New Delhi: Sensing that complacency and fatigue among troops in the Kashmir Valley could well have a cascading impact on the security scenario in the region the Centre is now working on a comprehensive incentive policy for the security forces giving them Out of Turn promotions (OTPs), cash incentives, enhanced career prospects and gallantry medals for eliminating designated terrorists as well as foiling major infiltration bids from across the border.
Even though as of now also incentives are offered to the troops operating in terrorist and Naxal infested areas but this is more discretionary in nature where recommendations are made by senior officers and eventually the proposal is cleared by the head of the force or in some cases even the concerned Ministry like Home or Defence depending on the case.
However, now a uniform policy is being planned by which if the troops on the ground execute any major operation they will be entitled to such incentives.
The uniform incentive policy thus aims to replace the existing discretionary procedures where a call is often taken by senior officers.
Following the terror attack on the Uri Army camp the Centre has been working on a multi-pronged strategy to avoid such incidents in future as it is believed that the lapses in this particular case may well have been on account of either complacency or sheer negligence and fatigue.
Senior security experts argue that troops from the para-military and Army operating in militant infested areas like the Kashmir Valley often have to put in long working hours without adequate rest or leave which often leads to increasing cases of stress and fatigue that in turn cause momentary lapse of concentration. This is one of the reasons why even incidents like the Uri attack also happen, a senior security official said.
Preliminary investigations into the Uri case have revealed that the outer cordon security wire was cut at two different places and the group of four militants came 150 meters inside the campus virtually unchallenged which is being seen as major lapse of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). The probe has also revealed that the troops had stored their weapons in tents and were waiting outside the washroom early morning in a long queue thus exposing themselves to the attack.
Sources said both the Ministries or Home and Defence feel that a uniform incentive policy will act as great morale booster and encourage the troops on the ground to perform better even in a high pressure situation.
“The incentive policy that we are planning to put in place will be across all ranks right from junior to middle and senior level officers. We feel this will act as a huge motivation for the personnel who will get encouraged to perform better even in a tense security scenario to which they are exposed all the time. Importantly, the incentives being offered will also impact the future career growth prospects of the troops as an outstanding entry would be made in their Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) which will impact their future promotions as well,” a senior Government official said.