A day after five militants and five security personnel were killed in an encounter at Halmatpora, Kupwara, the army and the police brass went into a huddle at Pohrupet to discuss the new security strategy.
The meeting was chaired by the general officer commanding (GoC) of army’s 15 Corps A K Bhat and was attended by the Inspector General of Police Swayam Prakash Pani and senior Army commanders and police officers.
A source privy to the meeting said that the deputy director of intelligence bureau (IB) was also present. Before the meeting, the GoC and the IG took an aerial survey of the area.
This is the first meeting that Bhat has chaired after taking over the charge as the GoC 15 Corps.
A police source said that police top brass were only the invitees as the meeting was organized by the army.
Kupwara encounter, sources said, figured in a big way in the meeting. It was deliberated “whether the causalities on the side of the forces could have been avoided”. Tuesday’s operation was the biggest this year. At least 1000 army, police and CRPF men participated in it.
The meeting praised the success of forces “in freeing the north Kashmir districts—Bandipora, Kupwara and Baramulla, from the control of foreign militants”.
“The possible loopholes were pin-pointed and steps to plug them discussed,” sources said. “The army and the police framed a new strategy to fine-tune the coordination between the two agencies to carry out future anti-militancy operations with minimum damage to forces. Some changes were made in the operational procedures of the army and police”.
Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that the aim of the security review was to strengthen the synergy among all security agencies engaged in counter insurgency operations “which has resulted in killing of a large number of militants with minimum collateral damage in recent times”.
“North Kashmir, once the hub of foreign militants has been turned around with a relatively stable security environment due to the joint efforts of the forces and seamless cooperation and coordination among them,” Col Kalia said. “The senior officers exhorted their officers to continue to harmonize their endeavours to make north Kashmir militancy free.”