Militancy will be wiped out soon: Hasnain

300 militants still operating in Valley

Outgoing General Officer Commanding Chinar Corps, Lt. Gen Syed Atta Hasnain addresses a joint press conference along with his successor Lt. Gen Om Prakash in Srinagar on Friday.
Outgoing General Officer Commanding Chinar Corps, Lt. Gen Syed Atta Hasnain addresses a joint press conference along with his successor Lt. Gen Om Prakash in Srinagar on Friday.
Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, June 8: Outgoing General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, Lt General Syed Atta Hasnain today said that it is impossible to bring infiltration to zero level in Kashmir valley but hoped that militancy will be wiped out from the State soon.
General Hasnain said that militants are trying to regroup in South Kashmir especially Pulwama district adding that militancy would be wiped out soon from the entire Valley. Hasnain said that 300 militants are operating in the Kashmir valley adding that most of them are operating in North Kashmir.
Addressing media persons during his final media interaction, General Hasnain said that the situation can never be predicted in Kashmir. He said the militant and separatist groups are on look-out to foment trouble in Kashmir adding that their designs would be foiled.
“There is no force in the world that can bring the infiltration to zero level. Indian Army is one of the most disciplined and professional armies of the world. But despite this, it is never possible for us to bring the graph of infiltration level to zero level. Like the previous years, some incidents of infiltration have taken place but the number of attempts has definitely come down,” said General Hasnain.
He said that some incidents of infiltration have remained un-reported adding that the infiltration attempts made in strategically important areas get coverage in the media. “Usually the infiltration that takes place in the Uri sector gets media coverage while as occurrence of such incidents at other places do not find a place in media. We established contact with militants at some other places and even yesterday an infiltration attempt was foiled.”
The General said that people from across the border always want to push in the militants when the winter season is in progress. He said that infiltration usually takes place in April and May adding that this year as the winter has been prolonged the attempts of infiltration may take place in June as well. He said Sopore, Baramulla, Kupwara and other areas of North Kashmir have direct impact of the infiltration attempts since they fall in vicinity of the Line of Control.
“We have reduced the night patrolling in the areas of South Kashmir and this may be the reason that militancy has been revived to some extent in South Kashmir especially in the Pulwama district. We are working in collaboration with Jammu and Kashmir Police and over the next two weeks we would be able to wipe militants who have come up yet again,” said Hasnain.
The General said that the situation in Kashmir is always changing adding that nobody could predict the situation prevailing over here with absolute uncertainty. He said the subversive elements want to create chaos, confusion and uproar in the Kashmir valley by fomenting trouble.
“Situation in Kashmir has always been dynamic and like the weather over here the political situation can any time take a turn. This is more so in summer since the activities pick up while as there are very few activities during the winter season. This time around the subversive elements want to create trouble in Kashmir but we would ensure that designs of such elements are foiled,” said Hasnain.
He said that the decision of revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act has to be taken by the political establishment adding that there is no role for Army in this whole context.
“Decision about the likely revocation of AFSPA is a political policy issue and it is not prudent for me to say anything further on this topic. But it has been a practice to take views of the different stake holders on important political policy issues. The decision has to be pragmatic one based on the situation existing on the ground,” said Hasnain.
He said that militants have changed their strategy and they are using cars for planting bombs. He said the car bomb blast at Bijbehara along with the recovery of explosives laden car from Chanapora area in Srinagar are significant reminders about this development on the militant front.
“There are enough explosives with the militants operating in the Kashmir valley although the weaponry is less. It is quite possible that the militants may strengthen their ranks in Kashmir in the months to come. As such it is important to notice their movements and take steps that would defeat their designs,” said Hasnain.
He played down the resignation of Panchs and Sarpanchs in the South Kashmir saying that the issue should not be blown out of proportions. He said the State Government is quite aware about the fact adding that some powers have been given to the Panchs and Sarpanchs. He said militants are threatening the Panchs and Sarpanchs to tender resignation so that the Municipal polls slated to be held in September and October are deferred.
Hasnain said that probe in the cases of mistaken identity at Liser-Rafiabad and Maidan Chogal-Handwara is heading in the right direction. He said both the magisterial probe and the Army probe have almost been completed adding that the process would be completed over the next two months.
Hasnain said that there are no plans to cut down the size of Army in less militancy hit areas like Ganderbal. He said four militants have been killed in two encounters in the Ganderbal district in the recent past. He said Ganderbal has a strategic importance as it is the gateway to the Ladakh division and also that it acts as a base camp for Amarnath yatra via Baltal route.
Sharing his views, GOC designate Lt. Gen Om Prakash said that he would carry on the work started by General Hasnain. He said the Army believed in organizational matters and decisions and not on the personality of a person heading a particular unit, brigade or corps.
Lt. Gen Prakash has already worked in Jammu and Kashmir. He has commanded a division at Rajouri, worked at the Siachen brigade and Nagrota based 16 Corps from time to time. He was commissioned as an officer in the Indian Army in 1976 and belonged to the Kumaon regiment.


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