EC''s restrictions on STF led to spurt in violence: J-K Police
3 October 2002
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday criticised the decision of the Election Commission to confine Special Task Force of the State to Police Lines saying this had resulted in a sudden spurt of militant violence between the second and third phase of polls. ''Confinement of STF led to more violence in the third phase for operational reasons, it is never advisable to restrain local police,'' Director General of Police A K Suri said. Suri, while being critical of the EC decision, said the STF should not have been confined to Police Lines. The EC on September 28 ordered the confinement of STF to Police Lines. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh in the wake of allegations by some political parties that STF and SOG personnel were helping the National Conference. Before the commencement of polls, the EC had passed a similar order but it was withdrawn later after the importance of STF was pointed out by senior officials of the state. STF, which was formed in 1993 after the local police failed to counter militancy, has been instrumental in killing of several top militants besides neutralising outfits like Al-Badar, Tiger Force and Hizbullah. The Task Force is considered as the back-bone of anti-militancy operations as it comprises locals, who are well versed with the terrain and capable of gathering local intelligence.