The BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta Sunday advocated redeployment of Army and strengthening of village defence committees (VDC) in Chenab valley of Jammu and Kashmir, claiming the recent assassination of a party leader and his brother in Kishtwar was part of a strategy to restart militant activities in the region.
“To check the rise of militancy in Chenab valley, Army needs to be redeployed…I will be discussing the issue with Union minister Rajnath Singh,” Gupta said addressing a function here.State Secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar were assassinated by suspected militants in a late night attack in Kishtwar town on Thursday while they were on way to their home.
Gupta said he along with other senior leaders visited Kishtwar and every person there was asking for the safety of Hindus residing in the area.
Chenab Valley lies between the middle and outer Himalayan range and is divided into three districts – Doda, Ramban, and Kishtwar besides two constituencies of Reasi.
The valley also touches the Anantnag district of Kashmir.
Chenab Valley comprises three districts, Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar of Jammu and touches the Anantnag district of Kashmir. Once a hotbed of militancy, the valley has been peaceful after security forces purged the militants from that area. Referring to the assassination of the Parihar brothers, he said “this is well planned strategy of the pro-Pakistan Hurriyat and its allies to restart militant activities in the Chenab Valley.”
He said the VDCs functional in the area need to be strengthened otherwise there are chances that militants may resort to “killing of Hindus living in the remote villages”.
“Large number of VDC weapons have been withdrawn by vested administration in the Chenab valley over a period of time,” Gupta said, adding VDC were sanctioned in the tenure of NDA-1 and played a very crucial role in the control and elimination of the militancy from the region.
He said there was need of conducting security review of leaders and families who have fought anti-national forces in Chenab region in the last 30 years. “The selective killing of Hindu leaders in the region can lead to migration and this incident is eye opener for the security forces and the government,” he said.
The killing of Parihar brothers had triggered massive protests across Jammu region following which the authorities suspended internet services in the curfew-bound areas, while the internet speed was slowed down in the rest of the division, including the winter capital Jammu. However, the internet speed was restored in Jammu and other parts of the division Saturday evening.The Army also staged a flag march in the sensitive areas to help the district administration in Kishtwar maintain law and order. The government has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the killing and directed it to expedite the investigation and submit its report as early as possible.