IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Zone), Vijay Kumar

SRINAGAR — Srinagar district cannot be militancy-free for various reasons, Inspector General of Police, Vijay Kumar, said on Friday.

“Time and again, I have been saying that any district where encounter does not take place does not mean militants are not present there. The militants keep on changing their shelter and hideouts. We keep on generating information and neutralize them accordingly,” the top police officer of the Kashmir Range told reporters on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony of a CRPF trooper killed in a gunfight with militants at Malabagh area here last evening.

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“Srinagar is such a city where militants keep on coming for medical treatment, raising funds, meeting etc. Srinagar cannot be militancy-free,” he said.

Responding to questions by a journalist, seeking to know reasons for the increase in “attacks” in Srinagar recently, the IGP said, “This is not attack. This is a proactive action. We launch cordon-and-search-operation, militants open fire and we retaliate and neutralized them.”

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Divulging details on Malabagh gunfight, Kumar said that last evening Srinagar police received input that two militants are hiding there.

“CRPF and Police went there. A cordon-and-search-operation was started. Militants fired at the joint party in which our jawan (CRPF trooper) was injured. Despite being injured, he continued to move forward bravely and killed the militant,” the IGP said.

The slain militant, he said, was Zahid Daas, “Chief of JKIS militant outfit for Anantnag.” “There were five militants under him. His associate Yawar and other one were killed in Waghama Bijbehara (on June 30). In all, three of them have been killed already and two are left now,” he said.

Daas was among the wanted militants, besides twelve militant commanders, who the IGP last week said were on the “prime target list” of the police and other forces.

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“There are 12 militants commanders including five of HM (Hizb-ul-Mujahideen), LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba) three and four of JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad),” he said.

He said that in November 2019, Daas killed a PSO and decamped with his gun. “In April, he killed a CRPF (trooper) with pistol in Goriwan and was involved in June 26 incident at Bijbehara in which a CRPF trooper and a 6-year-old boy was killed,” he said, adding, “His killing has been a big success for police and CRPF.”

Only a few hours after the attack on June 26 at Bijbehara, Police took to its Twitter handle claiming involvement of Zahid Daas and said that an FIR has been registered against him “by name”.

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