Challenges have increased in Jammu and Kashmir in many ways after the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August last year, said outgoing Director General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Kuldiep Singh.
Explaining the fact, the CRPF chief and 1986 batch West Bengal cadre Indian Police Service officer, who is retiring from service on Friday, said "the challenges have increased and it is now seen" there in Jammu and Kashmir with inputs of some time an increase in the number of foreign terrorists and later a little bit decrease in the number.
Singh, however, clarified that the number of terrorists in the current period is very low. "The number of terrorists (active) is below 200 which used to be 240 at some time."
The CRPF DG said the number of these terrorists included both those belonging to foreign soil and the locals.
"In last few years, there is a trend that the number of terrorists, both foreign and locals, used to be 230-240. But the number has now remained below 200 as many of them are neutralised from time to time by security forces," Singh added.
Meanwhile, he excepted "it cannot be denied" that there is no challenge in Jammu and Kashmir.
In his farewell speech, the DG also mentioned that CRPF is entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the country's internal security and that it is deployed across the length and breadth of the country for assisting State Police and Civil Administration in the discharge of their duties.
He also informed that the CRPF provides protection to 119 dignitaries out of which 18 are in Z Plus and 27 are in the Z category.
"The Force now has 246 Battalions (BNs) of which 202 are GD (Ground Duty) BNs, six VIP Security, six Mahila, 15 RAF, 10 CoBRA, five signal, and one each of PDG and SDG. The Force also has 43 Group Centers, four 100-bedded Composite Hospitals," Singh said.
He pointed out how the Naxal activities have been contained to a very large extent in the Left Wing Extremism-affected areas.
"There is a discernible improvement in the situation and the areas which were earlier considered to be the stronghold of Maoists are now free of their influence and dominated by Security Forces," Singh said, adding "the force played a key role in making the state of Bihar Maoist free."
"Maoists have been pushed out of Chakarbandha and Bheembandh area, and now Bihar has become virtually Maoists free."
In Jharkhand, after relentless and intensive operations culminating with operation Octopus, the DG said camps had been established at Burhapahar, which was considered a bastion of Maoists till recently.
"In Left Wing Extremism affected areas, 11 Maoists were neutralised, 387 were apprehended and 370 surrendered."(ANI)