Former militants on army/police radar ahead of polls

Srinagar: Former militants are on the radar of different security agencies ahead of the first round of five-phased Assembly elections starting later this month.
The army and the police have started gathering information about the former militants from village heads, according to a body representing the youths who have given up militancy.
“We’re receiving reports that in many areas of north Kashmir, including Sopore, Sangrama, Palhallan and Baramulla town, army and police have started collecting details about the former militants. They have already compiled a list of ex-militants, which is shown to village heads for feedback,” chairman, Peoples Rights Movement (PRM) Abdul Qadeer told Kashmir Reader Tuesday.
Khan, who is among the pioneers of militancy in north Kashmir, pegged the numbers of former insurgents in the Valley at around 40,000. Besides, there are over 200 militants, who returned to Valley from Pakistan- administered Kashmir (PaK) in the recent years, after renouncing militancy, Khan said.
Polls would be held on November 25 in the first phase for Ganderbal, Sonawari, Bandipora, Gurez and Kangan Assembly constituencies of the Valley.
“Although former militants are under constant surveillance of the security agencies, whenever there are elections, the noose around them is further tightened. They are summoned to army camps and police stations and subjected to intense questioning. Many a time, they’re detained days before the polls,” Khan added.
In central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, former militants and activists of pro-freedom groups are also under scanner. Many pro-freedom activists were summoned to police station and subjected to questioning in the past few days, reports said.
Besides, all police stations in Valley have prepared a list of people having pro-freedom leaning. The list has been formed by the CID wing of police, reports said.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Abdul Gani Mir, admitted that police is keeping a close watch on the activities of what he called “troublemakers.”
“All those people who have potential to create any trouble in the polls are under scanner,” Mir told Kashmir Reader.
On Tuesday, the IGP chaired a review meeting with police, BSF, CRPF and army at Bandipora to take stock of the security arrangements for the forthcoming Assembly elections.
The IGP said that in order to ensure a peaceful atmosphere, 29 people have been taken into preventive detention. “He (IGP) said that everything possible under law shall be done and nobody shall be allowed to create any kind of disturbances during the elections. He said that enough manpower and resources have been kept at the disposal of the districts for catering the needs of the security for electioneering and elections,” a police spokesman said in a handout.
“IGP said that message is loud and clear for every person that nobody shall be allowed to create disturbance,” it added.

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