In the wake of recent IED blast, Army seeks vehicle papers in Pulwama


In the wake of recent IED blast, Army seeks vehicle papers in PulwamaSRINAGAR: The army has asked residents of Pulwama district of southern Kashmir to submit vehicle registration documents along with the vehicle owner’s photograph at the local army camps.

While the army has informally spread the word, the message is also being conveyed through masjids during Friday sermons.

Army officials called it a precautionary measure in the wake of the carfitted IED blasts in the valley and said it is not being forced on anyone.

“It is important that documents of all vehicles should be complete. There should be no unidentified vehicle whose registration number and registration papers don’t match. This is just a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident,” a senior army official told ET. “Nobody is forced to come to any army installation.”

A local from Tahab village of Pulwama told ET, “These are word-of-mouth instructions. We were asked to submit registration papers of our vehicles along with the photograph of owners. And a separate photograph of owner with the vehicle.”

Locals ET spoke with said they have also been asked to keep their garden lights on at night.

After the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani along with his two colleagues in southern Kashmir in 2016, the region–especially the districts of Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama— became the epicentre of militancy encounters and civilian protests.

In 2018, IEDs and car bombs returned to Kashmir Valley. The biggest attack in the last three decades took place on February 14 this year, when Aadil Ahmed Dar of Pulwama rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF convoy, killing 40 paramilitary troopers. He had bought the car—which had changed hands seven times since 2011— some time before the attack.

“It is normal process to update the records and people are okay with sharing these details. Nobody wants to get in unnecessary trouble,” another source in the army told ET.

The move to register cars would also help the armed forces to control the movement of over ground workers of various outfits, who often hire vehicles for their travel.

The armed forces started Operation All Out after 2016 to wipe out militancy in the state and 150 militants were killed in 2016, 220 militants were killed in 2017, 263 in 2018 and 110 in 2019 till now. In 2018, 191 locals joined various outfits, while as 80 have joined different groups till now and around 250 militants are still active in the Valley at the moment.