SRINAGAR Lt Gen K J S Dhillon Wednesday said after the Pulwama attack the government forces launched an offensive against the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) in the valley, resulting in a situation where no one is willing to take up the leadership of the outfit.
“Forty-one militants were killed. Twenty-five of them belonged to JeM. Thirteen were foreign (militants)– Pakistanis and category A plus and above,” said Lt Gen Dhillon, at a joint press briefing accompanied by Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh and Inspector general, CRPF, Zulfiqar Hassan at the police control room here.
“We targeted the JeM leadership and the situation now is such that there is no one willing to take up the leadership of the JeM in the valley. In spite of Pakistan’s best efforts, we will continue to suppress the JeM,” Lt Gen Dhillon, who is the Commander of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, said.
DGP Singh said 2018 and the year so far had been successful in containing militancy in the valley, barring stray incidents, including the February 14 Pulwama attack.
“This year, stone-pelting and law and order engagements reduced drastically. We did face some law and order situations during counter-insurgency operations, but those have been fewer than before,” Singh said.
He said the recruitment of local youths into militancy has dipped. “That is a very healthy sign. There were very large-scale successes in counter-insurgency operations. Two-seventy-two (militants) were neutralised in 2018 and many were apprehended,” he said, adding “we stopped a very big number of youths from joining the wrong path (militancy).”
The state’s top cop said militants killed last year included many commanders of JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
“A total of 46 foreign militants have been killed last year and in the current year — 27 belonged from JeM and 19 from LeT. Foreign elements getting neutralised has made a big dent to the ongoing militancy,” he said.
Earlier they presented a Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants before the media, saying he had been operating in Srinagar city for two years and was now trying to resurrect militancy in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
The militant, Waqar Ahmed of Pakistani Punjab, was arrested in Pattan area of Baramulla district a few days back, Baramulla’s Senior Superintendent of Police Abdul Qayoom said. He said waqar was trained in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir for four months before he infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir in July 2017.
He said Waqar was operating in Srinagar city for two years and was now trying to resurrect militancy in Baramulla district.
“He was also trained for one month at the house of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi (of LeT) in Rawalpindi and he met Lakhvi twice during that period,” the officer said.
Waqar told the media that their handlers at the training centre in Muzaffarabad told them that government forces were raping women in Kashmir and disallowing Islamic worship.
All this proved to be wrong when he saw the ground situation in the Kashmir Valley, he said. However, why he continued to remain in Valley after coming to know about ground situation was not revealed by him.
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