STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: After a detailed review of security arrangements in Jammu and Kashmir during his four-day visit to the Kashmir Valley, Union Home Minister Amit Shah told officials to focus on “ending terrorism and not worry about welfare,” a national television channel CNN-News18 reported quoting sources.In his first visit to J&K since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, Shah had reviewed the security situation at a meeting on Saturday attended by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, the top brass of J&K Police, Army, paramilitary forces, and the intelligence agencies. The Home Minister’s visit also came amid a recent spate of attacks on civilians in the valley.In the meeting, channel quoted sources as saying that Shah first addressed the intelligence chiefs and enquired about “doable” solutions to curb terrorism in J&K. The officials informed the Home Minister about their style of functioning and pointed out that local officials don’t want to work on information provided by intelligence, as they felt that “investigations would take place and the CBI would come to the valley.” Responding, Shah said those scared should not work in Kashmir and take decent postings instead, sources said.“By staying here, they should not oblige us,” the Home Minister said, according to sources, who also reiterated Shah’s clear’ message’ for those not keen enough to work in J&K: ‘to go immediately.’Shah also spoke to the Army Commander and informed him about ‘lapses’ in security arrangements, the sources said. The official replied that only eleven infiltrations had happened in 2021, and that the number was reduced to a great extent. However, Shah said if only eleven infiltrations had taken place, the number of killings should also be less, according to sources.Shah said with eleven infiltrations and so many terrorists killed in the valley, militancy should have ended in the valley, which was not happening. “Do you think this is the right answer?” the Home Minister said at the meeting, the sources said.Among the top officials who attended the meeting were Lieutenant Governor of J&K Manoj Sinha; Chief Secretary, J&K; DGP Kashmir; IG Kashmir; Intelligence Bureau and RAW chiefs; and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla.The Home Minister also told officials to arrest all overground workers without any hesitation. “Let them face the music of doing anti-national work,” sources quoted Shah as saying in the meeting. Overground workers (OGWs) are those that provide logistical support, cash, accommodation, and other facilities to militants or terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. The police classify an OGW as “anyone who supports the insurgents.” A person who provides a safe house, passage, information, or acts as a messenger for suspected militants is immediately labelled as an OGW by the authorities, according to reports.Security forces had recently taken into detention more than 900 OGWs of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Al-Badr and The Resistance Front (TRF).The valley has witnessed a spate of attacks on civilians recently, with eleven civilians killed in the valley in October alone. Five of those killed were labourers from Bihar, while three, including two teachers, belonged to minority communities in Kashmir.
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