Srinagar, Oct 23: Director General of Police Dilbag Singh Wednesday claimed that they have wiped out militant outfit Ansar Gazwatul Hind (AGH) from Jammu and Kashmir after security forces killed its last three surviving militants including the successor of slain Zakir Musa, in an encounter at Rajpora in Pulwama district on Tuesday evening.
“Three militants were killed in Rajpora. They were later identified as Hamid Lone alias Hamid Lelhari of Lelhari village Kakpora, Naveed Ahmad Tak of Batpora and Junaid Rashid of Nowdal Tral. All the three were associated with Ansar Gazwatul Hind, which now has been wiped out from the valley,” Singh told reporters.
The DGP said the trio was “involved in many attacks on forces and killing of civilians in Pulwama district.”
“After killing of Zakir Musa, Lelhari took command of the AGH. He had joined the militant group in 2016 and since then he was involved in many militant activities. Lelhari had motivated these two slain militants to join his group. He was a part of the group, which attacked forces in Kakapora. Lelhari along with another militant Yasir had killed two Gujjars recently in the area,” he said.
DGP noted that Junaid Rashid was the second militant of his family to have been killed by the forces. “We feel very sad for that. These work at the behest of Pakistan based agencies,” he said.
Singh said the slain militants were working in coordination with Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT). “Jaish is currently trying to coordinate with every militant group operating in the valley. Both JeM and LeT decide the targets and work in coordination with other groups,” he said.
DGP used the occasion to appeal the youth to shun militancy saying “taking to weapons is like inviting death.”
“Weapon creates an environment of death. We wish such activities are stopped. Youth should shun militancy to restore peace in the valley,” Singh said.
The DGP claimed the situation in the valley has improved after August 5 and youth joining militancy has shown a downward trend during the period.
“People were of the notion that militancy will increase after August 5. But the momentum of youth joining militant ranks has come down drastically during the period. People have now set up their stall and kiosks on roads everywhere to do their routine business,” he said.
Singh said that only five to six youth have gone missing from their homes after August 5. “We can’t be sure that they have joined any militant group. There can be other reasons behind their decision to leave home,” he said.
Asked whether there was any possibility of Pulwama like attack, he said: “Forces are alert on ground to respond to these threats.”
“It is difficult to anticipate anything since there have been many threats by Pakistan including their Prime Minister. Pulwama like incidents can happen anywhere. But if we face such situation, we are alert on ground to take care of these threats,” Singh said.
Asked about reports of detentions in south Kashmir, Singh said: “Propaganda is created by certain media houses without verifying the news”
“This is clearly a misinformation and propaganda. We always verify about the possible OGW network or either associates of militants before picking any person. Later verification follows and then they are being freed after proper counselling,” he said.
DGP said out of five people arrested, four are later released. “We are not fond of keeping people in custody unnecessarily. 17000 cases are being registered ever year by the police and it doesn’t mean we pick and torture them. In case of juveniles, the age is being verified and then legal action follows. We follow Juvenile Justice Act,” he said
On the reports of withdrawing post-paid phone services again in the valley, Singh said they take every decision after considering the ground situation.
“Phones were blocked after assessing of situation. Same procedure was followed when the service was resumed,” he said.
The DGP said that proper security arrangements will be put in place for conducting exams in the valley. “Exams are in the interest of children and their parents. Whenever need arises we are ready to help them by ensuring proper security. We appeal children not to spoil their career,” he said.
Singh said police has put in place security arrangement for Block Development Council election on Thursday. “We have directed SPs to make every security arrangement in their respective zones,” he said.
DGP noted that they have reviewed the security “to ensure protection of the people particularly those associated with apple trade.”
“There were some unfortunate incidents when militants targeted two truckers, a labourer and apple trader. People took it serious and condemned the act. They (militants) can interfere to the extent of killing people who do their routine work, but we have now reviewed the security. We have now intensified our operation against militants,” he said.