Srinagar: The Director General of Police, J&K, Dilbagh Singh Wednesday said the police was “verifying” whether any successful infiltration by militants had taken place after the abrogation of Article 370 early last month.
“Yes, there have been many reports of infiltration. The militants tried infiltrating through certain areas including Rajouri, Poonch, Gurez, and Karnah. In Gulmarg sector, two militants were recently held who were produced before media. Now we are trying to verify whether any successful infiltration has taken place,” he said while addressing a press conference here.
Singh said that there have been reports about the activity of militants in their launching pads along the LoC.
“Pakistan agencies are very desperate to push in militants to Kashmir but we are very active to respond to them and foil their attempts. At their launch pads, there’s activity and presence of militants,” he said.
The DGP said the activities of the Over Ground Workers (OGWs) were also being monitored, whom he blamed for “being equally responsible for creating a sense of scare among the people”.
“Not just militants we closely watch the activity of OGWs. They have also created a sense of scare among the people by posting posters and carrying their messages to the people. We held eight OGWS in north Kashmir, five in Srinagar and four in Shopian. The investigation about their role is going on,” Singh said.
The DGP said a total of 184 law and order incidents were reported from various regions of the state in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370
Singh, however, said heavy violence was only reported in only half-a dozen cases. “Minor incidents took place in most of the places. Till yesterday, 184 incidents of law and order engagements were there of which not more than half-a-dozen are of such nature, where a little higher level of violence was seen in terms of stone-pelting by the civilians,” he said while addressing a presser.
The police chief said that 15 to 16 militants were active in North Kashmir adding there were hardly any reports of fresh recruitment in militant ranks in the valley.
“There is hardly any report of youth joining militancy recently. One of the two youths who had joined militancy was brought back in the mainstream with the help of their parents and civil society,” he said.
The DGP said forces have also tried to exercise “a lot of restraint with very minimal use of force wherever required.’
Asked whether the restriction imposed after the abrogation of Article 370 will be lifted, he said they are considering giving more relaxation in the coming days.
“I am happy to say that our people in the state in all three regions have been very cooperative and maintenance of law and order in Jammu and Kashmir has been very good. Despite a number of law and order incidents reported from various places in the state, there was hardly any serious law and order engagement,” he added.
Meanwhile, police claimed that have killed a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Asif Maqbool Bhat during a gun battle in Sopore area of north Kashmir on Wednesday.
“Based on specific inputs, we set up checkpoints to track and block Asif. We intercepted him and he attacked us. He threw a grenade. A few police personnel were injured but they are out of danger,” the DGP said.
According to the police, Bhat was responsible for a recent shootout in which three members of a fruit trader’s family and a five-year-old girl were injured. Police also said he was also responsible for the shooting of a migrant labourer named Shafi Aalam in Sopore.
UN chief could discuss Kashmir issue at UNGA: UN spokesman
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is likely to use the opportunity of discussions during the high-level UN General Assembly session that begins here next week to raise the Kashmir issue, the UN chief’s spokesperson has said.
Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric during the daily press briefing here on Thursday said that the UN chief has underscored the need for dialogue as the only way to resolve the issue and, “as part of the solution for the current crisis in Kashmir, to make sure that human rights aspects are very much dealt with, as well.”
“…On Kashmir, the Secretary General… has said previously, he remains engaged. I think he will also use the opportunity of discussions during the General Assembly to raise it,” Dujarric said, responding to a question on the situation in Kashmir.
On Wednesday, Guterres emphasised that “dialogue” between India and Pakistan is an “absolute essential element” for reaching a solution on the Kashmir issue, and said his good offices are available should both sides ask for it and called for full respect of human rights.
“Well, our capacity is related to good offices, and good offices can only be implemented when the parties accept it. And, on the other hand, it relates to advocacy, and the advocacy was expressed and will be maintained,” Guterres said during his press conference ahead of the UN General Assembly session.
Guterres was asked by a Pakistani journalist about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and what will he do to bring a solution to the Kashmir issue.
“I go on with a clear opinion that human rights must be fully respected in the territory, and I go on with the clear opinion that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an absolutely essential element for the solution of the problem,” he said.
India has always maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and ruled out any third party mediation, including either from the UN or the US, saying it is a bilateral issue with Pakistan.
The UN Secretary General has also repeatedly asserted that his good offices are available only if both sides ask for it.
Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York on September 27. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to speak on the same day.
Amid Kashmir tensions, India will participate at SAARC meeting in New York
NEW DELHI: Amid heightened Indo-Pak tensions, India will participate at the SAARC foreign ministers meeting scheduled to be held on September 26 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, officials said on Thursday.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan will be present in the US next week and will hold bilateral and multilateral meetings.
Officials said India will participate in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation foreign ministers meeting that is scheduled for September 26.
The meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA could bring Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi face to face for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.
Asked about a possible meeting with his Pakistani counterpart as well as the future of the SAARC regional grouping, Jaishankar, at a press conference earlier this week, had said, “if and when I meet Pakistani Foreign Minister, we will see at that time what happens”.
The SAARC is about regional cooperation and that refers to trade, MFN, connectivity etc.
, he had said, adding that now every member knows which country is promoting SAARC and which one is impeding it.
Last year, then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the SAARC Foreign Ministers meeting, usually held on the sidelines of the UNGA.
Plea alleges detention of children in Kashmir, SC seeks report
The Supreme Court on Friday sought a report from Jammu and Kashmir High Court on the alleged detention of children in Kashmir during curbs following the scrapping of Article 370 in the state on August 5.
Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing child right activists Inakshi Ganguly and Shanta Sinha who have alleged detention of children in Kashmir, had on September 16 told the apex court that people in the Valley are not able to approach the high court there.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would entertain the petition regarding alleged detention of children in Kashmir as the plea has raised “substantial issues” regarding minors. The top court directed the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to file a report before it within a week on the issue.
The Supreme Court also said it had received a report from the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court and claims that people are unable to access the court there are not supported.
“We have received the report from the chief justice (of Jammu and Kashmir High Court) which does not support your statement,” the bench also comprising justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer told the counsel appearing for the petitioners.
The Supreme Court also sought response from the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea challenging detention of five persons in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370.
The bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir administration, to file his response.