IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar addressing a press conference at Police Control Room Srinagar
IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar addressing a press conference at Police Control Room Srinagar

SRINAGAR — Jammu and Kashmir Police today said that 12 top commanders were on its hit-list that include Hizbul Mujahideen commander Dr Saifullah and Jaish-e-Muhammad’s IED expert Lamboo Bhai, whose movement is being tracked to ensure they are killed as soon as possible.

Giving details about the counter-insurgency operations conducted in the first six months of the ensuing year, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir said that 12 top commanders are on the police radar, whose movement is being tracked so that they are killed soon. “The 12 commanders include Dr Saifullah of Hizb and Lamboo Bhai of Jaish, who is expert in IED making.”

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“Besides, Gazi Rashid, who is new Jaish chief in Kashmir, and is hiding in Khrew area of Pulwama, is also on our radar,” the IGP said, addressing a press conference at Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar, on the occasion of completion of six months of 2020.

The IGP said that 118 militants were killed this year while 67 joined militancy from January to June compared to 129 last year during this period. “24 new recruits have already been killed in encounters and rest are active in field,” he said.

He said of the 118 militants killed this year, 57 belonged to Hizb, 24 from Lashkar-e-Taiba and 22 from Jaish. “Seven militants from ISJK were also killed while one slain was from Al-Badr,” the IGP said.

He said police achieved big success during the operations as top commanders that include Hizb’s Reyaz Naikoo, Haider of Lashkar, Qari Yasir of Jaish, Burhan Koka of Ansaar Gazwatul Hind (AGH) and Fouji Bhai, and IED expert of Jaish were killed. “We are also able to kill Hizb’s poster boy who was luring youth towards militancy and raising funds (Junaid Sehrai),” he said.

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He said local militant recruitment went down this year by 48 percent which is a big success for the forces. “Among the 67 new recruits, 24 were killed, 12 arrested and rest are in field,” he said, and urged parents to appeal their children to return back. “We promise we will facilitate their return and won’t lodge any case against them,” the IGP said.

He said that a misconception was being created on social media that militants were short of weapons and were using pistols only, which is not true. “In six months of this year, 118 militants were killed, we recovered 62 AK-47 rifles, 9 SLRs, one M-4 carbine, one Pika and only 44 pistols,” he said. “Small weapons are used by militants to carry out attacks in areas where there is a public rush.”

He said that 66 militant modules were busted and 66 weapons that include 21 AK-47 rifles, 2 SLRs, one INSAS and 42 weapons were recovered. “In total, from the slain militants and from the modules we busted, 200 weapons were recovered,” the IGP said, adding that 22 hard core militants were arrested including top Hizb commander Naveed, who was travelling along with the arrested DySP Devender Singh.

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The IGP said that 309 Over Ground Workers (OGWs) were arrested this year so far. “15 civilians were killed in militancy related incidents,” he said.

He said police is facing a challenge of “social media usage for militants and their supporters”. Terming it as an “online militancy”, the IGP said that lot of activities are being carried out on social media and so far, 21 FIRs have been registered.

He said police took a decision to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring burial of slain local militants in Handwara and Baramulla areas of north Kashmir in presence of a few family members and a magistrate. “This was to prevent the spread of pandemic. People have hailed this effort of ours,” he said.

He said, “So far, 79 bodies of local militants were buried in Handwara and Baramulla in presence of the magistrate and their family members.”

About the Narco trade, he said this has a militancy link as funds are directly being given to the militants. “So far 304 cases have been registered and 500 people involved in this have been arrested. Heroin worth Rs 200 Crore has been seized and cash Rs 1.37 Crore seized as well. Besides huge quantity of poppy, fuki, and other drugs that include injections, tablets and syrups have been recovered,” he said.

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