Surrender or get killed: Army warns local militants
Srinagar, Feb 19: Five days after a Kashmiri youth carried out a suicide attack, killing 49 CRPF personnel, Army on Tuesday warned the local militants to “surrender or be ready to get killed”.
Addressing a joint press conference here, Lt General KJS Dhillon, Corps Commander of the Srinagar based 15 Corps, said: “Who so ever comes from Pakistan will not go back alive. But there is a surrender policy for local youth who have picked up guns. Anyone who picks up a gun in Kashmir will be eliminated, unless the person surrenders.”
IGP Kashmir S P Pani and IG CRPF Zulfikar Hassan were also present during the presser.
Appealing mothers in Kashmir to persuade their sons, who have joined militant ranks, to get back to “mainstream”, Dhillon said: “In Kashmir society, mother has a great role to play. I would request the mothers of Kashmir to request their sons, who have joined militancy, to get back to the mainstream.”
His remarks came a day after three Jaish militants were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
An Army Major and three soldiers along with a head constable of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed in the encounter in which a civilian also lost his life.
The GoC said the operation was carried out jointly by Army, J&K Police, and CRPF. “It was based on specific information. Three JeM militants were killed – two Pakistani and one local.”
Earlier, on Thursday, a suicide bomber identified as Adil Ahmad Dar rammed his explosive-filled vehicle I into a CRPF bus on the highway near Lethpora in Pulwama. Forty nine CRPF troopers were killed in the attack.
The GoC said that within 100 hours of the February 14 Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, they killed the Jaish leaders who “planned and executed the deadly carnage”.
He also claimed that the attack was carried out by the Jaish with “active support” of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Pakistan Army. “People behind the attack were being tracked since February 14, and it had been orchestrated from the Pakistani side of the border,” he claimed. “Suicide attacks would not take place earlier. They (militants) have started this modus operandi. The investigation of the case is at an advance stage,” he said, refusing to share any details.
“Efforts are being made by the Army as well as state government with the support of locals that youth don’t join the militancy.”
He also ruled out any harassment to civilians by forces. “This is only propaganda. We are trying to figure out a plan so that civilians don’t face any inconveniences when our convoys are passing.”
He asked people to stay away from encounter sites saying they don’t want any civilian casualties.
Asked whether the harassment to Kashmiris outside the valley may affect the army’s “friendly measures”, he said it was a political issue and he won’t comment on it.
The IGP Kashmir said that police was also making efforts to bring back youth who have picked up gun.
Rajnath reviews JK situation
New Delhi, Feb 19: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on February 19 reviewed the security situation in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, where 49 CRPF troopers were killed in an attack last week, officials said. Five security personnel, including a major, were killed in Pulwama on Monday in an encounter in which three Jaish militants, including two top commanders believed to be behind the February14 Pulwama attack, were also killed. During the meeting, the home minister was briefed about the prevailing security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, including along the Indo-Pak border, a home ministry official said. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval too participated in the meeting which was attended by Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba, director of intelligence bureau Rajiv Jain besides others. The meeting also took stock of the steps being taken to neutralise militants operating in J&K and how to check attempts of infiltrations from across the border. The home minister directed the officials to ensure that all possible steps should be taken against the militants currently operating in Kashmir and protection of innocent Kashmiris living in different parts of the country, the official said.