Active militants down to less than 200 in 3 decades: IGP
JAMMU, Dec 30: Three militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad including two foreigners were killed and a soldier martyred in two separate overnight encounters in Southern districts of Anantnag and Kulgam taking the number of militants killed in these gun battles to 6.
An official said that during the past 24-hrs, two anti-militancy operations were carried out in twin districts of South Kashmir resulting in elimination of six militants of JeM.
“The slain militants include two foreigners who were involved in the attack on police bus at Zewan killing three policemen and injuring 11 years,” the official said.
He said that the first encounter took place in Nowgam, Dooru area of Anantnag, where a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 19RR and 164Bn CRPF last evening. Click here to watch video
“During the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the official said, adding that “In the initial exchange of fire, four security forces personnel including a policeman received gunshot injuries. They were evacuated to hospital for treatment of their injuries. However, one soldier succumbed.”
Briefing the media persons at Wuzur,Qazigund Army camp, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said that in the encounter, three militants of JeM were killed. “They were identified as Sultan alias Rayees alias Mavia (a foreigner), Nisar Ahmad Khanday, a resident of Dudwangan, Kapran and Altaf Ahmad Shah, a resident of Nathipora, Dooru,” he said.
He said that Altaf and foreign militant Sultan alias Rayees alias Mavia along with another militant Suhail Rather were involved in the Zewan, Srinagar attack in which three policemen were martyred and 11 others injured.
The IGP Kashmir said another operation was launched in Mirhama, Kulgam. “A joint cordon was laid by police, Army’s 9RR and 18 battalion CRPF in the area,” he said.
“During the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, three militants of JeM were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” the IGP said, adding that the slain were identified as Shahid alias Shahzaid resident of Pakistan (a foreign militant), Muhammad Shafi Dar, resident of Tral and Uzair Ahmad, a resident of Mirhama.
He said that slain militant Shahid was listed among the top most wanted militants operating in J&K while as the other two killed militants were also categorized ones linked with JeM.
He said that huge cache of arms and ammunition including two M-4 rifles, and 04 AK-47 rifles were also recovered from the sites of encounters.
Kumar said that for the first time in the past 30 years of militancy in Kashmir, the number of active militants in the Valley has come down to less than 200 while the number of local militants active is just 86.
The IGP Kashmir said that the rise in encounters doesn’t mean that militancy has increased as it was totally otherwise. “For the first time in the past 30 years of militancy in Kashmir, the number of active militants has come down to less than 200. It is also for the first time that the number of local active militants is 86 only,” he added.
Kumar said that this year out of 128 local militants who joined militancy, of which 73 were killed, 17 were arrested and only 39 are active only.
Speaking on the occasion, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Srinagar-based Army’s 15 Corps Lieutenant General D P Pandey while replying to a query that of late, foreign militants are also getting killed, said that it was because they are coming out of their hide-outs to carry out operations as local militants are refusing to attack forces due to their own challenges.
“As the foreigners would come out of their hide-outs, they will be killed,” he said in the past five days, 11 militants were killed and in past 24 hours, six militants were eliminated.
GOC Pandey said that local militant recruitment has drastically come down as this year only 128 to 130 locals joined militancy compared to 180 last year.