By Sumit Kumar Singh
Srinagar, Oct 17 | Each and every person helping terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir has been identified and the person’s movements are on the Indian Army’s radar.
The people helping terrorists are known as Over Ground Workers of militants, commonly referred to as OGWs. They act as a lifeline for terrorists and ensure the survival of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
The 15 Corps General Officer Commanding Lieutenant General B.S. Raju said that there is a small component of Over Ground Workers which is aligned to the cause which is inimical to the armed forces.
“One or two percent of such people drive the agenda. The silent masses suffer because of this small component. OGWs come in all categories. The lot at the end supports logistics, the second echelon provides finances, another echelon gives intellectual support and others have their own roles,” Lt Gen BS Raju said.
He said that all these OGWs are on the radar and are being addressed in some manner.
“Our aim is to tell them it (helping terrorists and terrorism) is not taking them anywhere. What is going to take them forward is bringing in peace, bringing in development and bringing in normalcy,” he said.
In the last three decades, the role of OGWs has evolved from providing basic logistics support to recruitment to carrying out small scale attacks and target executions.
Different OGWs are assigned different tasks, roles and are put in different hierarchy buckets based on various factors such as background, history, skills, tenure, recommendation, performance and trust level.
The OGWs are booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) of Jammu and Kashmir.
The officer explained that 70 years have passed and people have reconciled to the ground reality. “What people want here is just a quality and decent life like anyone else in the world wants. This is the common man’s aspiration in the Valley,” Lt Gen BS Raju said.
He also said that the force has been able to keep the violence level at a threshold where normal people can continue to do their job.
Business or trade or paddy cultivation is on. The agricultural sector is kind of kicking. The apples are going through Banihal as well as Mughal route (Pir Panjal Pass) so that traffic is not blocked.
The officer also said that the Indian Army has been able to keep the terrorists numbers in a fair amount of control. “Today North and South Kashmir put together have 200 strength which was something like 260. This is because of close synergy we have with other agencies,” he added.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at email@example.com)