’80 militants killed in South Kashmir this year; 115 still active’
Srinagar, Nov 3: Government forces in south Kashmir are intending to launch “particular operations” against the members of Jaish-e-Muhammad who in recent months have carried out deadly attacks in the region, a top army commander saidFriday.
General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Awantipur-based Victor Force, Major General BS Raju, admitted that the presence of JeM in south Kashmir districts. “There is some strength of Jaish and we are given to believe that there could be some 10 to 15 members of the outfit in south Kashmir,” he told reporters at Budgam in central Kashmir.
The GOC of Victor Force, who oversees army’s operations in entire south Kashmir, said the government forces would be taking action against the Jaish militants in order to neutralize them. Referring to fierce gunbattle at Samboora area of Pulwama district last night, the Army Commander said “the process of neutralization of Jaish militants has begun”.
“There are indeed members of JeM in south Kashmir and the process of neutralization of the Jaish cadre began yesterday and we intend to act particularly against the Jaish-e-Muhammad,” the GOC, according to news agency GNS, said. He however didn’t explain what kind of operations would be carried out against the Jaish militants who in the summer of 2017 managed infiltration into south Kashmir through Pir Pinjal Mountains from across the border.
The presence of Jaish militants in south Kashmir has become a security headache for police and army in Kashmir as they are believed to be highly trained and well-armed. The Jaish militants have already carried out two major Fidayeen attacks in Pulwama district police lines and at BSF’s Gogo Land camp near Srinagar Airport. Police have also blamed Jaish militants for series of attacks in Tral sub-district.
The Army Commander said the situation in south Kashmir is improving and would further improve in winter. He said the government forces this year have eliminated 80 militants including top commanders of various outfits. The GOC said 115 militants are active in south Kashmir presently and 99 out of them are locals. He also termed the local militant recruitment as cause of concern but asked parents, village elders, prayer leaders and teachers of schools and colleges to keep youth away from militancy. (GNS)