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Sweeping powers given to new advisor of J&K on policing and security matters

Sweeping powers given to new advisor of J&K on policing and security matters
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Jammu: Lt Governor of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir G C Murmu has issued an order giving his advisor Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar sweeping authority on security and policing, including reshuffling of Station House Officers (SHOs).

The order, issued by the general administrative department, gives powers to Bhatnagar, a retired 1983-batch IPS officer who has never served in JK, which include deciding on ground-level postings in consultation with Senior Security Advisor in Home Ministry, K Vijay Kumar, who has spent 11 months in the erstwhile state as advisor to former governor Satyapal Malik.

As per the two-page order issued by the home department on Tuesday night, Bhatnagar would also oversee deployment of para-military forces and armed unit of Jammu and Kashmir police for "optimum effect".

Bhatnagar, who recently retired as Director General of CRPF, would also address various aspects pertaining to intelligence activities and timely follow up besides coordinating with the Senior Security advisor. The order said Bhatnagar would also suggest appropriate measures for effective policing at the police station level which includes "reshuffling of SHO and other cutting-edge levels in consultation" with Kumar.

All these things were earlier handled by Director General of JK Police who heads the 80,000-strong force. The practice was that the police chief could transfer anyone below the rank of Superintendent of Police, while postings of SPs and above ranks were done by cabinet or the state advisory board in consultations with him by keeping in mind requirements for anti-militancy operations.

Among other duties assigned to Bhatnagar would be enhancing synergy amongst the security forces for operational effectiveness, coordinating effort to counter crisis, border propaganda and interventions for awareness and information dissemination.

He will monitor and coordinate the Terror Monitoring Group (TMG) for results in a time-bound manner and address various aspects pertaining to intelligence activities, the order said.

He has to coordinate with Kumar for follow up actions.

He would also be assessing the border grid to prevent infiltration in coordination with the special advisor, the order said.

"To further rule of law, oversee measures to improve criminal investigation, forensic and prosecution" is also part of his charter of duties.

He is also supposed to enhance faith in the criminal justice system and devise a mechanism for timely disposal of public grievances and crime control.

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