Kashmir remained in focus in 2017

TNN Bureau. Updated: 1/1/2018 11:52:23 AM

New Delhi, Jan 1: Appointment of a Special Representative on Kashmir, cracking down on flow of funds from neighbouring countries and elimination of some hardcore terrorists were some of the steps that shaped Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) policy of the Centre in the year gone by.

Seasoned bureaucrat Rajiv Gauba who joined the Ministry of Home Affairs as Home Secretary and it helped in adding sharpness to the policies dealing with the internal security with special impetus to the Government’s policy to restore peace and normalcy in Kashmir which focus on five Cs — “compassion, communication, co-existence, confidence-building and consistency”.

The Home Ministry had to deal with the issue of repeated ceasefire violations in J&K, problem of Rohingya refugees and incidents of Maoist violence in some Central states.

More than 200 militants were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in till December 15, highest number of militants killed in the last seven years. Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Bashir Ahmad Wani, Abu Dujana and Junaid Mattoo, and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’s Sabzar Ahmad Bhat are few names prominent names which were neutralized in the preceding year.

The incidents of concerted stone-pelting were dealt with which came down significantly in 2017. Home Minister Rajnath Singh gave the credit to security forces as also probes by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) into terror funding which helped in keeping a check on such activities.

As part of its ongoing probe in the terror-funding cases, the NIA seized nearly Rs 36.5 crore in demonetised currency in November. The Ministry gave priority to the police modernization and a financial outlay for the scheme over the three-year period was put at Rs 25,060 crore, out of which the Central Government’s share will be Rs18,636 crore and the States’ share will be Rs 6,424 crore.

Special provision has been made under the Scheme for internal security, law and order, women security, availability of modern weapons, mobility of police forces, logistics support, hiring of helicopters, up gradation of police wireless, National Satellite Network, CCTNS project, E-prison project. Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting with the Chief Ministers of the Indo-Bangladesh Border (IBB) States, in Kolkata on 7th December where he highlighted the concept of Border Protection Grid (BPG) for multipronged and foolproof mechanism to secure our border.

Similarly, Mr Singh chaired the review meeting of Chief Ministers bordering with China, in Gangtok in May. He said the Central Assistance for Border Area Development Programmes (BADP) has been enhanced from Rs 990 Crore in 2016-17 to Rs 1,100 crore in the current financial year.

Later in June, he also chaired the meeting of Indo-Myanmar Border States at Aizawl, Mizoram.

To address specific developmental needs of border areas along international boundaries, allocation under BADP to 17 Border States was raised to Rs 1,100 cr. in 2017-18.

As part of the Government efforts to have wider consultations and bring about peace in Kashmir, Mr. Singh made five visits to the border State during the year and emphasised that the government was willing to talk to anyone in the state.

It later manifested in the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma, former Director of Intelligence Bureau, to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with elected representatives, various organizations and concerned individuals in Jammu and Kashmir.

He has already made three visits to the State and held dialogue with several organisations and prominent persons. One of objectives of Mr Sharma apparently is to deal with and contain radicalisation among the youth in the state.

Pakistan resorted to repeated ceasefire violations and the Border Security Force (BSF) was told to give befitting reply. Ceasefire violations were on the higher side which the Pakistani forces indulged in both along the Line of Control and the International Border.

Ambush by Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district in April resulted in the killings of 25 Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) troopers. The attack reflected the continued challenges faced by the Home Ministry in containing violence by Left Wing extremists.

The Ministry also made efforts to provide succour to people in over 19 incidents of natural disasters including Cyclone Ockhi and constituted inter-ministerial committee to assess the damage caused by cyclone.

The Home Ministry rejected demands for giving concessions to Rohingyas, who faced violence in their settlements in Myanmar, and made it clear that those who have come into India were illegal immigrants and need to be deported back. Around 22,000 Rohingyas are estimated to be living in various parts of India.

To keep a tab on radicalization, a new division in the Ministry was created. The counter terrorism and de- radicalization division is to formulate the policies to counter this menace.

The Ministry kept a strict tab on the reports about online radicalisation of youth by the Islamic State.

The First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee was held in the Capital on October 6.

The two sides discussed scope for cooperation in counter-terrorism and checking extremism and radicalization besides steps to check illegal financial transactions and counterfeiting and cybercrimes.

A high level Indian delegation, headed by the Home Minister, participated in the 9th meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in August.

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