In the wake of the Urban local body, Panchayat polls and the recent incidents of weapon snatching from policemen in Jammu and Kashmir, the state police has issued a fresh advisory to protected persons in the state.
The advisory, while listing out dos and don’ts for 1,480 protected persons — including high-ranking officials, bureaucrats, politicians and others — aims to defeat the “nefarious designs of anti-nationals”. The 22-page advisory states, “Protected persons should move in militancy-infested areas only on the days of ROP (Road Opening Party) and in no case after sunset and should not violate the route prescribed by the police/ security agencies.”
Though the advisory makes no mention of which areas would specifically be defined as “militancy-infested areas”, a senior police official told The Indian Express, that for official purposes, this would mean, the entire Kashmir Valley. It also directed protected persons to use Personal Security Officers (PSOs) strictly for professional work.
More than 4,300 PSOs are assigned to the 1,480 protected persons in the state and 300 Special Police Officers (SPO) are placed on protection duty. Urging protected persons to provide their tour programmes in advance to the security control rooms or district SSPs, the advisory said that their security personnel should be taken into confidence and they should “mutually decide distress signals and specific security drills in case of suspicion and trouble”.
The document advised protected persons to not drive vehicles and said, “If PSOs are provided, one should be seated in front and another at the rear right side.” It asked protected persons to remain conscious of sniper fire and avoid standing by windows, lawns or “spaces exposed to snipers”. Terming it a “definite security risk”, the document wrote off holding of rallies and roadshows and said, “It is neither possible to sanitise all persons and everything enroute, nor to prevent intermixing.”
PSOs have been directed to conduct daily checks of offices, residences and vehicles of all protected persons and all members of the staff of such persons have been advised to “not carry tiffin carriers, lunch boxes and the like to their work places.”