Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Thursday said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is still a challenge for the Indian government.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the three-day Conference of Directors General of Police (DGPs), Shinde said, “The situation in Jammu & Kashmir continues to be a challenge for us. This year, there has been an increase in targeted attacks on Security Forces resulting in nearly 50 personnel losing their lives.”
“These attacks indicate a nefarious game plan hatched across the border to demoralise our Security Forces and demonstrate to the people of J&K that the capabilities of militants remain undiminished,” Shende said.
Home Minister added there have also been violent actions and ceasefire violations along the border, particularly in Poonch district of Jammu region.
“Our Security Forces have responded in right measure and succeeded in neutralizing several militant commanders and eliminating 35 terrorists on the LoC this year,” he said.
“Security Forces, however, cannot afford to lower their guard, particularly in view of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections next year,” said Shinde.
He said a “fine balance” needs to be maintained by them between firm handling of Militants and adequate restraint in public order situations.
“This is important to limit civilian casualties and to deny space to separatist elements for fomenting further disturbances,” he said.
Shinde said the people of J&K remain undeterred by such threats from across the border and the huge voter turnout in the recent Panchayat elections bears adequate testimony to this.
“Peace in the last few years has paid huge dividends in terms of increased economic activities and record arrival of domestic and international tourists.
“The Government of India is committed to the development of J&K by focusing on infrastructure projects such as laying of a new rail line across the Pir Panjal range,” said Shinde.
“Various employment generation schemes such as Udaan and Himayat are also being vigorously pursued,” he said.