Around 170 militants have been gunned down by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir this year and these include a majority of the top commanders active in the valley, the state’s Director General of Police (DGP) Dr S P Vaid said on Wednesday.
The eliminated militants included Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s nephew Tallah Rashid, JeM’s Mehmood Bhai, Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Abu Dujana and Waseem Shah as well as Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Ahmad Bhat of the Hizbul Mujahideen, he said. “About 170 militants have been eliminated this year only (in Kashmir). This is a record going by the last ten years. Except 4 to 5 commanders, other top militants have been eliminated,” Vaid said.
Security forces, including the Army, CRPF and police have fiercely intensified operations to hunt top terrorists in Kashmir, he said. “There is tremendous success as far as ‘Operation All-out’ is concerned. The credit goes to the officers and jawans who work in the field”, the police chief said.
He said there was a very good coordination between the police, Army and other security agencies and claimed that “most of the top leadership of Hizbul and LeT had been neutralised” except a few odd ones. He said that recently a new phenomenon of suicide attacks by JeM was observed. “The JeM has been instrumental in carrying out suicide attacks, which is a new trend. This is an attempt from across the border to bolster the sagging morale of terrorists,” he said.
Asked about infiltration of militants from across the border, he said the “Army was doing a great job in checking infiltration”. “We had a lot of success on the borders. But since it is a difficult border, some people are managing to enter. But in the hinterland, they are getting neutralised,” Vaid said.
He said that snowfall takes place around December and passes start closing so there was an effort from across the border to push as many terrorists before that. “We will continue with our operations and very soon peace will return to Kashmir. Already much (has been done). I am hopeful that things will improve further,”he added.
On police personnel joining militancy, he said that two such cases had come to his notice. “We are looking into the causes. There are various reasons. After all the police is also part of the same society and you can get influenced. You live in same society, same villages. It is not a serious challenge. We have taken steps to safeguard the police force from being targeted by terrorists,” he said.