Srinagar (NVI): Three militants killed in an encounter at Sopore area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla yesterday had plans to carry out a big terror strike in Kashmir in the coming days, given the huge quantity of arms and ammunition recovered from them, North Kashmir DIG, Suleman Choudhary said today.
Addressing a joint press conference with Army officers at Sopore, DIG Choudhary said that the three slain militants, that include two foreigners, were involved in the recent attack at Sopore town. One of them has been identified as Usman of Pakistan. “Usman was directly involved in the attack in which a CRPF man and an elderly man were killed. The civilian was traveling along with his grandchild,” the DIG said.
“The timely input helped us to eliminate all three. Inputs about Usman planning a strike were coming frequently,” he said. “Given the quantity of arms and ammunition recovered from the three slain militants, it seems that they had a plan to carry out a fidayeen strike in Kashmir,” he said.
The recovery included 3 AK-47 assault rifles, 9 magazines, 140 AK-47 rounds, a hand grenade, 3 jackets, a pair of shoes and some medicines purchased in Pakistan. Apart from that, some small items like wristwatch and iodine were also recovered from them.
While two slain terrorists have been identified, the identity of the third one is being ascertained, he added. Asked about the number of active militants in north Kashmir, he said the number is between 30 to 40. “The number of local militants are less and the local militant recruitment has gone down considerably in north Kashmir,” the DIG said.
About the recent Bandipora attack in which BJP leader Waseem Bari, his father, and brother were killed, DIG North Kashmir said that the investigation into the same is underway.
Also present on the occasion, an officer from Army’s Kilo Force said that the forces have foiled a series of infiltration bids over time and around 300 militants are ready at the launch pads to sneak into this side of the LoC.
“Pakistan has been making desperate efforts post abrogation of Article 370 to push in more and more militants. But almost all such bids have been foiled by the army. We are maintaining a close synergy with other security agencies to foil designs of militants,” he said.
He said they have intensified efforts along LoC and the counter-infiltration grid is on high alert. “In the hinterland, we are conducting clean operations against militants. In almost all the operations against militants, there was no collateral damage,” the army officer said.