257 Militants Killed In 2018: DGP

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SRINAGAR — Director general of police, Dilbag Singh, Monday said that despite the elimination of over 257 militants in counter-insurgency operations across the state in 2018, around 260 to 300 are still active in Kashmir Valley.

“Since its Pakistan-sponsored militancy, they (Pakistan) keep trying to replenish the numbers of militants and this year, infiltration was sizeable. Despite neutralisation of over 257, the figures of remaining active militants in the Valley could be 260 to 300,” he said in response to a query during a press conference on Monday.

The government forces including the army, state police, the Border Security Force, and the Central Reserve Police Force have so far killed 257 militants this year in Jammu and Kashmir, much higher than the total count of 213 in 2017, he said.

The DGP also said that forces have initiated several measures to strengthen border grid and in the hinterland and hoped that will be able to get a grip over militancy in the next year.

To former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s allegations of harassment of a family of a militant by police in Jammu, he said that the incident had come to his notice.

“We will look into it but there are always two facets of an incident. When the matter pertains to militancy, a probe becomes indispensable. Otherwise, there will be no headway and when probes are conducted, such allegations also crop up but if there was excess on the part of police, we will take action,” he said.

Singh also said that it depends upon how things pertaining to a probe concerned with militancy are looked at.

“It is a very thin line. It has to be seen whether you are encroaching upon personal liberty and at the same time, can you do your duty without asking questions but certainly there has to be some balance. I know that a militant’s sister was detained but we haven’t come across reports that she was beaten up,” he said.

Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday visited south Kashmir’s militancy-hit Pulwama district and met the militant’s sister who was allegedly detained by the police for three days this month.

She had claimed that the woman was now bedridden and said that she was “severely beaten” in police custody after she was arrested and harassed in Jammu, where she had gone for some work.

Asked whether the allegations were demoralizing for the police force, the DGP declined to comment. On two grenade attacks in Jammu bus stand within seven months, he said that the police was mulling more CCTV cameras in the winter capital to maintain tight surveillance.

On social media being used by militants and their sympathizers, he said that the police do have their own mechanism to check them but they were not adequate and more work is needed on it.

“Several websites are being created and operated from Pakistan. We do take quick action to check them but there is always a window period between their creation and getting them closed,” he said.

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