‘Unprecedented’: Jammu and Kashmir Police bag 108 medals
The Jammu & Kashmir Police, which spearhead counter insurgency operations in the region, has got 108 gallantry medals in this year’s Republic Day list, an achievement described as “unprecedented” by a senior official of the 100,000-strong force.
The over 300,000-strong Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) with a countrywide mandate received 76 gallantry medals, which are given to personnel who go beyond the call of duty. The J&K Police neutralised 162 terrorists in 2019, and another 14 till the 2020 Republic Day, according to official data.
The force, led by director general of police Dilbagh Singh, was awarded three President’s Police Medal for Gallantry (PPMG) and 105 Police Medal for Gallantry.
Those awarded PPMG include senior superintendent of police Abdul Jabbar, Ghulam Hassan Sheikh and Asif Iqbal Qureshi of the J&K Police. Constable Utpal Rabba of CRPF was awarded the prestigious medal posthumously. Punjab Police got four gallantry medals.
The J&K Police, since the Pulwama attack last February, has been at the forefront of the counterterror war in the UT rather than being dependent on central paramilitary forces. It has not only managed to neutralise “triple-plus” category of terrorists (the highest security classification in terms of strike capability) from Pakistan, but been able to collect human intelligence to support its counterterrorist efforts.
“The gallantry medal list shows that nearly one J&K policeman out of 1,000 has got the prestigious award, which is unprecedented,” a senior J&K police officer said on condition of anonymity.
An internal note on the security situation in J&K says 2008, 2010 and 2016 witnessed major law and order challenges, adding that a large number of civilians lost lives in violent clashes with security forces. It says that the situation spiralled out of control after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016, and several security personnel were injured. Fatalities were also reported.
And then all parameters of terrorist violence touched the highest peak in 2018 in a decade, the note says, adding that the emergence of new outfits such as the Islamic State – Jammu and Kashmir and Ansar Ghazwat -ul -Hind posed new challenges.
Towards the second half of 2018, the police leadership, along with the army and special forces, initiated well-planned steps to effectively manage law and order situations and counterterrorist operations, the note says.
It adds that 97 successful operations led to the elimination of 260 terrorists, and wiped out all big commanders and leadership of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul. “These operations continued even in 2019,” the note says.
After the nullification of Article 370 on August 5, the situation was managed well despite efforts by militants to bring civilian life to a standstill, it says. After the move, just 272 law and order situations were reported as compared to around 2,500 violent incidents after Wani’s killing.
Though militants tried to stop the opening of shops, private and commercial transport, apple trade, and Class 10 and 12 exams, the challenges were met head-on, the notes says, adding that anti-terrorist operations are on in 2020 too, and a dozen terrorists were eliminated and several arrested.
Thirty-two Union ministers visited Jammu and six of them were in Kashmir. They appreciated the changed law and order and security environment, the note says.