Six top commanders among 22 killed in last 2 weeks, says DGP
Jammu: Director General of Police Dilbag Singh on Monday said 88 militants, including a number of top commanders, were killed and 280 others arrested so far in Jammu and Kashmir this year.
Twenty-two of the militants, including six top commanders, were killed in the past two weeks, dealing a major blow to Pakistan and its agencies that are making all-out efforts to escalate violence by pushing a large numbers of militants from across the border, Singh said.
“Our strategy to counter-Pakistan is two-pronged, which is to stop infiltration along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) and tackle those who are active in the hinterland, besides stopping local youth from joining terror ranks. Thankfully, we are successful to a large extent in this endeavour,” he told reporters here.
Referring to the killing of nine Hizbul Mujahideen militants in two back-to-back successful operations in the past 24 hours in Shopian district of south Kashmir, he said the effort of the security forces is to control and wipe out militancy from Jammu and Kashmir.
“The 22 terrorists, especially the six top commanders who were killed in nine major operations in the past two weeks, have created fear among people.
“They have a long list of crimes to their credit like killing of innocent civilians after dubbing them as informers and attacks on security forces, entering homes of people forcibly. Their elimination will bring a big relief to people in south Kashmir,” he said.
Of these 22 militants, 18 were killed in south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian alone, while three infiltrators were killed along the LoC in Nowshera sector and one more in Kalakote sector of Rajouri district of Jammu region, the DGP said.
Complimenting police and other security agencies for the successful anti-militancy operations, he said so far 88 militants were killed in 36 anti-militancy operations, while 40 militant associates who were either openly working for militants or were part of their support system were arrested.
In addition, he said 240 over ground workers (OGW) of militants who were instigating people to create law and order problems, providing logistic support and creating hindrance in conduct of search operations and arranging hideouts for militants were also arrested and some of them were booked under the Public Safety Act.
The police chief said all the security forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir are working on “mission peace” to provide better atmosphere to people who have suffered a lot over the years due to Pakistan-sponsored militancy.
“We are working overtime for the establishment of peace,” he said and lauded the forces for scuttling an attempt by militants to carry out a Pulwama-type car bomb attack on the security forces last month.
A 50 kg improvised explosive device (IED) inside a car, jointly prepared by terror outfits Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), was recovered in Pulwama on May 28, thus a major Pulwama-type attack was averted, he said referring to the bombing of a CRPF convoy in February last year, which left over 40 CRPF personnel dead in Pulwama district.
“The IED was fabricated by (JeM militant) Fouji Bhai, who was also known among the terrorist ranks at Idris and Abdul Rehman, and was killed in one of the recent encounters. They attempted to strike with the car bomb on the highway twice but were unsuccessful both the times due to our alertness,” Singh said.
He said intelligence inputs revealed that JeM militants are planning more such attacks and accordingly “all the forces have been put on alert”.
In response to another question, he said the militants in the valley are facing shortage of weapons as those joining their ranks are being provided pistols and grenades instead of assault rifles but attempts are being made continuously to smuggle arms from across the border.
Recently, police recovered 22 weapons from the border district of Kupwara after they were smuggled through the Keran sector and were supposed to be distributed among new militant outfit The Resistance Front (TRF) and other groups.
He said the Chenab Valley districts of Ramban, Doda and Kishtwar in Jammu region have almost been cleared of militancy once again.
“The Chenab Valley has reached a stage where it will be declared terrorism free-shortly. No militant presence is in Ramban, one terrorist namely Masood from Doda is active in Kashmir, while three terrorists — Riyaz, Jehangir Saroori, Mudasir — are active in Kishtwar and are on the run. We are hopeful of clearing the area of terrorism,” the DGP said.