No active local militant in 3 Kashmir districts; LeT, JeM headless: ADGP Vijay Kumar

Srinagar: Three districts in Kashmir have zero “active” local militants as of now while prominent outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed have gone “headless” after security forces neutralised their operatives and commanders in multiple operations and encounters, Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir zone) Vijay Kumar said.
The three “local militants-free” districts are Bandipora, Kupwara and Ganderbal, the officer said on Saturday. However, Bandipora and Kupwara have at least seven foreign militants present, each, he said.

The Kashmir region, that comprises 13 police districts, has 81 militants at present with 29 being local while 52 are of foreign origin (Pakistanis), he said.
The number of locals joining militant ranks also fell to an-time low of 99 over the last seven years, he said.
The senior cop was interacting with a group of visiting journalists at the police control room here.
“The security forces have an upper hand now when it comes to containing terrorism and terrorists in the Valley. We are working to bring the figure of active, foreign and hybrid terrorists to less than 50 in the near future,” the officer said.
Kumar said the LeT and JeM are currently “headless” after the security forces neutralised their ranks in multiple encounters and operations.
Officials said Farooq Nalli, a Hizbul Mujahideen top operative, is the only active commander — since 2015 — and he is on the radar of the forces, including the Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) and sister forces like the Army and the Central Reserve Police Force.
Police officials said the “achievement” of the forces in neutralising senior militant operatives can be gauged from the fact that while there were 80 top commanders in Kashmir about two years ago, there are only three now. Apart from Nalli, the two others are inactive.
Kumar added that there were about 15-18 active “hybrid” militants.
According to security agencies, hybrid militants are those who are radicalised online and are given pistols to kill one or two persons, identified or unidentified.
“We have busted as many as 119 modules this year,” ADGP Kumar said.
Police officials said their main area of concern in Kashmir is militants picking up “soft targets” like labourers coming from other states and Kashmiri Pandits, while they also have “detected” some women over ground workers (OGWs) assisting in some recent militant activities.
“We have, however, ensured that those who target labourers and members of the Pandit community are neutralised immediately and also that they are not kept safe as much as possible,” a senior officer said.

Another concern for the police is the recent seizure of some Turkey-made pistols from terrorists, which they said is an indicator that Pakistan-based handlers are providing weapons of that country to ultras operating in Kashmir.
The officer said there is also a fourth category of ultras in Kashmir whom they categorise as “potential terrorists.”
These are those who are radicalised, have joined or about to join the terrorist ranks but have not undertaken a terrorist act.
“In 80 per cent cases in this category, the families of these potential militants inform the JKP and security forces about their doubtful activities, and we have been able to bring back 13 of them in 2022, some even after joining the ranks,” another senior officer said.
“We can tell you that denying social sanction to militants, their activities and radicalisation activities will usher peace in Kashmir,” the officer said.PTI

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