A group of 15 retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officers including four from Gujarat have written an "open letter" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi "appreciating" the central government's policies on Kashmir. The newly formed collective called, "Track The Truth", has praised the Modi government for "painstaking, courageous and decisive efforts at attempting to resolve the complex Kashmir issue."
Out of 15 ex-IPS officers, four are retired Director General of Police (DGP) from Gujarat cadre, including A K Singh, from 1985 batch, Geetha Johri, 1982, P P Pandey, 1982 and Shivanand Jha from the 1983 batch. Among the ex-officers is controversial M Nageswara Rao, from Odisha cadre, who briefly headed CBI.
A K Singh was last posted as Director-General, National Security Guard, Delhi while Johri, who was charge-sheeted in Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case and was later discharged by the court, retired as incharge DGP. Pandey was arrested and charge-sheeted by CBI as a key accused in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. He had to resign as in-charge DGP following a court order and was later discharged from the trial on merit as well as want of government sanction to prosecute him.
The other ex-officers are Badri Prasad Singh from UP cadre, K Aravinda Rao, Andhra Pradesh cadre, K Rajendra Kumar, Jammu and Kashmir cadre, K B Singh and Prakash Mishra, both from Odisha cadres, S K Rout, Madhya Pradesh, SP Vaid, Jammu and Kashmir, Vikram Singh, Uttar Pradesh cadre and Vivek Dube from Andhra Pradesh cadre.
The officers' open letter read, "The Central government’s most recent initiative at reaching out to political stakeholders and countering the twin elements of “Dil ki doori” (distance from the heart) and “Dilli ki doori” (distance from Delhi), in order to enhance trust, is exemplary, reflecting a dynamic approach to policy-making. We are hopeful that you will fulfil your promise of bringing economic development to J&K, with all the robust investment plans that have been finalised. Some of your excellent achievements in Kashmir over the years are listed in the Annexure, meant for some of those who are always unhappy with whatever your government does."
The annexures in the letter list out 2015 alliance of BJP with the PDP irrespective of ideological views, development package for the region, infrastructural development, implementation of government schemes, surgical strikes on 'terror camps' across the Line of Control, NIA unearthing the alleged nexus of separatists with Pakistan and terrorism, among others.
When contacted, Singh confirmed this and said, "...I fully agree. As head of NSG, I have analysed the Kashmir challenge in detail and have been appreciative of this policy breakthrough. It has been a game-changer in controlling cross border terrorism and integration of Kashmir in India."
"It is a matter of national pride that over these years, the Central government tried all means possible to achieve this goal. The momentous decision to annul Article 35A and read-down Article 370, (which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir) was efficiently implemented, with all necessary precautions to prevent the loss of life and property. The complete integration of Kashmir with the Union of India was a long-pending unfinished task since India adopted the Constitution of India in 1950. Now, a citizen of Kashmir can proudly call himself/herself Indian and receive all benefits that the Indian State bestows on its citizens. It is a matter of great satisfaction, that the Government’s ability to foresee future events and to plan for all kinds of possibilities, led to tight control over crime, terrorism and public order since August 5, 2019," the open letter stated.
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