Srinagar: Claiming major successes against militants in Kashmir during the last two months, the CRPF has said any reduction in the number of security forces deployed in the valley will be imprudent. It will ease the pressure on the militants, “who were on the run.”

“We have broken the back of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in south Kashmir. Over the past two months, several top ranking commanders of the outfit have either been arrested or killed in operations by security forces,” Inspector General of the Central Reserve Police Force M.S. Gupta told PTI here on Tuesday.

Mr. Gupta said heavy snowfall in the upper reaches of the valley this winter has forced the militants to abandon their hideouts in the mountains for safer places in the nearby villages where they are targeted. He said the descent of militants into villages, coupled with excellent intelligence inputs from the police has helped the security forces eliminate top leaders of militant outfits including the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

“Not an easy job”

Asked about the number of militants active in the valley, Mr. Gupta said: “It is not an easy job to put out an exact number but a safe guess would be that they are in the range of 900 to 1,000. The population of militants is floating ... some local youth are being recruited, which is in just a few dozens, but most of them come from across the border. Also, the militants keep shifting their base between the Kashmir valley and the Jammu region.” — PTI