Srinagar (NVI): With the killing of 26 wanted terror commanders in the past seven months and four top commanders of Lashkar in the past few weeks, the top structure of militancy has collapsed in Kashmir, J&K Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said today.
He termed the killing of top Lashkar commander Sajad alias Haider who was neutralised in Kreeri, Baramulla encounter on August 18 and Naseer-u-Din Lone, who was killed yesterday in a brief shootout at Handwara area of Kupwara, as a major success for the security forces.
The DGP said that Sajad was operating on the lines of slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani to recruit youths while Naseer was Lashkar’s “sharpshooter” involved in the killing of seven security forces personnel and a grenade incident at Sopore in which 20 civilians were injured.
Addressing a joint press conference with Army officials at District Police Office Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kuwpara district, DGP Singh said that situation is improving on ground across Kashmir and security forces have achieved major successes in a series of successful operations conducted this year since January.
“This year in the successful anti-militancy operations conducted across Kashmir, 26 top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and other outfits were killed,” said DGP Singh, who was flanked by IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar and Brigadier MS Rathore of Army’s north Kashmir based Kilo Force.
The DGP said that in the past few weeks, there were many successful operations especially the two operations- one at Kreeri, Baramulla and another one at Handwara, Kuwpara.
“In Kreeri area of Barmaulla, three militants, including top Lashkar commander Sajad alias Haider were killed. Haider was operating on the lines of slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani and had lured large number of youth into militancy fold. Another Lashkar commander Naseer, who was killed yesterday evening at Handwara, was the outfit’s sharpshooter and had killed seven security forces personnel,” the DGP said.
“With the killing of Haider and Naseer, the overall structure of militancy including that of Lashkar stands collapsed which is a good sign.”
He said in the ensuing year, 26 top commanders were killed in various anti-militancy operations.
The DGP said that after the killing of Haider at Kreeri, Baramulla, Lashkar had given the control of outfit to Naseer for the entire north Kashmir. “Naseer was active since long and had received arms training in Pakistan,” he said, adding that the police has the video evidenced how Naseer killed three CRPF men in Sopore this year.
He said that two AK 47 riffles, one pistol, one magazines, AK magazines and over three dozen of AK-47 rounds were recovered from the slain Lashkar commander Naseer and his associate.
“In the past couple of days, six militants including four top commander of Lashkar were killed in different operations,” the DGP said.
Asked whether local militancy was curbed or youth continue to join militant ranks, the J&K police chief said that at least 16 active militants have shunned the path of violence and resumed their normal life and the overall local recruitment was less compared to previous years.
On whether Srinagar was militancy free, the DGP said that militants come to Srinagar to meet each other and to gather information and fresh directions from their mentors. “We have launched operations in Srinagar also and recovered arms and ammunition meant to be delivered to militants,” he added.