Commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG) could be deployed for “room intervention” during anti-militancy operations and they could help prevent destruction of houses where militants are holed up during encounters, J&K DGP S P Vaid has said.
The Home Ministry has said that it is considering deployment of NSG troops along with personnel of the Army, police and CRPF for anti-militancy operations.
The commandos could also be used to train the CRPF and police personnel, Vaid said in an interview to The Sunday Express. “It (NSG) is the expert force for room intervention. We would like our boys, the CRPF boys to be trained by them,” the DGP said. “Also, if required, (we would) use them at least in capital city for room intervention rather than bringing down the house. It is an effort to save the houses also,” he added.
Vaid said that as many as 41 youths in Kashmir have joined militant ranks this year. However, Vaid said that “the security forces had good success” though local boys joining militancy “is definitely… a concern for the police”.
“We had made a lot of efforts last year and as a result we were able to bring back about 75-80 boys. They were about to join or they had almost joined,” he said. “I think that was possible only by local police by working with the families, relatives and peer groups of the boys who were either joining or about to join…We are really concerned about any local boy getting killed. They are our own boys.”
About the killing of professor-turned-militant Mohammed Rafi Bhat in south Kashmir, the DGP said that he had a “background” of militancy. “As per our information, I think sometime in 2012, he had joined militancy and was brought back by the family,” he said. “His cousin was also a militant. So there is a background,” Vaid said.
Calling for a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the “alienation” of youth in Valley, Vaid said, “You have to address the alienation. Police cannot address the alienation alone… multi-pronged strategy has to be put in place to counter alienation.” When asked if dialogue would be part of such a strategy, he said, “It is understood”.
On security challenges to the upcoming Amarnath Yatra, Vaid said steps would be taken to ensure no untoward incident takes place. “Last year, that incident happened because a vehicle strayed, went beyond the cut-off time and then there was a puncture and that unfortunate incident happened. We will take whatever steps this time and improve upon last year’s work to ensure that it is incident-free,” he said.
Vaid agreed with the comments of his predecessor, former DGP Kuldeep Khoda, that Kashmir Valley would see more bloodshed this year as compared to last year. “The way efforts are being made from Pakistan, militancy would be there. There is no let down from Pakistan regarding infiltration, provocation and social media, so obviously it is going to be an eventful summer,” he said. “But, I am still optimistic this summer should see good tourism, normal life and activity in Valley”.
The DGP maintained that it is the responsibility of parents and civil society to prevent incidents like the killing of a Tamil Nadu tourist in stone-pelting on the city outskirts. “A boy of 12 years comes from the street and throws stone. It has become unfortunately a culture… all stakeholders… need to come forward,” he said.
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