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‘Whatever is Needed Will Be Done’: Centre Reviews Security for Kashmiri Pandits After LeT-Supported Group’s Threat

By: Arunima

Edited By: Manjiri Joshi

CNN-News18

Last Updated: December 06, 2022, 19:14 IST

New Delhi, India

Film maker Ashoke Pandit with Kashmiri Pandits, working under the PM Package, raises slogans during a protest demanding their relocation, in Jammu, last week. (PTI)

Film maker Ashoke Pandit with Kashmiri Pandits, working under the PM Package, raises slogans during a protest demanding their relocation, in Jammu, last week. (PTI)

It is suspected that Pakistan is using drones to drop arms, ammunitions and narcotics in Punjab, which are then smuggled into Kashmir. The police suspects local Kashmiri youngsters are being supplied with small arms to target the Kashmiri Pandits

Two days after the Laskar-e-Taiba-supported The Resistance Front (TRF) threatened Kashmiri Pandits, the Centre reviewed the security arrangements for the minorities in the Valley.

A top functionary, who attended the meeting, told CNN-News18 that the matter of providing security to Pandits and non-locals was discussed. Jammu and Kashmir Police, Intelligence Bureau and paramilitary officials apprised the Centre of the threat and the steps being taken. “Whatever is needed will be done," an official said, when asked about the steps that will be taken to secure the Pandits.

He refused to divulge further details arguing that if security arrangements are made public, it would defeat the purpose.

RELATED STORIES

The Kashmir fight Blog, which police suspects is operated from POK, released the names of 56 Pandits who work in the Valley as part of the PM relief package. The post threatened to kill the Pandits if they did not leave the valley. They had earlier threatened journalists in the valley.

Various Kashmiri Pandit organisations have demanded a high-level probe into the leak of names of the employees working in the education department. Pandits have argued that as the leaked list has their names and place of posting, there is additional threat.

THE MEETING

The meeting chaired by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, saw Director General (DG) National Investigation Agency (NIA), DG Central Reserve Police Force, Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) chief, JK DGP, Chief Secretary and senior officers in attendance. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) called the meeting a routine review of the security situation in the Valley.

Officials told News18 that the home secretary sought details about action taken on issues of narcotics and arms smuggling, drone dropping and presence of terrorists in the valley. The issue of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) cases also came up, sources said.

As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, while Jammu and Kashmir accounts for 97% of the total UAPA cases, the rate of conviction is very low. “An action taken report was presented on the UAPA cases and the issues that locals face with service providers was also discussed," a source said.

The MHA had asked for formation of a State Investigation Agency on the lines of the NIA to tackle the poor conviction in UAPA cases. Officials said SIA is serving the purpose for which it was formed.

ARMS AND AMMUNITION

Officials said that the issue of drone dropped arms and ammunition was also discussed. It is suspected that Pakistan is using drones to drop arms, ammunitions and narcotics in Punjab, which are then smuggled to Kashmir.

The police suspect local Kashmiri youngsters-turned-hybrid terrorists are being supplied with small arms to carry out targeted killings of the Pandits.

JK DGP Dilbagh Singh had also said that Punjab is the new route that Pakistan is taking to fund terrorism in Kashmir.

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“Money made from the sale of drugs in Punjab is being used to fund terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. As Jammu and Kashmir is moving out of terrorism, Pakistan is sending drugs to Jammu and Kashmir like they did in Punjab when terrorism was breathing its last there," he said.​

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first published:December 06, 2022, 18:56 IST
last updated:December 06, 2022, 19:14 IST
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