Kashmir Indepth

Managed to plug local militant recruitment in Kashmir: J&K Police chief


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Srinagar, Sep 11 : Claiming to have killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba militant involved in various militant attacks including firing on a minor girl in Sopore, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said that Kashmir was very close to normalcy and security agencies have brought down local militant recruitment to “zero.”

Addressing press conference at police control room here, the DGP Singh, said that in an encounter at Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, security forces killed “dreaded Lashkar militant” who was identified as Asif Maqbool Bhat. “He was involved in many crime related activities including the recent one of firing at a family where a 30-month old baby girl was injured in Sopore,” the DGP said. He said that with the killing of Asif, “Sopore will heave a sigh of relief.”

Asked about the status of militancy in Kashmir, he said over the past few months in general and 40 days in particular, security forces have been able to plug the local militant recruitment. “No fresh recruitment has taken place since past few months including past 40 days,” he said.

On the overall situation in Kashmir in the wake of recent clampdown post Abrogation of Article 370, the DGP said that a total of 184 incidents of law and order were reported from various regions of the state in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370. “There was no major law and order situation any where in Kashmir and we were able to prevent the civilian killings in the Valley,” he said.
The DGP also said there are some incidents of militants threatening fruit dealers in south Kashmir against collecting fruits but police is aware about the situation and “our job is to facilitate the process and ensure that no one is able to harass them”.

“There have been no reports of any fresh local recruitment among the militant ranks. Some youth had been misled (in the past) and in a fit of anger gone astray, and we have been able to bring many of them back,” Singh said. He further said there are some reports of infiltration and “we recently saw two Pakistani terrorists apprehended by the Army in Gulmarg sector”.

On September 4, the Army said Pakistan is pushing infiltrators into Kashmir to carry out terrorist activities and create disturbance while playing video clips showing two Pakistani nationals associated with the Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) terror group — Mohammad Khalil and Mohammad Nazim of Rawalpindi — who were arrested in Gulmarg sector on August 21.

On the prevailing situation in the Valley, the police chief said, “Life is returning towards normalcy and people are going about their activities with school and offices open.” To a query that whether massive infiltration bid or bids have taken place since August 5, the DGP said that they are verifying the reports of infiltration attempts. “We are ascertaining the facts whether any successful bid has taken place. But one thing is sure that launch pads are full of militants who are ready to sneak in.”

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