In a major reshuffle in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Director General of Police (DGP), SP Vaid has been transferred out of office. He has now been posted as the Transport Commissioner for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, headquartered in Jammu. Vaid held the top post since March 2016 and now DGP Prisons, Dilbagh Singh is set to replace him even though a regular appointment is yet to be made.
Jammu and Kashmir police has been having a horrid time this year with the militants openly targeting them and their families. The state and the police force were in deep crisis recently when close relatives of ten Jammu and Kashmir police personnel were kidnapped and taken hostage by militants on September 1. The situation was somehow diffused and the relatives were later released. However, the precarious situation created a sense of panic and also embarrassed the police force. Apart from this, 24 police officers have been killed by terrorists in the valley this year. Many of these officers were not even on active duty when they were killed.
Ever since the crisis of September 1 that took place a few days after Satyapal Malik took over as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Vaid’s transfer was considered imminent. It is clear that the kidnappings and other acts of violence including cold-blooded murders of policemen must have demoralised the rank and file of the Jammu and Kashmir police force. It gave the impression that the law and order situation was not in proper control of the outgoing DGP SP Vaid. Moreover, newly appointed Jammu and Kashmir governor Satyapal Malik abridged some of his powers including the right to approve operational funds. Some other significant powers were also taken away from him and given to his junior Munir Khan.
DGP prisons, Dilbagh Singh who is now set to take over as DGP for the state of Jammu and Kashmir has made a mark for himself during his tenure as the DGP prisons. He came to prominence in February this year when he was appointed as the DGP prisons after a Pakistani terrorist Naveed Jatt escaped from police custody. Two police officers died in the attack during this escape. By the next month itself, Dilbagh Singh was appointed as DGP prisons for the state of Jammu and Kashmir. During his tenure as DGP prisons, he brought many reforms as far as prison administration is concerned. After taking over, he shifted 40 terrorists including two prominent ones- Ashiq Hussain Faktoo alias Dr Qasim and Prof Mohammad Shafi Khan alias Dr Shafi Shariati to Jammu jails from central jail, Srinagar. It had been learnt that Srinagar central jail had become a breeding ground for Jihadi radicalization and pro-Pakistani propaganda. Realising the gravity of the situation, Dilbagh Singh showed excellent leadership skills and presence of mind by taking a stern decision of shifting terrorists and radical elements out of the Srinagar jail.
A number of security forces including the CRPF are in action in Jammu and Kashmir. However, it cannot be denied that unless the local police acts in a potent way terrorism and radicalisation cannot be exterminated conclusively. The past events have been such that there is no doubt over the government’s resolve to end terrorism in Kashmir. The present appointment should be seen in that background only. The government has realised that central security forces can only provide the necessary firepower and auxiliary support but at the end of the day it is the Jammu and Kashmir police that has to fight terrorism and ultimately overpower thereby bringing lasting peace in the state.
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