In the past 3 decades, 1,600 police personnel have sacrificed their lives in Jammu and Kashmir. The death of deputy superintendent of police, Mohammad Ayub Pandith is yet another grim reminder of how bad the situation in the Valley is. On June 16, six policemen were killed by terrorists in Anantnag.
The Hizbul Mujahideen has given a clarion call to target policemen and their families. Loosely the message from the Hizbul read that the policemen should be targeted because they draw government salaries. While it may seem like madness, C D Sahay, the former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing says that it is a planned move with a clear objective. Sahay took time off to chat exclusively with OneIndia and helped us decode the real meaning behind the targeting of the policemen in the Valley.
The real reason behind the killing of policemen
Sahay explains that there is a clear change in pattern. They used to target central government establishments earlier. Now they have broadened that arc. Even in the 1990s when militancy was at its peak, local police men were not being targeted. In those days the militants tried to win over the policemen rather than killing them. After the restoration of normalcy following the madness of the 1990s, the police had become extremely active.
The local police were able to get pin-pointed information. The other forces in the Valley who did not have their routes in the state would rely heavily on the local police for information. The local police know each and every family. Kashmir in that sense is a very interactive and closely integrated society. The police have always known who is a militant and who is not, says Sahay. Successful operations: The former R&AW chief explains, thanks to the pin-pointed information given by the police, the security forces have launched highly successful operations in recent times. Earlier on, the Special Operation Group of the Kashmir police had become a dreaded forces for the terrorists in the Valley. This force knew each and every individual.
Short life of Hizbul commanders:
Sahay says that if one looks at the life span of a Hizbul Mujahideen commander it is very short. The forces have successfully reduced their life span to one year after they have taken over as commanders. The local police are aware of their location and the information shared with the security forces helps get these commanders with much ease. Recently the NIA and the ED too launched probes into terror funding. The local police have plenty of information on this and this in turn has become dangerous for the militants. Moreover the information being imparted is helping the security forces gun for the big fish, C D Sahay says.
This time pressure is intense. The intent of the government is loud and clear. This is real reason why they are going after the police as the militants want them to stop providing information to the security forces. It is not madness by the militants, but a very planned operation with a clear objective, he also explains.
This will end soon: Sahay says, The killing of the policemen has already started having adverse reactions among the locals. “I was watching on television some of the ladies cry after the death of the Dy.SP. They kept saying, we are Indians, come and kill us, ” the former R&AW chief points out. He also added that many political parties too have come forward and condemned the incident. I however saw some in the Congress blaming the ruling party. This is the unfortunate part about this. Why should national security and integrity be looked only through the prism of party politics.