Srinagar: Maintaining law and order following the death of Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani in September despite Pakistan’s instigation was the biggest achievement of Police in 2021, a top police official said on Friday.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar also said the killing of the maximum top commanders of various militant outfits as well as no strike calls by Hurriyat were the other main achievements of the force in the Valley in 2021.
“The biggest achievement has been the burial management of Geelani. We were preparing for the last 10 years. We were under tremendous tension. Pakistan and separatists here (in Kashmir) were preparing for mobilising people, taking out protests.
“(But), there was no stone-pelting, no one was injured. The biggest contribution was of the people who cooperated with us,” Kumar told reporters at a press conference here.
Listing out the achievements of the J-K Police in 2021, he said 171 militants were killed, including 19 Pakistanis, in the year.
Eighty-two militants or militant associates were arrested, 597 over-ground workers (OGWs) were also arrested. About 127 rifles and 167 pistols were recovered, the IGP said.
The security forces also recovered or destroyed 11 IEDs and busted 10 militant hideouts, he said.
Kumar said about 168 militants are active in the Valley — 85 local and 83 foreigners — which is almost the same proportion and has happened for the first time in the recent years.
In north Kashmir, 65 militants are active which includes 53 FTs (foreign militants). In central Kashmir, 16 including seven FTs, and in the south, 87 including 23 FTs, are active, he said.
The number of security forces personnel killed in 2021 was 57, but only 29 were killed in the militancy-related violence in Kashmir, Kumar said.
This includes nine JKP personnel, he added.
“I am pained as Kashmir police chief that this year more policemen were killed in my tenure. But, at the same time, I am happy that all the cases of attacks on security forces have been solved, except one in Bandipora,” he said.
Kumar said last year, 167 youths had joined militancy, while this year it was 128.
Out of 128, 30 were killed within a month of their joining, he added.
Pointing to the law and order situation, he said while 147 law and order incidents took place in 2020, it was 64 in 2021.
“This even as there has been instigation from mainstream politicians, Hurriyat on little things by spreading rumours. But, I want to give credit to the general public here as they did not allow the law and order to deteriorate,” he said.
Kumar said 34 civilians — 21 local and six outsiders — were killed by militants this year in the valley.
Among the 21, seven were political workers, he said, adding all such cases have been solved.
He, however, said during his tenure as the IGP Kashmir, not a single civilian was killed in law and order incident.
Only one innocent civilian killing took place near the encounter sites, Kumar said.
In 2021, 9,227 persons were taken into preventive detention, 438 cases under UA(P)A were registered and 458 persons were under custody or were arrested, he said.
He said security forces were successful in making the visits of more than 300 MPs, around 75 ministers, President Ram Nath Kovind, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Supreme Court judges and VVIPs from other states to J&K as incident-free.
Kumar, however, said there are many challenges for the security forces in 2022 which included the prevention of policemen from becoming soft targets of militants.
Narcotics, cyber crime are the other challenges, he added.
The IGP said Hybrid’ militants was another challenge for the security apparatus in the valley.
We will focus on technology, analyse social media. So far, we have identified 25 persons as Hybrid militants. It will remain a focus, he stressed.
Kumar said the forces will try to motivate, using families, the less threatened youth including those who are Hybrid militants, to surrender to come back to the mainstream.
“We try to make the militants surrender, but if they do not, then we will arrest or neutralise them in encounters…We have put on hold many operations just to provide an opportunity to youth to surrender.
“Police does not need to fight the militancy by killing the militants. We will use every modus operandi to neutralise a militant which includes, surrender, arrest etc,” he said. PTI