Fourfold increase in four years
Srinagar: The number of active militants in Kashmir valley has reached 300 for the first time in a decade, sources in the state police said.
Senior officers looking after the counter insurgency operations in Kashmir also said that Kashmiri militants outnumber foreign insurgents, a reversal of the trend seen in previous years.
“In 2014, the militancy was at the lowest ebb in Kashmir,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.
“There were 80 militants active in Kashmir. The composition was that 60 militants were from Pakistan while as 20 were locals”.
However, in 2017, the scene has completely changed, he said.
“This year the militants who are active in Kashmir have touched the 300 mark figure. It is the highest in a decade.”
“The composition has also changed dramatically. The figure is now 80 percent Kashmiri militants while the rest are non –locals. There are five militants who recently joined from the docile district Budgam. The bulk of the militants are from south Kashmir. Three militants are from Srinagar as well,” officials added.
Director General of Police, S P Vaid refused to talk on the issue. “We have not counted the militants. When we will do, we will tell you” Vaid said.
Officials from the Army’s Chinar Corps said put number of active militants in Kashmir at 240 to 250.
“Our information so far reveals out of this number 150 are locals,” the army officials said on the condition of anonymity.
According to home ministry figures produced in Rajya Sabha in November 2016, there were nearly 200 militants active in the whole state of Jammu and Kashmir.
“As per available inputs, nearly 200 terrorists are active in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir had said.