86 local militants active; 128 locals joined militancy this year. 73 were killed, says IGP Kashmir.

SRINAGAR — The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar Thursday said that for the first time in the past 30 years of militancy in Kashmir, the number of active militants in the Kashmir Valley has come down to less than 200 while the number of local militants who are active is 86.

Addressing a joint press conference at 2 Sector RR headquarters in Wuzur area of Qazigund, the General officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lieutenant General D P Pandey, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, SSP Anantnag Ashish Kumar Mishra and other officials of police and army said that in the last 24 hours, six militants including two foreigners and a soldier were killed in two military operations in Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

“Two army personnel and a policeman also sustained injuries in the Anantnag encounter,” the GoC 15 Corps said, adding that those injured are stable while one army personnel has died. “Two foreign militants killed in Anantnag encounter were affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit,” he said. “The slain army personnel was identified as sepoy Jasbir Singh.”

Responding to a question about the killings of foreign militants, the GoC said that it was because they are coming out of their hide-outs to carry out operations as local militants are refusing to attack forces due to their own challenges. “As the foreigners would come out of their hide-outs, they will be killed,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, SSP Anantnag said that one M-4 carbine, eight magazines, two AK 47 rifles and other ammunition were recovered from slain JeM militants.

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IGP Kashmir said that in the past five days, 11 militants were killed and in two operations since last night, six militants including two foreign militants were killed. The IGP Kashmir, however, said that the rise in encounters doesn’t mean that militancy has increased as it was totally otherwise. “For the first time in the past 30 years of militancy in Kashmir, the number of active militants has come down to less than 200. It is also for the first time that number of local active militants is 86 only,” IGP Kumar said.

GoC Pandey said that local militant recruitment has drastically come down as this year only 128 to 130 locals joined militancy compared to 180 last year. (With input from agencies)

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