Refrain from wearing army-pattern dresses: Police to civilians in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir

Police in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir has appealed to civilians to refrain from wearing combat or army-pattern dresses besides advising shopkeepers not to sell such clothing as terrorists camouflage themselves in army uniforms to carry out their evil designs. It also asked the youth in the hilly district to use social media to spread awareness and start a campaign to prevent misuse of the army uniform and equipment. The general public is appealed to refrain from wearing army-pattern or combat dresses while the shopkeepers are advised not to sell combat dresses or army uniform, as anti-national elements or militants use such dress to pretend themselves as security personnel in order to carry out their evil designs, the Kishtwar police said in a statement. However, it said traders and shopkeepers interested in selling army uniforms are advised to approach the local police stations for establishing their business units in approved areas only. The youth is also exhorted to use social media to spread awareness and start a campaign to prevent misuse of army uniform and equipment so that militants or anti-national elements may not take advantage of such dresses which could lead to major security lapse, the statement said. The district, which falls in the Jammu region and had been declared terrorism-free about a decade ago, was rattled by the killing of state secretary of the BJP, Anil Parihar, and his brother, Ajeet Parihar, on November 1 last year. On April 9 last year, senior RSS leader, Chanderkant Sharma, and his security guard were killed inside a health centre in the district. Besides these killings, terrorists also snatched the service rifle of a policeman in the district on March 8, days before police circulated pictures of seven wanted terrorists and announced a cash reward and a job for anyone providing information leading to their arrest or killing. Inspector General of Police, Jammu, M K Sinha recently said at least 10 local militants – eight belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen and two affiliated with Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) – were active in the district. The district witnessed two encounters between militants and search parties in the Marwah area on May 31 and the Keshwan forest on June 21. While two special police officers were injured in the brief Marwah gunfight, the militants managed to escape after another brief encounter in the Keshwan forest, though one of them was believed to have got injured.