Militancy, not ‘law and order’, challenge for govt forces in north Kashmir

Militancy, not ‘law and order’, challenge for govt forces in north Kashmir
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Srinagar: Militancy in north Kashmir is going to be a “little on the rise”, but “law and order” will remain under control this year, according to the prognosis of top security officials.
A government official who attended the recent meeting of top police officers and officers of other security agencies with General Officer Commanding (GOC) Chinar Corps, Lt General AK Bhatt, told Kashmir Reader that the participants in the meeting agreed that militancy in north Kashmir “will remain as it is.”
“But, at the same time, the top officers were of the view that militancy-related incidents will show a slight upward trend this year compared to the previous one,” the official said.
He said that security officers gave the figure of 80 militants as being active in north Kashmir.
“Except Sopore, all the north Kashmir police districts are border districts. They are major infiltration routes and there is militant presence in all of them,” the official said. “This year, about 20 militants have been successful in infiltrating the heavily fortified Line of Control (LoC).”
He further said that despite the killing of five militants, including a Lashkar-e-Toiba commander, Mehmood Bhai, militancy had not been wiped out of Hajin (in Bandipora district).
“Militants have come back to Hajin. They have again established contact with the over-ground workers and are present in the area,” he said, conveying what was said in the meeting.
The official said that militancy in north Kashmir is dominated by “foreigners”, unlike in south Kashmir where most militants are locals.
“In north Kashmir, the ratio of foreigners to local militants is 80:20, while in south Kashmir it is 20:80,” he said.
The official said it came to fore in the meeting that about 15 locals have joined militancy this year in north Kashmir.
“The officers in the meeting claimed that they have brought back 12 youths who were about to join militancy,” he said.
Regarding law-and-order problems in north Kashmir, the participants in the meeting said they will “remain under control”, as had been the case in 2017. “The officers did not project law and order as a challenge in the coming months. They also deliberated upon ways to conduct operations so that collateral damage is minimised,” the official informed.
The Srinagar-based army spokesman had earlier said about this meeting, “The aim of this review of security situation was to strengthen the synergy among all agencies engaged in counter militancy operations, which has resulted in elimination of a large number of militants with minimum collateral damage in recent times.”
He also said that north Kashmir, once the hub of foreign militants, has been turned around to a relatively stable security environment, due to joint efforts of security forces and seamless cooperation and coordination among them.