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September 23, 2000
J&K police chief to stay
Onkar Singh in New Delhi
There is no move to shift Jammu and Kashmir director general of police Gurbachan Jagat, a top Union home ministry official insisted on Friday.
"He completes three years in office in March next year and till then he is going to stay where he is," the official told rediff.com.
According to him, Jagat has done tremendous work in combating insurgency in Kashmir valley. "He has done an exceptional job and there is no move to replace him," he said.
Speculation on his replacement followed raids by the army on some police posts in Srinagar. "There is no truth in reports in some sections of the media that the army had conducted raids on some police stations as it felt that some of policemen were allegedly involved in attacks by militants on Rashtriya Rifles camps in the valley. At least I would know if there were any such allegation against the Jammu and Kashmir police," he said.
According to home ministry sources, Jagat has not protested against the 'raids' by the army and has also not requested a transfer. "There is a set procedure in our system. We do not start scouting for a replacement for an officer six months before the scheduled end of the three-year term. But we don't know what may happen tomorrow," the sources said.
Officials of the ministry of home affairs believe that Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's tour of the United States had a positive impact on developments in Jammu and Kashmir.
"If you look at the law and order situation in the valley, it is under control. Militants and their supporters have realised that they are not getting the response they were expecting from the United States and European countries. The fact that India and the United States have agreed to boost trade relations must have made it amply clear to the militants and their mentors that the world has seen through their game and no one is prepared to support their activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Hurriyat leaders have also realised the futility of their movement. In fact, we have been getting signals from militants that they want to return to the negotiating table. Look at the statement of Syed Salahuddin. He says that Hizbul is prepared to talk to India and resume the peace process even if India were to tell them that Pakistan would be involved in the peace process later. If Salahuddin wants to start negotiations, he is welcome," the sources said.
The officials confirmed that they were keeping a close watch on terrorist outfits and if the Hizb chief was interested in peace he could himself talk to the government. But he must come only with the intention of talking peace within the framework of the Constitution of India, they clarified.
Home ministry statistics state:
"We are keeping a close watch on developments and the army and paramilitary forces are totally prepared to meet any challenge," they said.
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