Centre plans special police force for Doda
20 August 2001
The Indian Express
New Delhi: THE Centre is planning to raise Paddar Scouts, a special police force on the lines of Ladakh Scouts of Kargil fame, to involve local inhabitants in the fight against insurgents in the hilly region of Doda. The force would be entrusted with operations against insurgents in the region from Doda to Kathua where militants have so far enjoyed a distinct advantage because of the hilly terrain and sparse population. This was disclosed by Home Minister L.K. Advani when BJP leaders from J-K called on him to convey their resentment over the Centre’s ‘‘kneejerk’’ approach towards tackling insurgency. An 11- member BJP team of legislators and key party functionaries from the state led by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Chaman Lal Gupta met Advani recently to lodge their formal protest. Of late, Gupta has openly been voicing his disagreement with the Centre’s policy in tackling insurgency in Jammu. The leaders reportedly told Advani the Centre’s reactive approach was proving counter-productive as it not only placed militants at an advantage but also tended to undermine people’s confidence in the state.