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J&K gets a new police chief at a critical moment

December 28, 2016 23:40 IST

With local militancy gaining ground in the Valley, S P Vaid, a highly-decorated police officer who helped tackle the recent unrest in the region, was on Wednesday appointed the new Director General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir.

He will take over from K Rajendra Kumar, whose extended tenure comes to an end on December 31.

The task is cut out for 57-year-old Vaid, who is presently Special Director General (Law and Order), as the local youths are again getting swayed by the militant ideology to take up arms, especially after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani, whose killing by the security forces triggered the latest round of turmoil in Kashmir.

A 1986-batch IPS officer, Vaid will hold office till October, 2019.

"My focus will be to keep the flag of the police force flying high in the state," he said after his appointment.

While police force will be tough against the perpetrators of violence and terrorists "I will ensure that no common man is harassed. My idea is to make police force more and more people friendly," he said.

Vaid is the second officer from Jammu to have risen to the post of Director General of Police after M M Khajuria, who held the postion in 1985.

However, he is the first regular IPS recruit to become the Director General of Police from Jammu, while Khajuria had been absorbed in the IPS from the state cadre.

The state, according to intelligence reports, has more than 200 local and foreign militants with infiltration and local recruitment crossing all pervious records.

The prolonged unrest following Wani's killing also had a bearing on anti-militancy operations.

In the aftermath of the killing of Wani, law and order situation in the Valley had spiralled out of control and the state government, while taking a serious note of it, shifted him from the position of DG (prisons) and made him Special DG (Law and order).

After taking over the charge, he camped in the Kashmir region and initiated various measures to make optimum use of the force so as to check rising casualties of both civilians and security forces through Police-Public interaction programmes in almost all districts of the Valley.

Vaid was seriously injured when militants ambushed his vehicle in March 1999 near Sopore crossing on Srinagar-Baramulla Highway. He was the then range DIG of Baramulla-Kupwara in North Kashmir.

During his career, Vaid has received several medals which included President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service, Indian Police Medal for Gallantry, Police Medal for Meritorious Service, Indian Army Chief's Citation and Antrik Suraksha Seva Padak by the Home Ministry.

Rajendra, a 1984 batch IPS officer, was granted an extension for three months in September this year.

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