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IPS officer’s firsthand account of terrorists situation in India

Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray with Additional Director General of Police, Dr. Ramesh, (center), IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia and members of the Chamber. Picture taken at Consul Generl’s resident in Houston.

Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray with Additional Director General of Police, Dr. Ramesh, (center), IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia and members of the Chamber. Picture taken at Consul Generl’s resident in Houston.

by Manu Shah
Additional Director General of Police, Dr. Ramesh spent a good portion of his career cracking down on militants, leading anti-terrorist attacks, flushing out infiltrators and most importantly instituting rehabilitation programs that helped the Government “get to the youth before the terrorists got to them.”
At an event cohosted by the Indian Consulate and IACCGH, Dr. Ramesh opened up about his postings in hard core, volatile places like Kashmir and West Bengal and encounters with terrorists and militants in a career that spans almost 30 years. He had been invited as Keynote speaker at the India Global Conference in Denver and is visiting several cities including Houston to connect with the Indian diaspora here.Expressing his admiration and esteem for Dr. Ramesh, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray noted that “India has survived terrorism and emerged stronger for it and this is because of selfless and bold officers like Dr. Ramesh.”
A native of Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Ramesh is a 1988 batch West Bengal cadre IPS officer. While in the police force, he chalked up an MBA from IIM Kolkata,two PhD’s and is presently working on his third Doctorate.He almost lost his life in a counter insurgency encounter when a bomb exploded inches away from him but despite the heavy bleeding, continued to lead. He was awarded the Parakaram Award for his grit and bravery and such is his iron will and endurance that he can run nonstop for 25 kilometers.
Inspired by his freedom fighter grandfather and a mother who fostered a spirit of public service, Dr. Ramesh joined the Indian Police Service and in his own way, says, he converted it to “Indian People Service.” Presently, he heads the investigative wing of the Human Rights Commission in W. Bengal or as he describes it “helps the common man stand up to the might of the Government.”
In his postings in Kashmir and W. Bengal, Dr. Ramesh has seen and dealt with the many faces of terrorism. Terrorism, he stated, “ebbs and flows” and is dependent on good governance of the area and change in governments in neighboring countries.He explained that the borders primarily see“low intensity conflict” and despite reports to the contrary there is nothing to be alarmed about.”
Having interrogated terrorists, Dr. Ramesh pinned extreme poverty as the cause that drove the youth to terrorism especially in areas like Multan. He also studied their psychology and realized that the majority of them are victims of depression and lack a sense of self-worth. Such individuals were targeted by terrorist recruiters and there was no going back for them as their families were threatened with dire consequences. The only way out for a terrorist, according to Dr. Ramesh, was “death” – either by security forces or in a jihadi (religious) attack.
One particular experience that stuck with him was of an 11 year old Kashmiri boy who was paid to throw a hand grenade at a CRPF camp. The boy was tracked down and sent to a juvenile home but Dr. Ramesh sidestepped the judgement and sent him to a neighboring school “so he wouldn’t become a terrorist.” In a happy ending, the boy is today a police recruiter.
During his postings, Dr. Ramesh also stepped up efforts to combat terrorist activities with several rehabilitative steps such as recruitment programs by the Police Department, a Patrolling without Petrol for Peace Walk and job creation programs.
Dr. Ramesh who considers freedom fighter Chandrashekhar Azad as “the greatest of all patriots” is no less one himself.


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