300 Militants Active in J&K: Northern Command

    Paramilitary forces frisking passersby in Lal Chowk on Tuesday- KO Photo
  • Figure includes 82 Foreigners, 53 Locals and 170 unidentified militants
  • 75 per cent between 20 to 30 years age group
  • Counter drones to face drone challenge on LoC

Poonch- A top army commander Tuesday said that the total number of militants active in Jammu and Kashmir hovers around 300 and that includes 82 foreigners and 53 locals while all efforts, he said, were on to foil their attempts to target the security forces.

Addressing a press conference in Poonch on the occasion of Poonch Link Up Day, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command Lieutenant General Upendera Dwivedi said that figures available with the army suggest that there are 300 militants active in J&K including the Rajouri-Poonch area.

“There are 82 foreign militants and 53 local militants active in J&K. Worrisome is that there are almost 170 unidentified militants listed with the army who are tasked to conduct criminal activities,” he said. The army commander said that all efforts were afoot by the army to prevent and foil all the designs of militants with regard to attacking the security forces across the J&K.

Replying to a query about the number of active militants on the launch pads, the army officer said that there are 160 militants sitting on the various launch pads across the border.

About security situation post article 370 abrogation, the GoC-in-C said that the security scenario has witnessed a big change post August 5, 2019. He said peace and development has gained speed and civil administration is occupying the space.

He said that militants operating in J&K are facing shortage of weapons and the neighbouring country is sending consignments of pistols, grenades, and drugs. “Small weapons are being used to target non-J&K residents who come here to earn their living. Locals, security forces and police have strongly condemned such acts. Those involved in killing innocents will face action,” the army officer said.

The army officer said that a huge quantity of drugs are being sent to this side and in June last year Heroine worth Rs 45 Crore besides weapons were seized in Baramulla. On the drone challenge, the northern army commander said that the army has started to counter drones with drones coming to drops weapons and drugs. About the local militant recruitment, Lt Gen Dwivedi said 35 per cent of the recruitment comprise youth below 20 years of age and the remaining 75 per cent include the youth between the age of 20 and 30 years. “It is time for parents to keep the watch on their children and ensure proper upbringing. These youth need to study and see the world outside. We have sent 1800 youth to various parts of India for studies,” he said.

Number of Active Local Militants Reduced to Two Digit

Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police (DPG) Dilbagh Singh Tuesday said that the number of local militants active in Kashmir has been reduced to two digit while a “miniscule number of foreigners were active who are being tracked down.”

“As far as the status of militancy is concerned, the number of active local militants has been brought to just two digit. Very less foreign militants are active as of now,” DGP Singh told reporters on the sidelines of his visit to north Kashmir’s Baramulla town. “Anti-militancy operations are going on and very soon remaining militants will be eliminated as well.”

He said that at one point of time, north Kashmir was badly affected by the militancy and at present “this place is almost peaceful and there is less influence of militancy now.”

About hybrid militancy, he said it has been a challenge as the handlers across the border had been luring the young boys, giving them weapons and targets. “We have largely succeeded in facing this challenge and this year so far, over 100 modules of hybrid militants were busted across J&K,” the DGP said.

Media Persons Need Not Worry: DGP

To a query about Kashmir Fight blog, DGP Dilbagh Singh said that some elements sitting across the LoC can’t digest the peace prevailing in Kashmir and hence continue to issue threats to police, media men and even public representatives. “It is the media that has to take the call. Media men don’t need to worry as we have already lodged a case against the blog and people running it. Strict action will be taken against those handling this blog,” the DGP said, adding that “we are keenly watching the activities taking place on this blog.”

He reviewed the security situation in north Kashmir and the need of upgrading the infrastructure of the police force.

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