MHA sanction for raising more VDCs
The government is mulling to revitalize the Special Operations Group (SOG) in Jammu division, 17 years after it was disbanded by the Mufti Muhammad Sayeed led Peoples Democratic Party-Congress coalition government in 2002.
Sources told Rising Kashmir that the move had come in the backdrop of inputs of militant movement in Jammu divisions comprising 10 districts.
All the official formalities in the State’s Home department have been completed and the ball was now in J&K Police's domain, the sources said.
They said the SOG would not just be meant for coordinated anti-militancy operations but also for the quick action duties in case of a militant attack.
The sources said currently the government had set out for finding the man force for the SOG to be significantly deployed in Kishtwar, Ramban, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch districts.
Currently, the SOG was only stationed in Jammu district ever since it was disbanded from other districts of the region in 2002.
A senior Police officer told Rising Kashmir that the SOG unit posted in Jammu district was almost dysfunctional but the new units to be deployed in other nine districts of the region would be active like in 2002 era.
“In some areas of Jammu division, we have inputs of militant activities. Some proscribed outfits are trying to reinvigorate militancy in parts of Jammu region,” the official said.
The sources said the revitalized SOG in Jammu region would be equipped with the latest weaponry including bullet-proof vehicles along with training of SOG officers to be carried out by expert anti-militancy officers.
They said the search for such manpower from constable to the officer level would be completed shortly after which the postings at district levels would begin.
The sources said the strength of SOG units in Kishtwar, Ramban, Doda, Banihal, Rajouri and Poonch would be higher than the other districts of Jammu region as the inputs of militant activities in the districts has been very high.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is believed to have accorded sanction for the revival of SOG in Jammu division along with raising more Village Defence Committees (VDCs).
As per the Police sources, the move has come in the wake of a grenade attack in the winter capital in February this year along with the killing of prominent BJP leader Anil Parihar, his brother Ajit Parihar, top Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary Chanderkant Sharma and his personal security officer Rajinder Kumar.
Police sources said the arrest of two Gool-Gulabgarh based militants in south Kashmir has also been a reason behind the revival strategy ahead of the Legislative Assembly polls in the State.
They said last year in December also, a militant recruiter Riyaz Ahmad was arrested from Kishtwar district of the region.