputs from ground, suggests long-term “actionable points” and has been sent to National Security Advisor (NSA), Ajit Doval.

Discussing the three-decade-old insurgency in the Valley, the report makes no reference to Pakistan but suggests that the political atmosphere in the Valley needs to be changed and those who were part of the 2014 election victory need to be supported and promoted by the government.

The report suggests that some of the financial schemes of the Union Government may be implemented through these people that may help to bring more people in their area of influence.

Giving the break-up of Shia, Bakkarwal and Pahadi Muslim population, it suggests that a special development scheme can be implemented for them before they get lured by separatists or what it calls the widespread cult of Wahabism within the Valley. TheMoulvis at the Masjids need to be engaged that will go a long way to quell insurgency in the Valley, it was stated.

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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting needs to revive its Jammu and Kashmir division that is largely defunct, the report says. It lists TV channels as pro and anti-India and newspapers that it says should be promoted for “perception management,” states the report. The report says those news organisations in the Valley fomenting anti-India sentiment should be “discouraged” from telecasting any “negative propaganda”.

On the role of resistance leadership, the report calls for crackdown by Income Tax and other agencies on them but at the same time advocates engagement with the moderate faction.

To curb cases of stone-pelting, it has been advised that those indulging in such incidents need to be booked under draconian Public Safety Act (PSA) and for first-time offenders, especially teenagers, special juvenile homes may be set up so that they do not get influenced by more radical elements.

For economic development and to tackle unemployment, it has been suggested that the government come up with a special provision or legislation related to corporate social responsibility (CSR) for Jammu and Kashmir to ensure that business houses carry out activities under this head in the Valley and yearly targets for the companies may be fixed.

Suggesting an overhaul of intelligence and police management, the report suggests that to tackle militants from across the border, Special Operation Group (SOG) needs to be revived as it was done in 2002.

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