Seeking Army’s support for her government’s CBMs, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday advocated minimising of troop visibility in civilian areas and tourist places and ensuring that no civilian is harmed during encounters with militants.
She made her views known when Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag met her here to discuss the security situation in the state against the backdrop of increase in militancy-related incidents and rise in infiltration attempts.
They specifically discussed security arrangements for the upcoming annual Amarnath Yatra, which begins on July 2, and the June 22 bypolls to Anantnag Assembly constituency from where the Chief Minister is contesting.
“There is a need for maintaining greater vigil along the borders to prevent infiltration, which army is capable of doing effectively,” Mehbooba said during the interaction with Gen Suhag, according to an official spokesman.
The Chief Minister called for minimising the visibility of the troops from the civilian areas and tourist places in the state, the spokesman said.
“The troops should also ensure that no civilian is harmed and there is minimum damage to civilian properties during encounters with the militants,” she told Gen Suhag who was accompanied by Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda and Srinagar-based 15 Corps Commander Lt Gen Satish Dua.
The Chief Minister said while the Army is competent enough to deal with the situation along the borders, for internal security, police and paramilitary forces should shoulder greater responsibilities.
She urged the Army commanders to help consolidate and carry forward the state government’s confidence building measures (CBMs) on the security front and initiative of border tourism which would go a long way in ensuring peace and tranquility along the borders and within the mainland.
While appreciating the role of the Army in civic action programmes like Sadhbavana, Mehbooba asked them to involve the local youth in activities like sports and skill development, especially in the remote border areas of the state.
Earlier in the day, Gen Suhag was briefed by Lt Gen Dua about the preparedness in dealing with the emerging security challenges and measures to thwart any “misadventure by the inimical forces”.
The Corps Commander also highlighted the measures adopted to integrate the efforts of various security forces for efficient intelligence network and synergised conduct of operations, an Army officer said.
The Army Chief also visited the forward area of Baramulla as also Awantipora where he was briefed upon the operational readiness by the respective formation Commanders.
He also interacted with officers and men, complimenting them for their untiring efforts, the officer said.
Expressing his satisfaction over the measures instituted by the 15 Corps to ensure security in the valley, Gen Suhag reiterated the continued need for integration and close coordination among all security agencies.