New Delhi, Apr 20: The Indian Army on Friday said it would prioritize bringing “radicalised youth to the mainstream through a collective approach and convince militants to shun violence and gun culture”.
The issue of conducting ‘de-radicalising’ exercises along with counter-militancy operations in the Kashmir Valley was discussed during the ongoing biannual Army Commanders’ Conference that began here on Monday amid reports that IS ideology was moulding new-age militants in the state.
“It was felt that priority must be accorded towards ushering peace by conducting counter-militancy operations that minimize collateral damage. Radicalised youth must be brought into the mainstream by carrying out de-radicalization and collective approach that focuses on convincing the youth to shun violence and gun culture,” Director General Staff Duties Lt. Gen. A.K. Sharma told reporters.
Lt. Gen. Sharma, who earlier headed Nagrota-based 16 Corps in Jammu, didn’t explain what kind of exercise the Army would employ to ‘deradicalise’ Kashmiri youth.
Staring at yet another possible hot summer with hundreds of militants and many civilians already killed in the first three and a half months of this year, dozens of youths in Kashmir have reportedly joined three prominent militant groups: Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba and a resurgent Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Top Army commanders during the six-day conference that ends on Saturday also discussed the current situation along the borders with China and Pakistan, particularly “along the Line of Control, the increase in ceasefire violations and the adequacy of the response mechanisms”, said Lt. Gen. Sharma
“The apex commanders confabulated on the prevalent situation in the Valley and reviewed the recent developments affecting modus operandi of the operations of the armed forced deployed in the region,” he said, referring to the trend of civilians rushing to shootout sites to hurl stones at security forces in a bid to help militants escape.
The senior commanders, he said, also deliberated at length on the prevailing situation along the northern borders.
“During the conference, considerable time was spent on re-prioritizing the existing requirements to ensure that the resources allocated for force modernization and capacity building were utilized optimally with the budgetary allocation. The discussions also dwelt upon increasing the content of indigenization in force modernization.”
On the last day of the conference, the commanders would deliberate on matters pertaining “exclusively to military operations”, he said.
Discussions were also held on increasing the share of indigenisation in force modernisation.
“The deliberations appraised the current situation along the LoC, the increase in the CFVs (ceasefire violations) and the adequacy of the response mechanisms,” the Army official said.
The commanders discussed the situation in the Valley and also reviewed the developments affecting the modus operandi of the operations of the armed forces deployed in the region.
Security forces have faced stiff opposition from residents while carrying out operations in the Valley.
“It was also felt that priority must be accorded towards ushering peace, by conducting counter-militants operations that minimise collateral damage,” the official said.
“The radicalised youth must be brought into the mainstream by carrying out de-radicalisation and collective approach that focuses on convincing the youth to shun violence and gun culture,” he added.
The commanders also deliberated on the prevailing situation along the northern borders, capacity building steps, including infrastructure development.
A major focus of the conference was on bolstering the Army’s overall operational preparedness along the nearly 4,000-km-long border with China.
Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector last year after the Indian side stopped the construction of a road in the disputed area by the Chinese Army. The faceoff ended on August 28.
The official said the Army commanders also deliberated upon cyber-security and security of military establishments.
All laws in Kashmir should be at par with rest of India: Shiv Sena
New Delhi, Apr 20: Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has said that all the laws in the State of Jammu and Kashmir should be at par with the rest of the country.
Coming down heavily on the Indian National Congress, the Shiv Sena chief said that Congress does not want to abolish Article 370.
“All laws in Kashmir should be at par with the rest of India. Congress does not want to abolish Article 370. Leaders like Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti have said that if Article 370 is abolished there will be no one to respect the tricolor,” the Shiv Sen chief said while addressing a public rally in Aurangabad.
He also that Shiv Sena wanted a Prime Minister who could attack Pakistan and that is why Shiv Sena went into an alliance with the BJP.
CB registers case: 129 fake appointments in health dept at B’pora
Srinagar, Apr 20: Crime Branch Kashmir (CBK) has registered a case against various officers, officials for fraudulently making 129 appointments in three medical blocks of Bandipora.
According to CBK official handout, it received a communication from Directorate of Health Services Kashmir regarding 129 persons in Bandipora suspected of holding fictitious GPF numbers and with no record in District Fund Office Bandipora.
“During the course of inquiry by CBK, it came to fore that 129 employees of District Bandipora, 26 from Block Bandipora, 17 from Hajin and 86 from Block Gurez possess fictitious GPF A/C NOs, with allotted computer code 7501,” it stated, adding that the offices of Block Medical Officer Bandipora, Hajin and Gurez have reflected the fictitious GPF Code 7501 on the LPCs issued by them in favour of the fraudulently appointed employees.
The CBK further said that the appointment orders purportedly issued by Chief Medical Officer Baramulla were found fake and fictitious as the persons were appointed in fraudulent manner and then transferred to different Medical Blocks with their service books / LPCs prepared and dispatched.
“In this manner, a huge number of illegally and fraudulently appointed employees have been drawing salary deceitfully since long under a well-knit criminal conspiracy in league with concerned officers/officials. A huge loss has been caused to the state exchequer due to fraudulently appointed employees” the handout stated.
Transparency in cross-LoC trade: Demands ignored by successive govts,says KCCI
Srinagar, Apr 20: Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCC&I) on Saturday said that their demands aimed at bringing transparency in cross-LoC trade were ignored by the successive governments in the state.
“Over the years, no effective steps were taken to implement various suggestions given by stakeholders,” a spokesman of KCC&I said in a statement.
He said that the decision of installation of full body scanner was taken several years ago it was caught in procedural delays.
“Demands aimed at bringing transparency to the trade including installation of a full body scanner, close circuit television camera’s (CCTV’s), banking facility, communication infrastructure, re-verification of traders, regular rotation of officials posted at Trade Facilitation Centres etc have been ignored,” he said.
He said that in July 2018, the then Governor N N Vohra had issued deadlines for the implementation of the aforementioned measures but till date no action has been taken resulting in the suspension of the trade itself.
He also said that the allegation that businessman Zahoor Ahmed Wattali was the President of LOC Traders Association is also unsubstantiated as per our knowledge.
“This has allowed the alleged flow of narcotics, fake currency and weapons into the State. In view of the serious nature of the allegations, responsibility needs to be fixed for the glaring lapses,” he said.
He said that the order of suspension has been issued without taking into account the difficulties genuine traders would be facing.
“No opportunity has been given to settle accounts and traders have been left with huge stocks, many of them perishable, which would be of no use. In addition, thousands of persons connected with the trade have been rendered jobless and in debt,” he said.