Jammu, April 21- Appreciating the role of J&K Police in combating militancy and bringing about near normal situation in Jammu & Kashmir,Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has cautioned the State’s police force against disruptive elements and hatred preachers who were desperate to reverse the improvement in the situation.Addressing the first Sher-i-Kashmir Police Medal investiture ceremony here today, the Chief Minister said that even as the situation in the State had improved a lot there was a challenge before all of us in the form of disruptive elements and those who preached and promoted hatred among people. These elements, he said, would try to throw the State back into the old situation where they could benefit at the cost and sufferings of the common people. He asked the police force to remain on guard against such elements and exuded confidence that the jawans and officers of J&K Police were capable of thwarting their designs. He said there was need to continue the offensive against these elements till the State reached the goal of complete peace and normalcy.
The Chief Minister pledged his full support to the State police in its fight against violence and disruptive forces. "Don’t ever consider yourselves alone in this task", he assured them. He said the resolve of the people, police and the government to attain peace and normalcy was firm and could not be weakened by anybody. "Howsoever strong winds might blow against us we will not be deterred in our commitment to peace and development", he said, adding that in the years to come the eyes of the entire world would be focused on Jammu & Kashmir as it was going to enhance the pride of the country.
The Chief Minister paid tributes to the martyrs of the State police for bringing laurels to the force and the State by making supreme sacrifice in the service to the country. He also complimented the jawans and officers of the force for showing exemplary courage and commitment in the discharge of their duty. He said the medals given to them today were a symbolic expression of gratitude of the Nation that they so well deserved. He said while he was happy in decorating the officers and jawans of the force who were among us today , he also felt sad for those who lost their lives and were not able to be part of this investiture ceremony.
In all, 48 jawans and officers were awarded the Sher-i-Kashmir Police Medal for Gallantry, 19 posthumously, and 6 the Sher-i-Kashmir Police Medal for Meritorious Service.Earlier, the DGP, in his address, said that the role of the State police had undergone paradigm shift from an investigating agency, also entrusted wiuth managing routine law and order problems, to countering threat of terror emanating from hinterland as well as forward areas.
He said despite several deficiencies in terms of sophisticated weaponry, communication cover and transport, the State police had acquitted itself commendably well in the eyes of the public and the government alike. However, he said, this had been at the expense of many precious lives of police personnel. He said till date, as many as 876 policemen had lost their lives while several others suffered injuries fighting militancy.
Mr. Khoda said that the Chief Minister had been extremely sensitive to the requirements and needs of the State police. He thanked him for the recent enhancement in ration money allowance, saying it had helped 70,000 police families. He appreciated the State government’s response to the need for providing modernized police force to deal with the abnormal situation. He said this had helped the police to take on terrorists at level playing field on account of matching weaponry and communication cover.
The DGP said that the Sher-i-Kashmir Police Medal for Gallantry and Meritorious Services was instituted in 2001 and since then 250 personnel had been awarded the medals including 206 gallantry medals and 44 meritorious services medals. Legislator, Jahangir Mir, Financial Commissioner, Home, S. S. Kapur, Director General of Police, Kuldeep Khoda, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Anil Goswami, Vigilance Commissioner, Ashok Bhan,senior police officers and family members of the awardees were present.