“If you think that cost my job, you are probably correct. I have no regrets at all,” Vaid said.
“It (the police kidnappings) did create panic in the force at that time. Some SPOs did resign. But you have to understand that J&K Police is facing this problem since early 1990s. They have braved such situations. Besides, I am no more in police. So beyond a point, I cannot comment,” Vaid added.
“It is government’s prerogative. I took it positively.”
However, the former top cop was not provided with any reason for his transfer.
“No, nothing,” he said, “I learned about my transfer at 11:30 in the night. I took it positively. Though instead of passing the order in the night, it could have been issued in the morning.”
Vaid is now serving as the state’s Transport Commissioner.
Terming the kidnapping of policemen as unfortunate episode, he said that the families of policemen are caught up in difficult situation.
“The decision to release Riyaz Naikoo’s father and other militants didn’t come from Governor’s office. Whatever happened that day, was done only on basis of my decisions.”
Vaid, a 1986 batch IPS officer, took charge as DGP two months after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016.
“I took charge as DGP Law and Order on September 10, 2016, about two months after the Burhan incident. The Valley was in turmoil. That was a trying time. Some areas were even cut off from our reach. There was a huge law and order problem, particularly in south Kashmir areas. Lot of stone-pelting incidents were taking place and roadblocks had been setup. It was a challenge for the police to be able to visit every village. It took some time, but I think it was done systematically with the assistance of all the forces, particularly, the Army, CRPF and the SSB. Slowly, things started shaping up. But the biggest challenge was local boys joining militancy. That was a painful thing to have happened, one of the most hurtful things I saw during my tenure,” Vaid said.
To another question about massive arrests during his tenure and accusations of police highhandedness, Vaid said: “Yes, we arrested people in thousands. It was necessary to work like an administrative mercenary. Otherwise, the situation would have been even worse today. Massive radicalization took place during the time. Militants started appearing in public. There was a parade on August 14 by militants. Such were the days. Today, people may not remember how we managed it.”
Vaid said that “Operation All Out” has been a success however said that local militant recruitment increased.
“The number has been increasing. It rose in 2017 and further up in 2018. But the situation is complicated and needs to be handled in multi-pronged manner. We have no option but to kill militants,” he said.