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swain: Some more time needed to silence last gun in Kashmir: J&K DGP R R Swain

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Srinagar: Asserting that it will take some time to silence the last gun in the valley, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) R R Swain on Saturday said police are constantly working towards achieving the goal of zero infiltration, zero terror recruitment, zero smuggling of arms and ammunition, besides dismantling the narrative that promotes, justifies and glorifies terrorism. In an exclusive interview with PTI video, Swain also said the number of local terrorists has considerably fallen to less than 20 this year, compared to 100 in 2022. However, he acknowledged that the foreign terrorists still pose a challenge.

“Last year, for the same period, it was 100. This year, it is less than 20 or even less if I remember correctly. There are foreign terrorists, there is no doubt about it. But the (number of) local terrorists or local recruitment has come down,” he said.

“We do not want to put out the number of foreign terrorists. But there is a challenge on account of that,” he added.

The DGP said police are working towards a system where the number of terror-related incidents would be the at the lowest.

“We would work towards zero infiltration, towards zero recruitment. We would work towards zero smuggling of arms and ammunition. Narcotics will also be dealt with strongly. Zero terror-financing and most importantly, we will work towards a narrative, an ideology, which justifies, glorifies and supports this, endorses this, legitimises this — that is also equally important,” he said.

Asked what are police doing about foiling terror attacks, the DGP said the progress has to be seen in terms of the overall decline. “The progress is to be seen not in terms of episodes or incidents, but in terms of the overall decline,” he said, adding, “We have a plan and I think the plan is in motion.” He said the government, at the highest level, has been saying plans to dismantle and degrade the terror ecosystem, which includes people who recruit youngsters into terror ranks, provide arms and ammunition to them, help in infiltration, provide logistics support and identify targets for terrorists, are afoot.

“All of that is part of the ecosystem. So we are constantly at work. People are being identified. For example, we have made some progress in identifying some (terrorist) associates who had planned some recent incidents. It is an ongoing exercise. As I was saying a little while ago, to be able to completely silence the last gun, it will take some time,” Swain said.

Asked if Pakistan will try to push more terrorists into the valley before the snow blocks passages, he said the neighbouring country always tries to push in terrorists.

“This is something that we all know by now. There is no indication that they are stopping at it. But there is also no stopping at our level. We are resolutely fighting it and doing so very intelligently, scientifically and in a blatant and systematic manner,” the DGP asserted.

He, however, made it clear that those on the right side of the law need not fear as the government wants to have a lasting peace in the region. “Once there is security and peace, there will be education, roads, health, electricity, economic activities,” Swain added.

He said plans are afoot for breaking the unholy nexus between terrorism and corruption in parts of the system.

Swain presided over a public grievance redressal programme at the Police Headquarters (PHQ) here. This was the fourth event in a series of such programmes launched by the DGP.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Swain said there has been an improvement in the situation on a number of parameters.

“The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has said stone pelting is an act of terrorism because here, stone pelting was not always concerned with public services, such as water, electricity, road or bad governance or poor services. It was more about the other thing,” he said.

Swain said several aspects of daily lives have eased out in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Students are going to schools, shops are open, tourism is flourishing, there is trade and commerce and industrial activities, which have given a boost to people’s income. These are very important aspects of security management. Thirty years of violence will not end abruptly,” he added.

To a question on whether the youngsters who used to indulge in stone pelting are visiting his “public darbar” and what has he told them, the DGP said there is a need to teach a lesson to some people to safeguard the lives of the general public.

“We have to check whether he (a stone pelter) is doing anything good now, so that it is mitigating. While we know that he had done something wrong, we check and place everything on record. It is not like we see the face and then decide. We go into details, objectively,” he said.

Swain said the police force knows it will not be able to do anything without the support of people and sought the cooperation of the public.

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