Srinagar: Police on Monday said videos shared by militants on social media were part of “psychological warfare”, which is believed to attract more youths towards the militancy in Kashmir.
“Militants are indulging in psychological warfare by sharing their videos on social media, but we have taken measures to prevent it,” said inspector general of police SJM Gillani while addressing a press conference in Srinagar.
He said that there were about 200 militants active in the Valley at present, while at least 95-odd people have joined the militant ranks last year.
“The number of active militants presently is almost the same as it was last year,” he said.
He said that some people were deliberately trying to disturb normal activity in schools and colleges and were instigating students to protest.
“In the recent Handwara incident, where students staged a protest outside their college and pelted stones at a BSF camp, it has been found that some elements were luring students with money to instigate them,” he said.
He said that during the investigation into incidents of student protest, it has been found that some elements were deliberately trying to instigate students at new places on different pretexts to disturb normal academic activity.
He said 28 such incidents had happened since April 12, when the first such incident occured at Pulwama degree college, where students held an agitation and pelted army vehicles with stones.
Gillani, however, said that normal academic activity was going on in over 95 percent schools and colleges in Kashmir.
“Normal activity in all other schools and colleges will resume in the next few days,” he said.
Asked whether action would be taken against students arrested during protests, he said legal action would follow in cases of law and order problems.
“But we try our best, maximum students are counseled so as to stop them from indulging in stone pelting,” he said.
Appealing to parents to counsel their children, Gillani said that students should not indulge in disturbing normal activity in schools and colleges.
Gillani along all three Deputy inspectors generals of south, central and north Kashmir, said that active local and foreign militants of Hizbul Mujahideen and Laskhar-e-Toiba groups have been identified behind both recent and last year’s bank robberies in south Kashmir.
“Last year, we have registered four bank dacoity cases. This trend was started by militants from October-November last year. Recently two banks were looted by militants in a single day,” he said.
“We have identified these militants through CCTV footage and eyewitnesses during the investigation,” he said.
He said police would solve all these bank robbery cases by “arresting or neutralizing” these militants soon.
He said one foreign militant, Abu Ali, involved in one of the dacoity incidents, was killed recently in Budgam.
IGP said that killing of political workers by militants was another issue for police to tackle.
“Five killings of political workers including a district president of PDP have been registered from March this year. An OGW (over ground worker) who facilitated the killing of the district president and a lawyer who passed on information of the deceased’s movements to militants have also been arrested in this case,” he said.
He said these killings happen in “small” places of south Kashmir. “We have identified these killers, and all these cases will be solved by arresting or neutralising these militants,” he said.
Meanwhile, the IGP said that while there were certain problems in south Kashmir, the situation in central and north Kashmir was under control. “No such incident takes place in central or north Kashmir,” he said.
Asked about militants appearing at militant funerals, the IGP said that various measures had been taken to contain such incidents in south Kashmir.
On the social media ban, the IGP said that certain applications had been blocked for a period of one month. “We will assess the effects of that and will take a decision after that,” he said.
On the ban on TV channels, he said the banned channels had been running unauthorised.