Terrorism declines in J&K but it hasn’t been wiped out: DGP
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Police chief R R Swain on Monday said there has been a decline in terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir but it has not been completely wiped out, and asked his men to work towards peace so voters and candidates can take part in elections without fear.
In his New Year message to police officials, Swain said the challenge for 2024 is not to let the dismantled terror ecosystem “take roots or resurface even marginally in any form”.
The Supreme Court recently directed the Centre to hold the long-awaited Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30 this year. Urban local bodies and panchayats in the union territory have completed their five-year terms.
In his five-page message, the director general of police (DGP) said, “We need to be fully prepared to ensure a peaceful environment… where ordinary young men and women without pedigree but committed to transparent governance and well-being of their electorate feel free to vote as voters and compete with each other to be voted to power as candidates without the fear of the lurking gun of the separatists and the soft separatists used by the hapless terrorists.”
He said the peaceful environment is a prerequisite for investments, employment generation and establishment of new enterprises.
“Notwithstanding the progress made, let me remind you all that there is no room for complacency. We still face challenges. Terrorism is down but not completely wiped out. We just cannot afford to lower the guard.
“The enemy is and will continue to try different tactics to derail peace. We have to defeat any such move before it takes root,” Swain said.
He said while there has to be zero tolerance towards any activity or person posing a threat to the peace and stability of the country and safety of the local communities, “we have to show real empathy and compassion for our fellow peace-loving citizens”.
“Till yesterday, the challenge was to dismantle the terror ecosystem in which significant progress has been achieved, and now, the new challenge is not to let it take roots or re-surface even marginally in any form,” he added.
Swain said the force also faces challenges of drug menace and narco-terrorism.
“It is a security threat as well as a social evil. We need to work relentlessly to uproot it. We owe it to the society that J&K police shall keep our future generations free from this menace,” he said.
Swain also talked about the challenge posed by artificial intelligence (AI) warfare and warned that the threat is going to get stronger in the near future.
“So, while we continue to improve upon the traditional methods and practices of maintaining peace as well as counter-terrorism efforts, we need to keep honing our skills in technology and AI-backed policing with an urgency,” he said.
Lauding the role of the police force, the DGP said over 1,600 police personnel have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty in the past three decades of terrorism.
“This proud professional force has given enormous sacrifices to get J&K out of the clutches of sponsored terrorism and ensure an enabling environment for fostering peace and development,” he said.
He said Jammu and Kashmir Police is a unique police force in the country as it has the “onerous” responsibility of maintaining law and order on the streets and battling terrorists with and without guns.
Swain also hailed the force for playing a lead role in realising the vision of “Naya Kashmir” as envisaged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The DGP said police personnel and their families faced pressures in the past from “bullies and goons working secretly on behalf of the terrorist and secessionist networks”.
“We will do everything possible to fight any attempt to vilify you only because you are a member of J&K Police,” he said.