Noticeable decline in public support for terror outfits in JK: HomeSec

There is a “noticeable decline” in public support for terror outfits in Jammu and Kashmir though Pak-based groups like LeT continued their efforts to disturb peace there, Union Home Secretary L C Goyal has told a Parliamentary panel.

Briefing the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Ministry last month, Goyal talked about “four theatres” in the internal security situation in the country — cross-border terrorism in Kashmir, naxal menace in some states, militancy in north-east and terrorism in hinterland with cross-border links.

Goyal told the panel that terror groups like LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen were trying continuously to create trouble in the state but the establishment could manage to conduct “free and fair” elections in the state.

He emphasised the point that there was “higher turnout”, which apparently showed waning support for terror groups’ dictats during elections to boycott it.

“Our security forces have been able to neutralise a good number of terror modules and also to foil a large number of infiltration bids. There is a noticeable decline in public support for terror outfits. In such a situation, Pak-based terror outfits may sponsor more terrorist incidents in the state,” he said.

Goyal also emphasised the need for keeping “constant vigil and surveillance along our borders and also to effecitively deal with incidents in the state”.

On naxal menace, he said in the last three to four years, authorities have managed to “make a dent here and we have been able to reduce the number of incidents as well as civilians killed and security forces killed”.

As there were no major terror incidents in the recent past, he said it was mainly because of neutralising a number of Indian Mujahideen modules in 2013-14.

But, he warned, “some remnants of Hizbul Mujahideen based in Pakistan are still creating a situation where we need to be on our guard”.

He said the government is putting in place necessary security and intelligence apparatus to effectively deal with these challenges.

“The main focus in the coming year would be to do more to increase the capacity infrastructure of central paramilitary forces and also to upgrade the institutional mechanisms,” he said as he identified the need for upgrading Multi Agency Centre (MAC) and NATGRID.

He also emphasised the need for upgrading coastal security apparatus in the country.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Apr 25, 2015)

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