Top Army, police officials review security arrangements in J&K in view of upcoming panchayat polls

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Srinagar, Oct 27 (PTI) Top Army and police officials reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday in view of the upcoming panchayat elections in the Union Territory.

'In the backdrop of the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps Lt Gen. BS Raju and Director General of Police Dilbag Singh co-chaired a meeting of the core group consisting of top officials of the civil administration, intelligence agencies, security forces and divisional commissioners at Srinagar,' the Army said in a statement.

The core group reviewed the security situation in Kashmir, the security requirements during the upcoming panchayat polls and discussed the winter security strategy, the statement said.

Officials said reports indicate that the terror launchpads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) continue to be full and the Pakistani establishment is keen to push in infiltrators before the onset of winter and closing of the mountain passes due to snow, it added.

They expressed satisfaction at the efforts so far along the Line of Control (LoC) to prevent infiltration and said a robust security grid, along with technical surveillance, has considerably lowered infiltration in the current year.

The officials discussed the modalities of a continued conduct of operations to prevent the infiltration of weapons, narcotics and money into the region. The forces are gearing up to meet the challenges during the change into the winter posture, the Army said.

'A review of the security indicators shows that the violence level has dropped in the last few months. Intelligence inputs indicate desperation in the Pakistani establishment and separatists to generate violence and civil casualties in the valley,' it said.

The core group discussed the need for continued intelligence-based anti-terror operations with a humane touch. To address the complete ecosystem of terror organisations, the efforts to identify and arrest overground workers, who sustain such outfits, will continue with vigour, the Army said.

It added that Pakistan-supported anti-national elements are keen to disrupt the normal life of people and interfere with the restart of political activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

'It was decided to carry out extensive area domination and counter-terror operations to deny any opportunity to the terrorists for creating violence till the onset of winter and the conduct of the local body polls,' the Army said.

It was also decided to enhance the steps to prevent local youngsters from joining terror outfits, including proactive steps in consultation with the families of vulnerable youngsters and identification and arrest of instigators.

A special emphasis was laid on continuing with the operations in a manner to give the option of surrender to the youngsters.

The Army said the officials deliberated on the propaganda effort by Pakistan and its antagonistic information warfare tactics. 'Sadly, these efforts include a propaganda to legitimise the killings of Kashmiri civilians by the terrorists. The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively,' it added. PTI MIJ RC