Interview of Kuldeep Khoda, the Director General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir by Parvaiz Bukhari

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Q: How would you describe the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir today?

A: The situation is under control though there is a strong attempt to increase infiltration and also a concerted move to raise the levels of violence by the terrorists [who are] backed from across the border.

Q: Are any new systems being put in place to check this new push for violence as you describe it?

A: We are obviously refining our response as the situation develops. Our responses have been quite good. While there is a focus by the terrorists to increase violence, but at the same time we had some very good operations resulting in neutralisation of some self-styled commanders of the terrorists during the last one and a half months this year.

Q: Any particular groups?

A: Mainly Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen and of course there is a Jaish-e-Mohammad commander in the Mendar area (near the LoC).

Q: Do you think the recently renewed pledge in Muzaffarabad for Jihad to liberate Kashmir has started becoming perceptible?

A: Let us not link it to some specific events, because the move from across [the LoC] by way of pushing in terrorists, by way of funding them, by way of equipping them with arms and ammunition has been continuous. And, it is true that they keep on doing certain things by other means of communication to always tell the terrorists to raise the levels of violence. But I would not attach significance to any individual events. The overall broad plan is to continue with violence to go ahead with their agenda.

Q: Are the spreading stone-pelting protests in the valley a growing concern?

A: The strategy has undergone a little bit of change in the sense that not only do they want to continue with terrorism; they also want to combine the terrorist activities with protests and agitation which includes stone-pelting. And this stone pelting is also an organized thing backed by funding. We are getting some definite leads on this.

Q: Are you are saying stone-pelting protests are also being instigated by the same forces from across the LoC?

A: Absolutely.

Q: Do you think booking suspected stone-pelters and charging them with waging war against the nation is justified?

A: It is not the question of booking stone-pelters. You have to look at it from the overall context. The stone-pelting and the other sorts of separatist activities are part of a combined effort to keep the pot boiling in Kashmir. So, it is a combined effort by terrorists along with other sorts of separatist activities to hit normal activities of common citizens. It is the duty of every government to stop that.

Q: Is it all right to charge those youth who were protesting the killing of three young boys in action by police and security forces with waging war against the nation?

A: It is not about any grievances they have. I want to reiterate that if anyone is trying to stop the normal activities of common citizens, preventing development activities from happening under instructions from terrorists or indulging in any violence directed against the nation, we will use all means to stop that. We have strong evidence linking the stone throwing violence to terrorists with funding and instructions from across [the LoC] and we will come out with it shortly.

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