Overall Situation Improving in Kashmir : DGP Dilbag Singh
Director General of Police Jammu and Kashmir Dilbag Singh IPS took over as the DGP of J&K Police last year, he is known for his dynamism and great calibre.
In an exclusive interview with News Kashmir, Dilbag Singh talks to editor in chief Farzana Mumtaz and Rameez Makhdoomi.
During the current years there looks to be much difficulty, restrictions never seen before being faced by people due to Amarnath Yatra security. What are the reasons?
The restrictions are not that much stringent as portrayed, my view is you take your vehicle on highway to tunnel and you won’t find huge difficulty. I have in recent times undertook four journeys on highway and when local traffic and convoy plys almost normally and just for few moments traffic stops. It is just to ensure smooth movement of Yatra so that it’s cycle does not get disturbed.There are several laterals attached to it — Just to ensure safe travel as you saw this year the patch from Qazigund to Nashri due to tough weather saw highway adversely impacted and even before yatra the convoy and public traffic was one sided, even few days back a Yatri was injured due to shooting stones.
Even before Amarnath Yatra the traffic due to risky road situation on national highway used to be one way, we cannot allow two way which can cause traffic accidents and human loss.
The movement of army convoy is also not undertook during yatri movement as people complain about jams due to it. The public local traffic moves in a smooth manner and it is only the jammu srinagar traffic that faces a bit restrictions.
These things should not be seen as something restrictions but seen as a way to ensure smooth traffic regulation that ensures smooth and safe journey for all.
After the recent few deaths due to drug addiction among Youth, the masses are lauding police action against drug mafia, will this tempo continue?
Actually this tempo has weakened due to many commitments but soon it will be augmented . The drug de addiction center of Police Department coming up in Downtown Srinagar will be one of the biggest in Kashmir and it will cure many addicts of this menace .
Over the two years we have seen tremendous legal action against sources of drug addiction and this action has been unprecedented.
Drug abuse has caused havoc in Kashmir and I feel all the sane social, religious organizations and NGOs have a role to play and many are coming forward which is very good sign .
We will take every action to root out drug addiction.
Your take on tense situation in South Kashmir and youth picking up arms there?
We have been able to bring some sort of stability in the situation in Kashmir in these times of bloodshed .We have been able to curtail violence levels to great extent and it is a welcome sign .
This year we have tremendous reduction in number of youth picking up gun, huge reduction in stone pelting and strikes. The civilian deaths due to law and order have reached negligible levels. All this improvement has been made possible by relentless efforts of security forces and effective positive cooperation by common people and Youth .
We have been able to bring back many youth from the path of violence and took no strict action against them and now they are spending their lives normally .
What would be done to improve people and public relations?
The efforts to improve relationship between police and public had been on much fast track few years before but had in between hit a road block . Off late in recent times we have been able to increase healthy interaction between police and public. People in Ramadan shared effective and healthy moments with police at police lines and the process is continuing. We had many iftaar parties with public and shared bondings of love and concern on issues .
The people police cooperation clubs are very much active . We are also making it possible with an effective cooperation of public to bring youth back from wrong paths.
We will continue to be strict against those who want to resort to violence, mayhem or militancy and are very cooperative to bring back those who want to shun path of violence .
As senior police official do you believe police reform bill would be reality?
I would love to see it happening and the draft bill in this regard has become bit old would require some changes. On our own level as organization we have brought many impressive reforms and improvements but yes the implementation of reform bill would give effective legal framework to operate.The effort is also on that a police official always remains in high morale and remains at ease. We also want that the personnel problems, anger faced by police personal does not reflect on their public conduct .
Your take on current numbers of militants?
I won’t go in the number thing but would like to state that this year the situation has improved a lot . The local youth joining militant ranks has gone down which is heartening development and the infiltration is also going down which is a good news .
How much threat remains of an episode like Pulwama blast in future?
When you have a full fledged country like Pakistan backing all sorts of militant and terror outfits the threat of attack remains but we have neutralised huge number of attacks and such great work never makes to news headings .
Prison situation which you too have monitored closely remains grim. What about prison reforms in the state?
There is a definite need to upgrade the prison infrastructure . We don’t have much space to accommodate prisoners and with increasing crime rate the overcrowding results in first time offender becomes fodder for radicalized . We also had seen huge riot by radicalized prisoners in Central jail and own regulations set by groups like Lashkar, Hizbul and Hurriyat inside jails. All this has been tackled effectively and identifying the culprits, launching action against them. We are isolating first time offenders from radicalized ones.
We have started series of skill development courses like Carpenting in Central jail srinagar, Plumbing in Pulwama and cloth manufacturing in Jammu jail and all these courses are going in impressive manner changing life of prisoners towards greater good .We are also increasing number of jails that would ensure no over crowding and efficient regulation of prison.
All these good works unfortunately never make to news stories.
Are groups like ISIS, Alqeda making footholds in Kashmir?
These groups have their own area of operation. These are anti humanity groups and these groups are not operational in Jammu and Kashmir and would never be allowed to rise .
Your message to the people especially youth?
My appeal to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir is that you are our precious treasure. It is the land of great sufi saints. From Habba Khatoon, Nund Reshi to Baba Shakurdin the rishis, sufis and Munis have made Kashmir their abode. It is sad to see that same land has become hell due to violence. The youth should shun the discourse of death, destruction and mayhem. I appeal them to become love, peace, harmony as hate, destruction yields nothing . The discourse of death and destruction has never been tradition of Kashmir.
Youth of Kashmir should also stay away from menace and monster of drug addiction as this will give just destruction of dreams and lives. All stakeholders of society should come forward to fight menace of drug addiction and help in restoring peace and normalcy back in Kashmir.