Thursday, November 26, 2009

Army training J&K Police in counter-terrorism tasks

Srinagar: With the Omar Abdullah government looking to reduce the footprint of the forces in the state, the army is training Jammu and Kashmir Police in counter-terrorism for independent operation. A batch of 199 constables, five sub-inspectors and an assistant sub-inspector recently completed a four-week specialised programme in counter-terrorism at the elite 15 Corps Battle School at Khrew in Pulwama.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah said it was time to give a greater role to central paramilitary forces and police. "We [army chief and he] are in agreement that we have to reduce the footprint of the army in a phased manner. Some steps have been already taken in this direction. J&K Police are being trained by the 15 Crops in Srinagar to take more responsibility," the chief minister said.Currently, the army, CRPF and police share the security responsibility in Jammu and Kashmir. Of the 77 CRPF battalions in the state, 62 are deployed in Kashmir alone.

CRPF performs the dual role of maintaining law and order and countering insurgency along with the state police. Mostly, they conduct joint operations. CRPF companies are attached to the special operation group of police for counter insurgency. The army also performs a dual role of guarding the line of control and countering militancy in the hinterland. "The army's job is to protect the borders. We want to create a situation where no army man is required to provide internal security," Omar said.

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