‘There has been a massive security ramp up with no consequential results’.


New Delhi: The frequent killings of civilians in Kashmir have led to increased check points and frisking at public places which has irked motorists and daily commuters, but security concerns in the valley have made it imperative for the agencies to ramp up check points and barricading. However, despite increased security, “unknown gunmen” have been marching past the barricades, killing people and vanishing, thus instilling a sense of fear among locals. The targeted attacks began in October when a migrant worker and a Hindu pharmacist were shot dead. The two civilian killings were followed by the killing of a Hindu teacher and a Sikh school principal two days later, and until now, there have been myriad deaths as there seems to be no end to the trend.
In the wake of the targeted killings, security forces have intensified their operations against insurgents and the region has been put on high alert. A CRPF official said: “The barricades are shifted and redeployed and that’s a routine process and checking has also been intensified to create some detterance given the floating population, entry and exit and length and breath. It is impossible to frisk all the vehicles and people, police is also on the ground to build a sense of security among the citizens.”
Abhi Ram Pankaj, Public Relations Officer, CRPF Srinagar, told The Sunday Guardian: “In the wake of the killings, we have gradually increased the security personnel from October onwards,” He further added: “Pistol is a easily concealable weapon, it can be a problem; thus we have increased the checking,”
According to Kashmir IGP Vijay Kumar, 130 terrorists in Kashmir have been killed in counter-terror actions in the Kashmir region; 39 terrorists and more than 700 overground workers have been arrested since the beginning of this year. Imran Nabi Dar, Jammu Kashmir National Conference spokesperson, said: “It is the failure of the government as whatever they have been saying all along—that the situation has improved—is a farce or else they don’t know about the situation.” Dar also said that the common man is not feeling safe. “The government needs to come up with answers on why this massive security ramp up with no consequential results.”
Anzar Javed, a contractor who has to visit several places and commutes scores of kilometres a day, said that he is unable to reach his destinations on time. “The increase in check points and intense barricading has led to vehicles jamming at places that used to be smooth earlier. This has made necessary travel annoying,” he said.
Recently, there had been an addition of 5,500 troops in the wake of the killings, with the BSF in Kashmir deploying an additional 25 companies and the CRPF, too, sending reinforcements comprising 25 companies to the Kashmir region. A shopkeeper at Lal Chowk, once a busy shopping hub, said: “People are now trying to avoid travel to Lal Chowk because of the intense frisking.”