February 2008 News

J-K peace fallout: a war of words

13 February 2008
The Indian Express
Bashaarat Masood

SRINAGAR: The success of security forces in counter- insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir has led to an unexpected fallout. Security agencies, including the J-K Police, Army and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), are squabbling to take credit for it. Monday marked the height of the me-too race, with the Inspector General (IG) Operations of CRPF, M S Gupta, convening a press conference in Srinagar to detail the success of the forces in the past week. However, that was just the culmination of a drama that has now lasted almost a month • February 10 The J-K Police claim that along with the CRPF, they killed the Hizbul Mujahideen’s financial chief, Farooq Ahmad Dar, at Tral. The Army says 22 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) was also part of the joint operation. • February 10 The same day, police again claimed credit for the arrest of a Hizbul militant, Jehangir Lone of Pulwama, in a joint operation with the CRPF. The Army again says it was part of the operation. • February 7 The Army claims to have arrested, in “an exclusive operation”, Hizbul militant Abdul Qayoom Bhat from Drusoo, Pampore. The J-K Police, however say it was a joint operation and two Hizbul militants, Bhat and Nazir Ahmad Rather, were arrested in it. • February 2 The Army says it arrested two Hizbul Mujahideen militants from Wachi in Pulwama. The J-K Police, however, claim the militants surrendered before them. • January 14 The Army claims to have killed two Al- Badr militants, Pervez Wani and Usman Chacha, at Manzgam village, on information provided by an Army source. The police said it was a joint operation of the J-K Police and Army and that the militants belonged to the Lashkar-e-Toiba. • January 13 The J-K Police announce arrest of a Lashkar militant from Larnoo, Drawai, and identify him as Mohd Aslam Malik of Doda. The Army claims that Malik was arrested by its 36 Rashtriya Rifles. • January 13 The same day the J-K Police claim to have busted a militant module after arresting “four active members of the Hizbul Mujahideen” from Pulwama. However, a day later, the Army claimed that it was a joint operation of its 44 Rashtriya Rifles and J-K Police and that the arrested persons were sympathisers. Defence spokesman Lt Col Anil Mathur denies any rift among the security agencies, adding that all operations are being conducted jointly. “We say we too played a role in it,” Mathur says. “Let them use whatever terminology they want to use. They have their own technicalities.”

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