Press Trust of india

CRPF pledges stringent security measures to provide security to minority community members in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Stringent measures are being taken to provide security to the members of the minority community in the valley, a senior CRPF officer in Jammu and Kashmir said here on Friday.

“Minority pickets of CRPF are on alert, we review the security regularly. Our endeavour is to keep all the minorities in south Kashmir safe and we are in touch with them on a regular basis,” IG CPRF (Kashmir Operations) M S Bhatia told reporters in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.

His remarks come in the backdrop of terrorists on Sunday killing a 40-year-old Kashmiri Pandit in Pulwama district while he was on his way to a local market, in yet another targeted killing of a minority community member in the Valley.

Sanjay Sharma, who worked as an ATM guard, was shot in the chest at point-blank range barely 100 meters from his residence in Achan area of south Kashmir.

The killing evoked widespread condemnation and demand for security for the community members.

Bhatia said every measure will be taken to provide security to the community.

“I want to assure you that we are taking stringent security measures to provide a sense of security to them and everything will be done for their security,” he said.

To a question about the security measures for the Amarnath Yatra, which is likely to begin in June, the CRPF officer said security agencies have started assessing the security measures for the annual pilgrimage to the south Kashmir Himalayas.

“Last year, the Yatra concluded peacefully and a huge number of yatris came. This year too, we hope for a huge number of yatris. Stringent security measures will be put in place, including use of technology like drones. Also, ROPs, bullet-proof vehicles will be used in such a manner that the yatris have a wonderful experience,” he said.

Bhatia said whatever steps need to be taken to facilitate the pilgrims will be taken like last year.

“CRPF’s helpline ‘Madadgar’ proved very helpful last year and this year too, we are ready to work in the same manner,” he added.

Asked about the number of militants in south Kashmir, the IG CPRF said while it is difficult to give the exact number of militants as it keeps on changing, the forces have an upper hand.

“All the security forces are working in coordination and the results are there for everyone to see,” he added.

About the use of technology in the counter-insurgency operations, the CRPF IG said it is our responsibility to keep our jawans safe and for that, whatever technological upgradation is necessary, like the critical situation response vehicle, JCB, bullet-proof, technological equipment, etc. “we will take that”.

“Our aim is to neutralise enemies without incurring any own losses,” he said.

On reports that the Army would be removed from the hinterland areas in some parts of the Valley and the CRPF will be given that responsibility, Bhatia said such a decision is for the Centre to take and “we will do whatever role is given to us”.

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