Civil servants’ courageous handling of terrorism in Kashmir
We are witnessing a deteriorating situation of pro-Pakistan and anti-India agitation in Jammu and Kashmir which touched nadir when separatist leader Gilani demanded to dub Independence day the black day in Kashmir. Although they were prevented from celebrating Pakistan’s azadi, Pakistan voiced support to Kashmir and dedicated the day for the cause. It is open revolt and the constant pelting of stones on security personnel and bandhs have tarnished the image of paradise that everyone loves for its exotic beauty.
Former Chief Secretary of the state and a scholar Dr Sudhir Bloeria has penned the story of how a worse situation in 1990-93 was brought to calm and peace after credible elections in the state in 1995. In his book, The Men Who Served Jammu and Kashmir, he writes an insider account of the era. As a seasoned and discreet civil servant, he has not undertaken a critical analysis of the performance of different agencies and officials but only covered the positive side as to how his members of clan valiantly and courageously performed their tasks in an explosive environment. One can call it a saga of civil service officers covering major districts of the state and security services chiefs who held the fort in their areas. There are undoubtedly many lessons to be learnt in these stories of officials.
The Men Who Served Jammu & Kashmir
Dr S. S. Bloeria
Price : `615
Pages : 250
To begin his narration, he pays glorious tributes to all the governors of the state and its foreword is written by N.N.Vohra, the present Governor. It tells how able administrator was Jagmohan, who made a lasting contribution in founding a trust for Vaishno Devi Mandir and how intelligence was reorganized by G.C.Saxena, who with his intelligence background gave new life to handling terrorism with credible intelligence. He emphasises the role of good governance “in the beginning of 1990, as the administration had almost collapsed and the efficacy of the government had almost hit the rock bottom. Positive change was heralded in spite of serious difficulties on the ground and in certain cases in the face of militant threats. His story of how Lahaul was defended and Buddhists together with Muslims had pooled their resources to push the invaders out. C. Phonson, who headed the administration in difficult times, was one who happened to be a child prodigy in school, recited entire science book to the teacher from memory and stunned the teachers. The story of his rescue operation of 17 persons trapped in market fire due to cross firing between militants and Central Reserve Police is quite well known. He escped many murderous assaults when his car received dozens of bullets and he continued his operations. Another officer who brought down terrorism in Rajaury was Allah Baksh, Deputy Inspector General of Police. When he took over his job, the situation was volatile and militants were crossing into the state with ammunition from across the border. This area also acted as a base camp for terrorists to stage an assault on Srinagar. His successful control of border made elimination of 33 out of 43 militants, who crossed border, and he arrested many trained persons from Pakistan, who crossed the border. Large number of young men, who had gone to Pakistan as was routine those day, used to come back after training and weapons. But with his strict vigilance
they could not enter the state and had to go back. These measures brought down insurgency and the situation improved in the state. The basic lesson from these measures was the control of border and involvement of locals in intelligence as well as administration, which yielded results.
The book describes the episodes of courage and valour of the officials of IAS and IPS services in controlling the rot in the state administration.
by N.K. Singh