B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, a 1987 batch IAS officer was central to Amit Shah’s Mission Kashmir. He was posted to the state in third week of June 2018 as new Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir to begin the preparations for abolition of Article 370. He has earlier worked with PMO as joint secretary and enjoyed the confidence of PM Modi and other top officials in the government.
As per a report by Economic Times, other members of the core team included, “Law & Justice Secretary Alok Srivastav, Additional Secretary Law (Home) R.S. Verma, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and his select team of Kashmir Division.”
Subrahmanyam was chosen to lead the operation in the state because he had previous experience in the state of Chhattisgarh where he led the crackdown on Maoist insurgency. “The reason is that the government now wants to focus more on resolving the Kashmir issue… With the series of meetings that were held after Amit Shah took over as home minister, it appears that Kashmir is on top of the government’s priority list and an expert on the issues in Kashmir is more likely to be picked for the post of home secretary,” told a government source to ThePrint when the talks about appointment of Subrahmanyam as chief secretary of the state was going on.
Subrahmanyam is a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and has management degree from London Business School. He has experience as director in the union commerce ministry and private secretary to the Prime Minister from 2004-2008. He was also with World Bank as senior advisor from 2008 to 2012.
In Kashmir he was appointed J&K Chief Secretary in June last year. His appointment to the post gave the signal that the Modi government is firm to resolve the Kashmir issue in upcoming months as he was credited with leading “toughest war against” Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh. “He is being sent to Kashmir with a specific purpose. Some more appointments will be finalised in the next few days,” told an officer to ThePrint at the time of his appointment last year.
In addition to appointment of Subrahmanyam, the massive troop buildup in the state to preventive detention of susceptible disrupters, the Modi government has again given an indication of its effective and diligent planning. On the ground, the execution of the plan was essentially led by Subrahmanyam only.
Modi government had also imposed precautionary restriction around sensitive areas. The official statement of the government read “Restrictions imposed in Srinagar. Modi Government has imposed restrictions under section 144 CrPC in District Srinagar with effect from Midnight 5th August 2019 which shall remain in force till further orders. As per the order there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed. There will be a complete bar on holding any kind of public meetings or rallies during the period of operation of this order. Identity cards of essential services officials will be treated as movement passes wherever required. However, there is no curfew in place as reported in a section of media.”
#JammuAndKashmir: Govt imposes restrictions under Section 144 of CrPC in Srinagar and some other districts with effect from midnight last night. According to an order, there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions in Srinagar district shall remain closed. pic.twitter.com/SZakaHcpLX
— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) August 4, 2019
Several Leaders of the Kashmir valley including Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah who were actively resorting to fear mongering and fueling rumours, were also placed under preventive dentition considering the security concern in the region, mobile and internet services were also partially suspended in the region.
Jammu & Kashmir: Mobile internet services partially suspended in Kashmir. pic.twitter.com/6IyyCVBhHX
— ANI (@ANI) August 4, 2019
J-K: Mufti questions alleged 'house arrest' of leaders, says their voices are being muzzled
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) August 4, 2019
It was the flawless execution of Subrahmanyam which made the unprecedented move possible in a very short time. The efficiency with which he handled the situation in Kashmir and prevented any flare ups in the valley while ensuring that essential services remain unobstructed has earned him much laurels. In fact, according to media reports, Subrahmanyam is already being considered for the coveted post of Home Secretary.