Srinagar: General Officer Commanding of Army’s 15 Chinar Corps, Lt General JS Sandhu today said that government forces have killed 190 militants across Kashmir this year and these killings have brough remarkable changes in Valley.
“This year as you all know we have had a number of successful operations in Kashmir region. We have killed about a 190 militants as on date in 2017. Out of these 190, 80 militants are local and the balance of 110 was foreign militants. Out of 110 foreign militants, 66 were killed near the LC while infiltrating,” he said while addressing a press conference at Badami Bagh cantonment in Srinagar here along with J&K Police and CRPF officers.
According to news agency GNS, the GOC said that so far this year they have killed approximately 125-130 militants in the hinterland of the Kashmir valley. “This has resulted in a remarkable change in the situation and you all are aware that to a great extent the agitation which was seen here in earlier part of this year has been brought under control,” he said. The Army Commander said Hajin was “area of focus” of government forces and to neutralize the militants based in the area, they launched series of search operations since mid-September.
“We were practically launching search operations on a daily basis. We had inducted Special Forces into the area and in addition along with the intelligence network and police and CRPF, the law and order in Hajin was brought under control. Good information started flowing in,” he said. The GOC said that they were keeping a watch over Chandergeer Hajin, where yesterday’s encounter occurred, since last two-three day and based on a specific on Saturday, they launched a joint operation which resulted in killing of six Lashkar-e-Toiba militants who were all foreigners.
The Corps Commander said after the killing of six LeT militants yesterday, the outfit’s group based in Hajin has been largely decimated. “In the early part of the year, we had an operation where we had eliminated a number of militants in Hajin. Subsequently, the militants had received. They had resorted to some atrocities,” he said. Out of six militants, one was a nephew of LeT operational chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi. He said that the anti-militancy operations of police, CRPF and army would continue and hoped that peace returns to Kashmir.
On the occasion, the DGP of J&K Police, Dr Shesh Paul Vaid told reporters that after yesterday’s operation in Hajin, the area has been cleared of Lashkar militants. “I am sure the people will have a sigh of relief and they would lead a life free of terror,” he said. The DGP said that Kashmir valley needs to be free from violence, terror, gun and drugs.
The Corps Commander as well as J&K Police chief urged local militants to surrender and join mainstream. “With the surrender of the footballer, I feel we are at a phase where a lot of boys want to come back… We want the youth, who have joined militancy, to return. We are getting feelers in this regard from various places, but we have also understood that that some youth do not know how to return,” the DGP Vaid said. He said the government forces would we will provide all the help to those youths who decided to abandon militancy. “They will not be harassed and will be helped more than what they expect,” the police chief said.
The GOC said that the forces are working on two lines of operation. “One line is the counter terror operations, wherein we are targeting the militants. Simultaneously, we want the local militant to return to the mainstream,” he said. He, in address to local militants, asked them to “not act as Pakistan proxies”. “A local militant must realize that it is easy to call yourself a ‘mujahid’ but are you a mujahid or just a proxy for Pakistan?” the Army Commander said and adding that the forces are ready to take the surrenders of local militants. (GNS)