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Vijay Kumar takes over as ADGP-Law and Order

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Srinagar: Vijay Kumar, a 1997-batch Indian Police Service officer, on Wednesday took over as the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) after serving as the Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) for nearly four years.

The post of ADGP (Law and Order) has been created for two years by making special provisions in the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre rules.

Senior IPS officer V K Birdhi was appointed as the Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) on Tuesday, replacing Kumar who had held the post from December 2019 after his premature repatriation from the central deputation, officials said.

His posting in Kashmir came shortly after the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in August 2019.

As the head of the Kashmir Police, Kumar is credited with bringing massive transformation in the overall security situation in the Valley by putting an end to separatist-sponsored street violence and strike culture which had become the order of the day over the past three decades, the officials said.

Having vast experience in anti-insurgency operations, Kumar had earlier served as Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Ganderbal, Superintendent of Police (SP), Special Operations Group Pulwama, SP Awantipora, SP Kulgam, SP Kupwara and Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Kashmir), they said.

On central deputation, he has served in the CRPF as DIG-Delhi Range, IG-CoBRA, IG-Operations and IG-Chhattisgarh sector.

The works done under his command include a new funeral and burial arrangement for slain terrorists, incident-free conduct of the first-ever District Development Council (DDC) election in November-December 2020 and effective COVID-19 lockdown management, the officials said.

“The handling of the situation post the death of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in September 2021, zero-killing of civilians by law enforcement agencies during law and order situations, minimum collateral damage during encounters and dramatic reduction in recruitment of youth into terrorism – from 210 in 2018 to 10 in 2023 – are some other highlights of his tenure” as the Inspector General of Police, they said.

Kumar is also credited with successful conduct of the third G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting in May, Amarnath Yatra in 2022 and 2023, and allowing Muharram procession in Srinagar city after 34 years besides facilitating an incident-free ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ of the Congress in January, the officials said.

On the investigation front, 1,395 cases of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act were disposed of with a disposal percentage going up to 87. The conviction in UAPA cases also started from 2021. Hundreds of terrorists and terror associates were also arrested in the past four years, they said.

Kumar also aptly handled the situation in the aftermath of an encounter in Hyderpora locality of Srinagar in November 2021 and another at Amshipura village in Shopian district of south Kashmir in July 2020, the officials said.

Four persons were killed in the encounter in Hyderpora with families of the deceased claiming that they were civilians and not linked to any terror group, prompting police to set up a Special Investigation Team which later indicated that there was no wrongdoing on part of the security forces.

However, the killing of three men dubbed as terrorists in Amshipura proved to be a “fake encounter” with an army court recommending life imprisonment for a captain.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had also constituted a Special Investigation Team which filed a charge-sheet against three people, including the accused captain, for “staging a fake encounter”. (With inputs from PTI)

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