JAMMU, SEPT 19
The separatist Hurriyat Conference is finished in Jammu and Kashmir but attempts are being made to keep it alive from Pakistan, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said on Monday, adding that the militancy in the region which is “on crutches.” He also said that most of the madrassas (Islamic seminaries) are doing a good job but a tight vigil is being maintained on such institutions whose students have become militants in the past.
“Hurriyat (Conference) is finished in Jammu and Kashmir. To keep it alive, its chapter was opened in Pakistan and they are giving ‘bandh’ calls from there,” the police chief told reporters on the sidelines of a cricket tournament organised by police for local youths in Kishtwar district.
He said the people gave a “tight slap” on their face by rejecting their bandh calls, which was evident from the fact that there was no strike on August 5 (the third anniversary of revocation of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories) and August 15.
Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella body of separatist groups in J&K, which once enjoyed a dominant position in the valley, was made inconsequential after jailing of several of its leaders in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, and the death of its main leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in 2021.
“August 15 was celebrated in a befitting manner all across the J&K, from Kishtwar to Kathua and in the Kashmir valley with people hoisting the national flag on their homes.
“I recently visited the remote Karnah and Keran along the Line of Control (in north Kashmir’s Kupwara) where the tricolour is still seen fluttering from top of every house,” the DGP said.
He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir want peace and they have understood the criminal folly of Pakistan which is trying to instigate the youths against their own country.
“Pakistan is misusing social media which is under watch 24×7 and we are frustrating their designs,” Singh said.
Asked about the recent arrest of a madrassa teacher in Kishtwar, he said for most part madrassas are doing a good job. “Some people from madrassas joined militancy in the past and so it is imperative that we keep a close watch on them, and it is being done.” “If anyone is doing anything wrong, action as per law will be taken against them. Those who involve youngsters with positive thinking are being welcomed,” he said.
On September 3, a 25-year-old madrassa teacher was arrested under ‘Enemy Agents Ordinance Act’ for allegedly passing on information related to security installations to Pakistani intelligence agencies and terrorists.
About the militants active in Kishtwar, he said the ‘guardians of peace’ are more active than militants who are almost wiped out from the region.
“The militancy is on crutches with one or two active members, and they too will be ‘neutralised’ soon,” he said.
The DGP said the situation in the entire Jammu and Kashmir is well under control with the holding of cricket tournaments and events to pay homage to the police martyrs.
“Our youngesters have seen a ray of hope with the atmosphere of terror and bloodshed long gone. We want to provide ample opportunities to the youth to move ahead and excel in a peaceful atmosphere,” Singh said.
Referring to the inauguration of multipurpose cinema halls in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts on Sunday, he said their opening may also in future lead to the youth to show their talent, produce films, and watch them on the same big screens.
“We have a long list of filmmakers who want to shoot in Jammu and Kashmir, engage local talent, and show the beauty of J&K to the outside world. Kishtwar is one such scenic spot which we would like to showcase,” he said.
The DGP said Samradhi Sen, an eight-year-old resident of Kishtwar, has become a national icon in the field of singing after participating in ‘Chhoona Hai Aasman’, a talent-hunt show initiated by the police.
“Today she is taking part in every national event and we stand with her,” he said, adding “we will support anyone who has a talent and wants to make it big in his or her own field.”