Safety of people prime concern, says Mehbooba

CM chairs meeting of Unified Headquarters

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, on Tuesday urged the security agencies to conduct their operations keeping in view the safety of the people so that an environment of peace and tranquillity is maintained, which will enable the government to implement its agenda of good governance and development in the state.

She said this while chairing the meeting of the Unified Headquarters (UHQ) today during which the entire gamut of security-related matters and peace on borders in the state were discussed threadbare.

This was the first meeting of UHQ she chaired after becoming the Chief Minister of the state.

The Deputy Chief Minister, Dr. Nirmal K. Singh was also present.

During the meeting, the Chief Minister was briefed by top officers of the Army, Police and Civil Administration about wide-ranging issues, overall security scenario as well as the steps taken to maintain peace in the state.

In her opening remarks, Mehbooba Mufti focused on a humane approach while dealing with law-and-order situations on the ground. She insisted that SoPs should be maintained at all costs. “Any incident of civilian killing reverses all the gains that have been achieved so far,” she observed.

While asking the security agencies to maintain restraint at all costs, so as to avoid any civilian casualties and collateral damage, the Chief Minister said it would be in the fitness of things to give an option of homecoming to the local youth who have picked up guns.

          The Chief Minister also underlined the importance of UHQ as an apex platform to synchronise the endeavours of the civil administration, security forces and J&K Police for evolving a cogent response to tackle the internal and external challenges to peace in the state. She added that to further the sense of normalcy, visibility of the security forces and bunkers should be minimised in the civilian areas.

Mehbooba Mufti also stressed upon reducing the footprint of security forces at various tourist places and airports so as to cause less inconvenience to the visitors and to welcome them with a sense of normalcy.

Referring to the importance of peace and tranquility along borders, the Chief Minister insisted upon taking forward the initiative of border tourism, started by former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, at Suchetgarh, in Jammu. She also asked the security agencies to showcase the area of Baba Chamliyal as a symbol of great reverence, observed by people from both the sides.

On the smooth conduct of Amarnath Yatra, the Chief Minister stressed upon involvement of local population to facilitate the visiting pilgrims. She said that during pilgrimages at various holy places, young boys are involved for a certain period to facilitate the pilgrims. “Kashmiris have for long been an epitome of hospitality which they have proved time and again during the yatra. Our young boys should be made part of this activity,” she said, adding this will go a long way in generating a very positive perception about the youth who are otherwise being demonised.

Underlining the need for ameliorating the sufferings of the people, the Chief Minister said the civil administration, with active support of police and other agencies, should try to resolve burning problems of common masses like water scarcity, power disruptions, traffic mismanagement as these lead to public discontent and subsequent law-and-order situations.

While appreciating the role of security forces and J&K Police in civic action programmes, wherein youth are being provided different platforms to showcase their talent especially in the field of sports, she also asked them to involve the local youth in larger activities like maintaining micro-hydel projects et al. She said the State Police needs to be complimented for the way they have been working under tremendous pressure from all sides to maintain law-and-order.

 The Chief Minister also praised the police for doing a great job in drug de-addiction with minimal resources as well as Divisional Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir for taking a very tough stand against drug peddlers. She also complimented the Army for its Super 30 coaching initiative whereby J&K students have been able to crack national-level competitive exams.

The Deputy Chief Minister, while speaking on the occasion, appreciated the coordination between various wings of security forces and maintained that it was due to their coordinated efforts that peace has been restored and sustained across the state and now the onus lies on us to ensure that it remains constant. He said necessary arrangements should also be put in place for hassle-free and smooth conduct of annual Amarnath Yatra and every facility should be provided to the yatris.

Dr. Singh stressed upon following the Agenda of Alliance between the coalition partners, adding only then will the targets fixed in the agenda be achieved.  He further said that the security forces should also be extra vigilant to thwart the evil designs of anti-national elements and they should be cautious and prepared.

The Deputy Chief Minister also called for putting in place the necessary mechanism to tackle the growing drug menace in the state and asked the security forces, especially the police to arrest the tendency and said that it is more dangerous than militancy and other subversive activities.

Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma, GoC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt. Gen. D. S. Hooda, Director General of Police, K. Rajendra Kumar, GoC XV Corps, Lt. Gen. S. K. Dua, GoC IX Corps, Lt. Gen. Ashok Ambre, GoC XIV Corps, Lt. Gen, S. K Patyal, GoC XVI Corps, Lt. Gen. R. R. Nimbhorkar, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Navin K. Chaudhary, Principal Secretary, Home, R. K. Goyal, ADGP CID, S. M. Sahai, Joint Director, IB, Harmeet Singh, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal and Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hassan Samoon, attended the meeting.

Also present were IGP, Kashmir Zone, SJM Gillani, IGP, Jammu Zone, Danesh Rana IG CRPF (Admn), Atul Karwal, IG, CRPF (Ops), Kashmir, Nalin Prabahat, IG CRPF, Jammu, Kuldeep Dhar, IG, BSF, Kashmir, Vikash Chandra,  IG BSF Jammu, D. K. Upadhayaya and Additional Commissioner, SB, Srinagar, Raja Murugan.