Srinagar | : A two-day Army Management Studies Board (AMSB) Seminar on “The Symbiotic Relationship – Over Ground Workers (OGWs) and Conflict Economy in J&K” culminated at BB Cantt, Srinagar. The Seminar was attended by a galaxy of eminent personalities spanning the fields of security, academia, journalists, social activists and scholars on the subject from both within and outside Kashmir.
Second day of the seminar covered two sessions on new age OGW network and combating the OGW network. The seminar was opened with special address by Director General of Police, Shri Dilbagh Singh. He elaborated about OGWs, their different identities and highlighted that OGWs are everywhere but we can’t see them, they are young and old with no age/gender barrier from scholars, doctors, teachers, businessmen, lawyers; even a “Runner may be a Gunner”. These modules are being run by handlers siting across with modules not knowing each other’s identity and activities. Lt Gen AK Bhatt (Retd), ex Corps Commander Chinar Corps also enlightened the gathering with his views on combating OGW network based on his previous experiences. Each of the other Speakers which included Mr Raja Muneeb, Mrs Aarti Tikoo, Mr Mehraj Malik, Mr Wajahat Farooq, Ms Anika Mir, Dr Ayjaz Wani, Mr Syed Zeshan, Ms Mehar Rather and Mr Tauseef Raina spoke on global social media connections, network that runs narrative machinery, interplay between tanzeems, the assassination machinery to perpetuate terror, legal means to deal with OGWs and finally role of women and society in combating OGWs network. The deliberations through the course of seminar brought out the role of women and society in the OGW network and a need to employ multiple agency approach to identify numerous OGWs to include white collar and hybrid terrorists, and identified the challenges and to arrive at a concrete roadmap to dismantle the OGW network through a well-defined legal framework.
Lt Gen DP Pandey, GOC Chinar Corps in his closing remarks explained how the OGW network that has gained from conflict economy is working hard to perpetuate the cycle of violence. He shared recent examples where families were not even aware of their wards involvement in terrorism nor were they willing to accept that their family member was involved in any terrorism related activity – this shows the common man does not want to have any connection with the terrorists in any form. Community watch and deliberate actions to disincentive terrorism and terror support activities is route to enduring peace. He also brought out the importance of role of women in breaking the vicious cycle of violence. He highlighted that there were subtle signs of positive change in the society after recent candle light marches held in different parts of Kashmir to remember the locals including policemen killed in recent spate of terrorist attacks. He said, “It only shows that people have understood the futility of violence and are coming together as a society to deal with this menace themselves”. Societal censure of anyone linked with the cycle of violence is the path to peace.
The GOC Chinar Corps complimented all the speakers for their well-researched talks and candid opinions during the interactive sessions. He also complimented audience for insightful questions and how the youth conveyed intent to organize similar events in different parts of J&K. He conveyed his best wishes to citizens of Kashmir the New Year eve and wished a peaceful & prosperous 2022 for all Kashmiris.