Srinagar, Jan 21: The government forces in J&K have seized as many as 590 weapons from militants along with a huge catalogue of other arsenal in the last two years.
They have also killed 363 militants during the period, almost double the number of militants the senior army and police officials claimed were active in Kashmir.
The figures were recently shared by the state government in its written reply to a question asked by BJP legislator Sat Paul Sharma during the ongoing Assembly session in Jammu.
The major chunk of the seized weaponry, as per the reply, includes 391 AK-47 rifles, of which 213 and 178 were recovered in 2017 and 2016, respectively.
The other seized guns included 182 pistols or revolvers, 11 RPGs or Rocket Launchers, three 303 (three not three) rifles, and three sniper rifles.
The list also included over a 1,000 magazines, at least 3,000 rounds of ammunition, 638 grenades, 18 kilograms of explosives, 39 IEDs, 1,114 detonators, and 100 wireless sets.
The fresh figures hardly fit with the “handful-of-militants-is-active-in-Kashmir” narrative, which has been the go-to phrase for the senior army and police officials.
For instance, General Officer Commanding (GoC), Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen J S Sandhu during a joint press conference of police, CRPF and Army in November last year said there were only “around 200 militants active in Kashmir”.
Considering the huge cache of recovered arms and more importantly killing as many 363 militants–213 in 2017, 150 in 2016–and arresting another 176, the “only-200-militants-are-active” theory falls flat.
Also, the numbers coexist with “operation all-out”, a joint offensive forces launched in the latter half of 2017, which aims to “flush out” militants in Kashmir until there is “complete peace” in the state.