Kashmir Indepth

If Pakistan behaves, J&K restrictions can ease: Doval

NEW DELHI: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Saturday said out of 199 police stations in Jammu and Kashmir, only 10 continue to have restrictions and ease of the clampdown in the erstwhile state is completely dependent on Pakistan’s behaviour.

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The NSA, who has been in the state for the last two weeks to monitor security and intelligence issues, said the government has intercepted signals from the communication towers just 20 km off the border.

“We want all the restrictions to go, but it depends on how Pakistan behaves. It’s a stimulant and response situation.

“If Pakistan starts behaving, militants don’t intimidate and infiltrate; if Pakistan stops sending signals through its towers to operatives, then we can lift restrictions,” Doval said. He also added that 92.5 per cent of Jammu and Kashmir is free from restrictions.

The militants used code words for weapons and other logistics from their handlers. “In one of the intercepts they said ‘how many apple trucks are moving, cant you stop them? Should we send you bangles,” Doval said.

Four persons, including a two-year-old girl were injured on Saturday after militants vandalised the house of a trader and attacked them in Sopore for opening their shop despite a warning.

The NSA has also asked the administration to move the girl to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi for treatment. As per police officers the militants are carrying out such attacks to instill fear in the minds of the people.

“We are determined to protect the lives of Kashmiris from Pakistani militants even if we have to impose restrictions. Terror is the only instrument Pakistan has to create unrest,” said Doval.

Around 230 Pakistani militants were spotted, while some of them have infiltrated, some have been arrested.

Internet and phone lines remained affected in some parts of the Kashmir Valley but communication lines are open in Jammu region and Ladakh.

Doval also went on to say that there was no question of army atrocities as it was only the state police and paramilitary which are responsible for dealing with public orders.

“The Army’s job is to only fight the militants. I am totally convinced that majority of Kashmiris support the abrogation of Article 370. They see greater opportunities, future, economic progress and employment. Only a few miscreants are opposing it,” said Ajit Doval.

The National Security Advisor has travelled across Jammu and Kashmir extensively in the weeks after its special status was scrapped, meeting people and analysing the ground situation.

India Today

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