In a significant move, Jammu and Kashmir state police chief, Kuldeep Khuda issued an order making it mandatory for all police and security force vehicles in the state to carry registration plates.
Ever since the rise of militancy in the valley in 1989, police and security force vehicles being used for anti-militancy operations plied without registration plates.
Lately, however, there have been increasing complaints regarding hit-and-run cases by vehicles without the registration plates, and also complaints of extortion by gunmen using such vehicles.
"We have issued strict instructions that no vehicle belonging to the state police and security forces shall be allowed to ply on the roads without proper registration plates," Khuda said.
However, independent analysts interpret the move as a step to beef up the security for the VVIP's in the state, which has been prompted by the recent assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
These analysts believe that more stricter security measures are in the pipeline for state politicians and high-ranking officers, particularly in view of the assembly elections due in 2008.