Srinagar Can Never Be Militancy Free: IGP Kashmir 

IGP Vijay Kumar – File Pic

Says Militant Behind Bijbehara Attack Killed In Malbagh Gunfight

Srinagar: Claiming that the militants are on the run following hot pursuit by the state forces, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar said on Friday that Srinagar can never be militancy free as the militants keep on visiting this capital city for various purposes.

Talking to the reporters on the sidelines of wreath lying function of a CRPF Head Constable Kuldeep Kumar killed in a late night encounter in Srinagar’s Malbagh area on Thursday, the IGP Kashmir said that the militants were on run and were regularly changing their hideouts. The forces, he said launch operations to neutralize militants as soon as information is received.

‘Srinagar is a city where militants come often. Sometimes they come for medical treatment, meetings or collecting funds. Srinagar can never be militant free. That will never be possible,” he said, adding “Militants will keep on coming here. And we will keep on carrying out encounters as and when we get information about the militants,”

Terming the Malbagh encounter as a big success for the government forces, the IGP Kashmir said that Zahid Dass, the district chief of ISJK was a very “big criminal for us” as he carried a series of attacks, including the one at Bijbehara.

“Five militants were involved in this attack. Yawar Butt was killed in previous encounter on June 30. Three have been killed so far while two are still alive,” he said.

Kumar said that Dass was involved in killing the PSO of Sajad Mufti and decamping with his rifle in November 2019. In April this year, the ISJK militant, he said shot dead a CRPF man in Goriwan with a pistol fire.

“On June 26, he opened fired at CRPF in which a jawan and a six year old child were killed. On the same day, we filed a case against him. We tweeted his details on social media as well,” he said.

Divulging more details about Malbagh encounter, IGP Kashmir said that Srinagar police got information about the presence of militants in the area following which a search operation was launched by police and CRPF.

“When searches started, militants opened fire at our jawans. In the firing one of our jawan was injured. Despite that, the jawan demonstrated courage and continued firing at the militant till he was neutralized,” he said.

He said that it was not the militants carrying out strikes on the forces but the proactive action by the police and forces leading to the killing of militants.

“There were no militant attacks on forces in Srinagar. This is proactive action on our side. We pinpoint the information, CRPF and police cordoned off, militants fired on use, we retailed and killed the militant,” the senior police officer said.

Kumar also said that police has prepared a list of 12 top militants active in the Valley.

“Of them five are from Hizb, 3 from LeT and other four from Jaish-e-Muhammad,” he said.

“I have always told you if there’s no encounter in any districts, it doesn’t mean that there are no militants there. Militants are being killed before they can establish their base in Srinagar,” the IGP said, while replying to a query by a journalist.

Meanwhile, a police spokesperson in a handout issued here today said that keeping in view the prevailing pandemic due to COVID-19 and to ensure the safety of people from inherent risk of contracting the infection, the body of ISJK commander has been sent to Handwara for his burial & last rites after completion of medico-legal formalities.

“The nearest family members of the militant were allowed to participate in the last rites at Handwara,” he said.

The police spokesperson also said that incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter.

“All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe his complicity in other crimes. A case under relevant sections of law has been registered in PS Nigeen and investigation has been initiated,” he added.

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