Mobs a major hurdle in Jammu and Kashmir

In this file photo protesters clash with the police during curfew in Srinagar.

In this file photo protesters clash with the police during curfew in Srinagar.

Around 90% of anti-militancy operations were hindered by stone-throwing crowds in the Kashmir Valley this year, resulting in the escape of over 12 militants, according to an assessment by the J&K police.

The report also talks about a growing trend in the Kashmir Valley — since 2016, residents have started converging at encounter sites and throwing stones at security forces.

15 operations

The security forces launched nearly 15 operations in the Kashmir Valley this year. All the anti-militancy operations were affected by stone-throwing residents in south Kashmir and Bandipora in north Kashmir, where militants were hiding in residential areas. The report added that eight militants managed to escape the cordon in Hajin, Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

“However, there was less public hindrance in the border districts of Kupwara and Baramulla, where militants mainly hide in the forest areas,” the report added.

The police believe that the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) operational commander, Abu Dujana, managed to escape from Pulwama on Monday due to help from the locals. “This his seventh escape in south Kashmir,” added the police.

According to data, of the 19 militants killed in the first 46 days of 2017 in the Valley, 10 were locals, six foreigners and three are yet to be identified. Six security personnel, including an Army Major, also lost their lives.

The report has put the number of active militants in Kashmir at 250. “Around 225 are listed militants,” said the report, adding that LeT ranks have once again swelled to 95, while Hizbul Mujahideen is active with 90 militants, most of whom are local people.

A top counter-militancy police officer told The Hindu that unlike in the past, a team of the police and the CRPF goes with the Army attack team. “We try to keep operations swift to delay public reaction. Many a time, it has worked against us,” said the police officer.

The authorities on Thursday advised the public to stay away from counter-insurgency sites.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2022 5:09:56 am |