STATE TIMES NEWS New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah directed the CRPF to undertake “effective and decisive action” against urban Naxals as well as terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir as he made his maiden visit to the headquarters of the paramilitary force here on Friday, officials said. He reviewed the overall preparedness and deployment of over three-lakh-strong force during the more-than-two-hour-long meeting at the CGO Complex on Lodhi Road, they said. Shah directed the force “to carry out an effective and decisive campaign against Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) operatives in the next six months”, they said. He also asked the force to take action “against urban Naxals and their facilitators”, they said. While discussing the security scenario in the newly created Union Territory of Jammu-Kashmir, Shah asked the CRPF to undertake civic action programmes besides organising sports and tours for locals and youngsters. CRPF should also reach out to the villagers and assist them in obtaining the benefits of many central schemes which they are eligible for, the officials said. The minister directed the force to ensure “proper winter provisioning” for the troops and that their welfare should be looked after. The force, post abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, has sent in additional troops and has over 1 lakh personnel in the Valley at present. Officials said that the requirement of infrastructure and equipment was also discussed during the meeting and a presentation was made by senior CRPF officers including Director General R R Bhatnagar. While reviewing the Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) theatre, they said, the minister talked about improving infrastructure of the force camps and measures against improvised explosive devices. Shah emphasised that road connectivity and medical infrastructure in LWE areas should be upgraded. Subject of welfare of the troops was also part of the discussions and the minister directed that the health of the jawans and their families should be looked after well. He asked the force to ensure that jawans and their families have digital health-cards and that there should be periodical health checks for their families. The minister directed that senior officers should visit the families of personnel who were martyred in the line of duty and spend time with them understanding their requirements, they said. A database should also be made of the martyrs families and their basic issues and grievances should be systematically addressed, Shah told the CRPF officials. The minister expressed concern about the hard and long deployment of jawans in difficult theatres and discussed various measures for giving them relief and an opportunity to stay with their families. Shah, the officials said, directed that the building and residential infrastructure of the force should be improved and more houses at different duty locations of CRPF should be constructed. Cutting-edge technologies and state-of-the-art equipment should be identified which are required for operational purposes along with promoting the ‘Make in India’ initiative. He asked that the force should use Khadi and indigenously made products, they said. The minister also posted some photographs of the visit on his official Twitter handle and said the country is proud of the “exemplary valour” of the paramilitary force’s personnel. The Central Reserve Police Force is designated as the lead force for internal security duties and anti-naxal operations. “CRPF personnel have always lived up to their motto of ‘Sewa’ and ‘Nishtha’ (service and dedication) by protecting our nation (while posted) at different terrains. I salute the courage and bravery of CRPF personnel and their families,” Shah said in a tweet. During the initial part of the visit, Shah paid tributes to the force personnel martyred in the line of duty and put a garland around an urn containing the soil from the ‘Sardar Post’ in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch. The urn is kept at the headquarter’s entrance. In 1965, the force was tasked to secure the post in the wake of aggressive posturing by Pakistan. On the intervening night of April 8 and 9 that year, 3,500 men of Pakistan’s 51st Infantry Brigade, comprising the 18 Punjab Battalion, the 8 Frontier Rifles and the 6 Baluch Battalion, stealthily launched simultaneous assaults on the Sardar and Tak posts under an operation code-named “Desert Hawk”. The retaliation by the CRPF saw the numerically and armament superior Pakistan army retreating and leaving behind 34 bodies of their soldiers, including those of two officers. Shah said the young generation should be made aware about this story of valour. The country will be “forever indebted” to the troops who made the supreme sacrifice, the minister said. This was the first time Shah, who became home minister in the Modi government’s second term, visited the head office of the country’s largest paramilitary force. Shah was also accorded the guard of honour on arrival.
‘Situation in Kashmir getting normal’
New Delhi: Top Union Home ministry officials on Friday conveyed to a parliamentary panel that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is getting normal and detained political leaders, including former chief ministers, will be released but gave no time-frame for it, sources said. Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla and Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry Gyanesh Kumar and other ministry officials briefed the parliamentary standing committee on Home Affairs, chaired by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, on the situation in the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha quizzed top government officials on the detention of political leaders, particularly three-time former chief minister and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah, who was charged under the controversial Public Safety Act on September 17. Home ministry officials told the parliamentary panel that those detained under the PSA can challenge their detention in a designated tribunal. If not satisfied with the order of the tribunal, they can move the High Court. Abdullah is the only political leader detained under the PSA in Kashmir. Sources said the MPs were also agitated about the prolonged detention of Abdullah’s son Omar Abdullah as well as PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, both former chief ministers, who have been under detention since August 5, when the Centre withdrew Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two union territories. Responding to questions on the release of the detained political leaders, Bhalla and his team of officers conveyed that some had been released and others will be freed gradually but refrained from giving any time line, sources said. The Home secretary, sources said, told the MPs that the situation in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir is getting normal, schools are open and the apple trade is going on, sources said. The MPs also raised the issue of curbs on the internet in the Valley since August 5. Home ministry officials, it is learnt, said the restrictions were imposed as the internet could be used by terrorists for subversive activities as well as by anti-social elements to spread rumours. The parliamentarians were told that there were 71,254 incidents of terror related violence in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990 in which 14,049 civilians, 5,293 security personnel were martyred while 22,552 terrorists were killed. Home ministry officials also told the members that all Central laws have become applicable to the new UTs, state laws overlapping with Central laws stand repealed and remaining state laws brought in line with the Constitution of India. The new political map of India depicting the two new UTs — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, which includes Pakistan occupied Kashmir and its so called capital Muzaffarabad and Gilgit-Baltistan — was shown to the MPs during a presentation. The new UT of Jammu and Kashmir has 22 districts with a population of approximately 122 lakh and there are two districts in UT of Ladakh — Kargil and Leh, home ministry officials said in their presentation. They also said all landline services, post paid mobile voice phone services have been restored in both UTs and restrictions under Section 144 on movement withdrawn or relaxed, except for night time restrictions in the Valley. According to sources present at the meeting, differences between the BJP and the Congress MPs cropped up over the issue of Jammu and Kashmir being discussed in the panel. While BJP members cited the rule book to say the panel should not interfere in the work of the executive, Congress MPs said the issue was important and had to be discussed, the sources said.
Priyanka Chopra concludes filming for ‘The White Tiger’
Stress increases risk for CVDs: Dr Sushil
You can’t be honest about someone’s work in industry, they don’t take it well: Kareena
Colin Firth, wife Livia split almost 2 yrs after affair and stalking scandal
Film on IAS officer Durga in works
© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper