Srinagar: Asserting that Lashkar-e-Toiba group active in Hajin belt has been completely decimated, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, JS Sandhu said on Sunday that a total of 190 militants have been killed in Kashmir this year.
“We have killed around 190 terrorists in Kashmir this year in 2017. Out of this number, 110 terrorists were killed in the hinterland. The rest were killed along the Line of Control (LOC),” Sandhu said.
The GOC was addressing a jam packed conference inside the 15 Corps. He was flanked by GOC victor force BS Raju, Director General of Police SP Vaid, and Inspector General (IG) of Police Munir Khan.
“Out of the 110, the local terrorists killed in the hinterland numbered at 80 while as 66 were foreign terrorists,” he added.
He said the successful operations across Kashmir have led to “remarkable change” on the ground.
“The agitations have been brought under control due to concerted efforts,” Sandhu said.
He said that there were around 200 militants still active in Kashmir.
“Out of this number, 110 to 120 are local,” he said.
Giving details about the operation in north Kashmir’s Hajin area during which six militants and one air force commando were killed, the GOC said that the area has been the focus of government forces for a long time this year.
“The terrorists here resorted to daring attacks. They killed Rashid Billa, Muzaffar Natta and Ramzan Parray besides creating a reign of fear,” Sandhu said. “The renewed strategy to counter militants was launched in September this year. We carried out daily operations. We also inducted Special Forces into the area for tracing the terrorists”.
He said finally the army, police and CRPF managed to zero-in on the militants in Chandergeer area of Hajin.
“They were hiding in a house at Chandergeer, Hajin, for the past three days. During the encounter we eliminated six terrorists,” he said.
The GOC said that the six-member Lashkar module led by Mehmood Bhai was eliminated.
“You can say now the Hajin group of LeT has been decimated,” Sandhu said.
The dead militants include the son of number two of Lashkar, Abdul Rehman Maki, and the nephew of Zaki-ur-rehman Lakhvi, Osama Jungi.
Director General of Police SP Vaid said, “We have to free Kashmir Valley from militancy, violence and drugs.”