Kashmir Indepth News
Srinagar, Jan 23: Even as the encounter show no signs of decline in the first month of new year, the Jammu and Kashmir Police wednesday asserted that a new strategy was in place to ensure no residential house was damaged till situation terms extremely dangerous for the forces. ”
“All the encounters since January 1 this year took place in orchards or after militant hide-outs were busted in fields or orchards. That is why residential houses suffered no damage in these gunfights,” Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Munir Khan told Kashmir Indepth.
He said that police will ensure to avoid the residential houses where in militants take shelter or refuge after being zeroed in by the forces.
“We never want to damage the residential house. That will happen in the very extreme situations. I would say that would happen when water would flow over the head,” the ADGP said. “Our endeavor is to eliminate militants in most professional manner without any collateral damage. Directions have been issued to officer to avoid damage or blowing up of residential houses and to give a chance to militants to come out and surrender.”
According to rights activists, at least 121 residential houses were damaged in year 2018 that saw the killing of 250 militants of various militant outfits that include Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Al-Badr, and Ansaar Gazwatul Hind. The killing of 250 militants is highest ever in a decade.
In January 2019, 11 encounters took place and majority of them occurred in open fields. The latest two encounters are a case in point—in Hapatnar area of Charar-e-Shareef, militants took positions in dense forest and after 12 hours three militants were killed without any collateral damage, according to police. Similarly, police said in the Heff village of south Kashmir’s Shopian district, militants engaged forces in an open field after which three militants were killed. “Here also there was no collateral damage and militant hide-out was in the orchard,” police said.