‘No Inputs On Bajrang Dal Role In Kishtwar Violence’

‘No Inputs On Bajrang Dal Role In Kishtwar Violence’

16 August 2013
Kashmir Times


Jammu: Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami on Friday ruled out receiving any report from Central Intelligence agencies about the involvement of Bajrang Dal activists in the recent communal clashes in Kishtwar district. Goswami, who reached here in the winter capital today to review security situation along the International Border, was responding to media queries during his visit to Octroi Border Out Post (BOP) at Suchetgarh in R S Pura belt of Jammu district. “I don't any have knowledge about such report. I have not received any such report till last evening,” Goswami said when asked whether Central Intelligence agencies sent a report to the government on the involvement of Bajrang Dal activists in the recent communal riots in Kishtwar. Earlier few media reports had stated that the Union Cabinet, which met in New Delhi on Monday, was informed about Intelligence agencies telling the government the Bajrang Dal, an affiliate unit of Sangh Parivar, was involved in stoking communal violence in the Kishtwar town in Jammu and Kashmir. The reports stated, “The Cabinet was informed about Bajrang Dal role on Monday by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram.Amidst the backdrop of growing clamour in the state for disbanding the village defence committees (VDCs), that were set up in 1990s to resist the militancy, Union minister Farooq Abdullah reportedly told the Cabinet that many VDCs comprised 'communal' elements. When the VDCs were set up, the affiliations and antecedents of the members were not verified, Abdullah reportedly told the Cabinet and called for taking corrective measures, once the normalcy returns to the area.” The media reports also pointed out that the Cabinet was informed that about a fortnight before the communal riots hit Kishtwar, two men riding on a motorcycle were beaten up when they brushed past a marriage procession of another community. In subsequent days, there were incidents of firing involving some VDCs. On Eid, there was a similar incident involving motorcyclists that led to the flare up. “If there is any such report, I will return and see it,” Goswami said. Responding to related questions pertaining to Kishtwar violence, Goswami said, “The investigation was going on.” Against the backdrop of escalating ceasefire violations by Pakistan and snipping incidents along the International Border, Union Home Secretary had come to review security situation in Jammu frontier. Goswami, during his visit to the Border Out Posts along the International Border in R S Pura belt of Jammu district, met troops deployed at the border and reviewed the security situation with the senior Army and MHA officials. He, who was accompanied by senior officials of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), during his visit to Border Out Posts (BoPs) along IB in R S Pura border belt. “I have come here with a team of senior officials of Home ministry to inspect and review the security situation along the International Border and also meet jawans-we have been briefed,” Goswami told the reporters. “I have visited the border areas -met jawans-their morale is high espite repeated skirmishes,” he said, adding that they were vigilant along the borderline. He said that the fencing and alertness of Indian troops had brought infiltration at IB to zero level. “Given effective fencing along IB, the infiltration is not possible, still the decision as well as strategy vis-à-vis to step up security grid along IB would be chalked out after the meting with the senior officers at BSF headquarter. So far no incident of infiltration from IB had come to the fore nevertheless, the BSF has been directed to take all desired steps while guarding the borders for the safety of nation and check infiltration,” he said in response to queries pertaining to infiltration along IB. Responding to question regarding recurrent incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan along LoC, the Union Home Secretary said, “The union government and the senior officers of army are closely monitoring the situation.” Goswami added that the issue regarding payment of compensation to the farmers who were not able to till their lands because of fencing or border skirmishes too would be deliberated in the meeting. “All desired steps would be taken after deliberations in this connection with the Divisional Commissioner Jammu and a report would be sought,” the union Home Secretary said. The Union Home Secretary reviewed the overall security situation at the IB along with the senior officer of Jammu frontier led by IG BSF, S S Tomar, BSF officials said. Later he had a meeting with senior officers of BSF, army and the civil administration wherein the senior officials briefed him about the increase in ceasefire violations, firing, snipping incidents besides infiltration attempts from Pakistan and chalked out a strategy to contain the situation along IB. Divisional Commissioner Jammu Shantmanu and Inspector General of Police Jammu zone Rajesh Kumar besides senior officers of border management team too accompanied him and attended the meeting. During his interaction with the troops deployed along the borderline with Pakistan, Goswami told them that they were doing a “good job.” Pakistan had violated the ceasefire agreement eleven times in the past six days. Two jawans were also critically wounded when they were hit by sniper fire along 190 km long IB in Narainpur post and Alfa Machial in Samba and Jammu this month. One of the BSF jawan died at AIIMS in New Delhi and another is battling for life. On August six, a group of 20 heavily armed men led by Pakistani troops had entered 450 metres into the Indian territory in the Poonch sector and ambushed a patrol killing five Indian soldiers.