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Around 450 militants operating in J&K: Army

Press Trust of India

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UDHAMPUR: The Army on Thursday said 450 militants were operating in Jammu and Kashmir and the militant infrastructure across the Line of Control (LoC) was intact with the full support of Pakistan as 16 militant camps were operating in the neighbouring country and Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).

“The number of militants is more on the north of Pir Panjal. Around 350 to 400 militants are active in the Kashmir valley. On the south of Pir Panjal (the Jammu region), there are 50 militants,” Northern Army commander Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh told reporters.

He said most of the militants on the south of Pir Panjal were dormant.”The security situation is stable on this side. However, the operations are mostly conducted on the north of Pir Panjal (Kashmir) as more militants are present there,” he added.

 

Lt Gen. Singh said the militant infrastructure was intact in PaK and Pakistan.

“It is sad that the militant infrastructure in PaK is still intact. The Pakistan Army, in its bid to support infiltration of terrorists from across the border, carries out ceasefire violations and certain tactical activities along the LoC,” he said, adding that 16 militant training camps were operating in PaK and Pakistan.

“They ( militants) are being trained and then brought to the LoC. Then they infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir. We are keeping these (activities) under surveillance,” the Northern Army commander said.

He added that 191 youngsters had joined militant groups in the Kashmir valley, but there was a relative decline in the number of people joining such outfits over the last few months.

“According to reports, 191 youngsters are reported to have joined militancy. Most of the recruitments took place up to the month of August. There was a relative decline in the number of youngsters joining militancy from October till now,” Lt Gen. Singh said.

He added that there were concerted efforts on the part of the Army to reach out to the youngsters and their parents and teachers so that they prevailed upon the youngsters not to join any outfit propagating militancy.”We hope that the youth engagement programmes will pay dividends in the months to come,” the Northern Army commander said.

Castigating the narrative being created that it was an indigenous movement, he said of the 836 militants killed in the state in the last five years, 490 were “Pakistani or foreign militants”.

Lt Gen. Singh added that there was a significant percentage of Pakistani militants, who were being used as cannon fodder and pushed into Jammu and Kashmir to cause casualties among Indian citizens.

However, the Army was taking action to arrest this trend, he added.


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Kashmir

Mirwaiz condemns assault on Kashmiris, terms it ‘unfortunate’

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Srinagar, Feb 16: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday strongly denounced the attack on Kashmiris in several parts of India.
In a statement issued, Mirwaiz said it is incumbent upon those ruling in these Indian states and the Governor in Jammu to control these elements and ensure the safety of Kashmiris wherever they are being attacked and harassed and their properties vandalized and burnt down.
“Kashmiris are thrashed, intimidated and properties of hundreds of Kashmiri students, laborers, businessmen are vandalized in various Indian states,” he said.
Mirwaiz said that fanatic elements have got a great excuse and are let loose, having a field day in executing their communal agenda by targeting Kashmiris.
Mirwaiz said reports of violence against Kashmiris simply studying or doing their work outside is very distressing. He said people of Kashmir are known for their all-out help and support to outsiders who visit us as tourists or Yatris whenever in need. But it is extremely unfortunate that they are being targeted and assaulted and the majority is silent over it.
Mirwaiz said it is also sad that members of civil society activists or even leadership of Jammu are not speaking out against the assault on Kashmiri’s there and playing its role in stopping it.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat spokesman strongly condemned the CASO in Pulwama, Kulgam and Tral areas of south Kashmir wherein dozens of youth after being harassed are detained while inmates kept out of their homes for hours together, household goods and vehicles vandalized stating that lacs of forces deployed across Kashmir have been enjoying complete impunity resulting in the immense problems being inflicting on the innocent Kashmiris.
The spokesman also condemned the arrest of senior Hurriyat leader Mukhtar Waza who has been lodged in police station Sherbagh, Islamabad.

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Kashmir

Bar condemns assault on Kashmiris

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Srinagar, Feb 16: J&K High Court Bar Association Srinagar (JKHBA) strongly condemned the harassing, beating, abusing and intimidating of Kashmiri Muslims in different parts of country.

Calling for an end to these atrocities, Bar has appealed the International Community including United Nations, Amnesty International, Asia Watch and other human rights organizations of the world as also members of Indian Civil Society to come to the rescue of the people of Kashmir and save them from the brutalities being inflicted on them by the ruthless communal and fanatic forces of Jammu and other places of India.
In an Executive Committee meeting held here today it was stated that Kashmiri Muslims living in Jammu and the Muslims of Jammu are so frightened that they stayed back in their homes on Friday and did not offer Friday prayers to avoid being targeted.

“At several places, the Govt. owned residential quarters in which Kashmiri Govt. employees are putting up were stoned by these hoodlums belonging to RSS and other Hindu fanatic groups and the police did not stop them from doing so and watched the same as silent spectators, which is highly deplorable,” they said.

 

Bar further said that in Bihar, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Aligarh and other parts of India, Kashmiri students have been beaten to pulp and asked to leave those places forthwith, which is barbaric and shameful.

The Bar members took out a procession from District Court Complex, Moominabad Batamaloo, Srinagar, in which hundreds of lawyers participated and while raising slogans against all the communal and fanatic forces, asked he authorities to give protection to Kashmiri Muslims, who are presently in Jammu or in any other part of India and ensure their safety and security at all costs, as otherwise, if the harassing, abusing beating and teasing of Kashmiri and Jammu Muslims is not stopped forthwith, it will have serious repercussions.

In order to show solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren, the Bar Association also decided to support the call given by Kashmir Traders Federation for 17th of February, 2019.

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Kashmir

Lethpora attack aftermath: Youth who rescued 21 soldiers in 2014 floods among 8 arrested in Pulwama

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Pulwama, Feb 16: A day after the audacious attack on a CRPF convoy, government forces conducted nocturnal raids and arrested over 8 youth.
Reports said that the raids were conducted in different parts of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district including Lelhar, Hatiwara Letapora, Ratnipora and Lelhar.

Police sources said that over 8 youth were arrested. All these people are considered as the militant ‘sympathizers’, said a source.
Interestingly, one of the arrested youth Asif Muzafar Shah of Samboora had played a key role in rescuing a coloumn of armymen in 2014 devastating floods. The services of Shah were hailed by army then when he rescued 21 soldiers during devastating floods.

Sources added that government forces also picked up father-son duo from Hatiwara Letpora village. A top Jaish-e-Muhammad militant Mufti Waqas was killed in a house at Hatiwara last year. The owner of the house and his son were arrested during the nocturnal raid, said locals.

 

Government Forces have also made arrests from Tral and other areas after the Lethpora attack that claimed the lives of 49 troopers.
A police official feigned ignorance about these arrests.

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