29 militants hiding in upper reaches of south Kashmir: IGP
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir police said on Saturday that 29 foreign militants are active in South Kashmir but assured that the security forces are experienced enough to deal with them and wipe out militancy from whole of South Kashmir.
“There is a presence of foreign militants in the upper reaches of Kokernag, Tral and Khrew. There are about 29 foreign militants active in South Kashmir and we will neutralise them when they come down and our sources inform us (about them),” Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony of the CRPF jawan killed in an attack in Bijbehara area of Anantnag district on Friday.
Asked whether foreign militants are a bigger challenge or the local ones, the IGP said both are a challenge but the forces are experienced enough to deal with them.
“Foreign militants or locals both are a challenge even though foreigners are more trained. Our security forces, especially SOG boys, are well trained and have been working for the last 25 years and we have developed an expertise in dealing with them. What matters is the pinpoint information and once we get it, we will neutralise them,” he said.
Kumar said the number of militants in South Kashmir was more than the north but security forces have started anti-militancy operations in North Kashmir as well.
“But there are militants remaining in the south and it is our priority (to deal with them),” he said.
On a question about the recent militancy-related incidents in north Kashmir and whether the ultras had the upper hand there, the IGP said it was not like that.
“There was a perception that militants had an upper hand in the north because there were huge losses on our side in the first week of May, but it is not like that. There are lesser number of militants in north Kashmir but we will neutralise them soon,” he said.
Kumar said the security forces have achieved a huge success by wiping out Hizbul Mujahidden (HM) from Tral area of Pulwama district and the aim is to wipe out militancy from the whole of south Kashmir.
“Tral was known as an epicentre of militants since 1989 along with Sopore and Shopian. Tral is a difficult terrain and militants have always been there. HM is an old outfit which shelters every outfit. It is a huge success for the security forces to have wiped out the HM from Tral area and our endeavour will be to wipe out militancy from the whole of South Kashmir, he said.
Asked whether the security forces were focusing on neutralising Hizbul militants, the IGP said the forces do not pick and choose.
“It is not that we pick and choose the militants to neutralise them. When we get an input, we launch an operation and whichever militant is there, we neutralise them. There is no priority that we will neutralise only HM,” he said.
Asked about Friday’s attack in Bijbehara, Kumar said they have identified the attacker and he will face action soon.
“Some of our people were there, who are eyewitness, who have identified Zahid who was on a bike and fired indiscriminately from a pistol. We have registered an FIR against this militant by name and he will very soon be neutralised,” Kumar said. (PTI)