Tuesday, 06 June 2023 08:15 GMT

Core Group Terms Social Media in Kashmir A 'Challenge'

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)

DGP, GoC 15 Corps Say Benchmarks Set Post- Art 370 Achieved Successfully

Srinagar- Terming the use of social media to spread disinformation and propaganda as a challenge, the Core Group, comprising top army commanders, police and civil administration officers said on Friday that efforts at synergy in exposing fake news, booking of radicals trying to foment unrest and proactive sharing of information by state agencies are being upgraded.

According to a defence ministry spokesperson, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Chinar Corps, Lt Gen DP Pandey and Director General Police, Dilbag Singh, co-chaired a meeting of the Core Group at Badami Bagh Cantonment here on Friday to review the security situation in Kashmir.

Reviewing the intelligence inputs and security parameters of 2021, the Core Group, he said, asserted that reduction in infiltration, reduced militant incidents and recruitment, increased operations based on HUMINT, reduced collateral damage, no civil casualties in law and order situation, reduced SF casualties, increased arrest of militants and booking of OGWs last year point to effective conduct of joint operations and activities by intelligence and security agencies.

“There has been increased neutralization of Pakistani terrorists in last few weeks. The effort of the frontline soldiers and operatives of all agencies were acknowledged by all present,” he said.

The Core Group, the defence spokesperson said, discussed fresh strategies of the militant organizations and their handlers including use of Hybrid militant and targeting of soft targets.

“15 terrorists killed in 2021 were fresh names not on the security forces radar. The setting up of SIA and the increased booking by NIA is showing the impact of focused intelligence and investigation efforts,” he said.

He further added that these efforts have been effective in targeting drug, hawala and the OGWs networks.

The defence spokesperson also said that legal action on those willfully harbouring militants is being increased as the harbourers have direct involvement in militant activities.

According to the defence spokesperson, the officials in the meeting stated that the ceasefire has improved the security situation along the border, however, intelligence inputs of“terrorist launch pads and terrorist training activities” in Pakistan indicate the need to be alert along the Line of Control.

“On the Line of Control, late snow has kept the infiltration routes open for longer time, however effective domination has ensured decrease in overall infiltration including those from South of Pir Panjal. The vigil on the Line of Control against infiltration of men, drugs and weapons is continuing,” he said.

Sharing the challenge of propaganda of the nexus through internet and social media, the officials, as per the defence spokesperson said that sadly these efforts include propaganda to legitimize killing of Kashmiri civilians by the militants.

“The use of social media to spread disinformation is widespread and needs to be countered proactively by a joint effort. Efforts at synergy in exposing fake news, booking of radicals trying to foment unrest and proactive sharing of information by state agencies are being upgraded,” he said.

According to the defence spokesperson, the DGP and the Corps Commander commended the officials present on improved security indicators and appreciated that post the abrogation of Article 370, certain bench marks were set which have been achieved successfully for the restoration of peace and prosperity in the region.

The DGP, he said, stated that reduction in local militant recruitment is one parameter that all must approach with continued focus. In the meeting, he said, a special mention was made on the measures taken to minimize the collateral damage in operations despite risk to own soldiers.

Singh, as per the defence spokesperson, recommended continued efforts to give chance of surrenders to local militants to give them a second chance at living a fruitful life.

“The Corps Commander called upon all to treat 2022 as a transformative year where common man used to zero civilian casualties in 2021 should see 2022 as the year when things turned for good for the long term. He cautioned the trend of the terrorists to use urban areas with thick built up area for operations as they provide more avenues to hide or escape and puts higher onus in security forces to exercise restraint to avoid collateral damage,” he added.

According to the defence spokesperson, the Corps Commander expressed satisfaction at low casualties among the forces in 2021 by better intelligence-based operations and improved tactical drills.

“He called for continued efforts along with the civil society to counter the separatist propaganda and break the cycle of violence for long term peace in Kashmir,” he added.

Govt Blocks 35 Pak-Based YouTube Channels

Meanwhile, a report from New Delhi said the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has ordered the blocking of 35 YouTube channels and two websites which were running anti-India propaganda and spreading fake news 'in a coordinated manner'.

These websites and YouTube channels were being operated from Pakistan, I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra told a press conference on Friday.

Indian intelligence agencies were closely monitoring these social media accounts and websites and flagged them to the ministry for immediate action, he added.

'Vide five separate orders issued under rule 16 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the Ministry has ordered to block these Pakistan-based social media accounts and websites,' the ministry said in a statement later.

The orders were issued on Thursday.


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