January 2008 News

Unified Headquarters review situation

7 January 2008
The Daily Excelsior

Jammu: Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has expressed satisfaction over the level of violence coming down significantly in the State during last year. However, he has cautioned against complacency, saying there was no scope for lowering the guard. His comments came at a meeting of the Unified Headquarters held here this evening under his chairmanship. The meeting discussed overall security scenario in the State and officers of security and intelligence agencies briefed the Chief Minister about the situation and the likely scenario. Last meeting of the Unified Headquarters was held in Srinagar on May 21 last year. Chief Secretary, B. R. Kundal, Army Commander, Northern Command, Lt. Gen. H. S. Panag, Director General of Police, Kuldeep Khoda, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Anil Goswami, GoCs, 9, 15 and 16 Corps, Lt. Gen. B. S. Nagal, Lt. Gen. Mukesh Sabarwal and Lt. Gen. R. K. Karwal, senior officers of various intelligence agencies, BSF, CRPF and State Police and Divisional Commissioners, Kashmir and Jammu were present. Mr Azad said that level of violence in the State had significantly come down, adding that against 1667 incidents during 2006, the year just gone by saw 1092 incidents of violence throughout the State. He said despite sharp decline in violence the situation did not leave any scope for complacency. He said the year 2007 also saw increased political activity in terms of holding public meetings and rallies by political parties which was likely to go up further in the current year in view of the upcoming Assembly elections. He said as many as 2480 public meetings and rallies were held in 2007 compared to 1798 during the preceding year. He, however, said that infiltration and cross border terrorism continued during the year. Referring to coordination between various security and intelligence agencies in the State, the Chief Minister said it was commendable and had shown excellent results. He said the coordination needed to be further strengthened to bring complete peace in the State. He also underscored the need for greater vigil in view of the ensuing Republic Day, saying 'our preparations should be foolproof.' He alluded to the post-Benazir assassination situation in Pakistan and its impact on the sub-continent. He said explosive situation in the neighbouring country called for a special attention with regard to intelligence generation and LoC management to foil likely infiltration attempts. Mr Azad highlighted his priority for upholding human rights and said in keeping with the Prime Minister’s commitment regarding zero tolerance for human rights violations, there was no scope for rights violations. The Chief Minister praised Army, para– military forces and State police for their excellent role in bringing about improvement in overall security situation in the State. He also complimented them for being in forefront in tackling natural calamities and underlined the need for full preparedness in view of severe winter. He called for a dry run by the concerned Disaster Management Authority set up in the State to test the level of preparedness. He also emphasized on keeping the National Highway through during the winter to ensure uninterrupted flow of essential supplies to the Valley.

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