|'500 militants killed in Kashmir in 20 months'|
|Till Pak stops infiltration, militancy to continue: Police|
|Early Times Report|
srinagar, Dec 4: Unless Pakistan stops sending militants to Kashmir, militancy can't be wiped out from the Valley even if forces kill every local militant, a top security official revealed on Tuesday.
Even as Kashmir has seen no major recruitment of youth into various militant ranks since October this year, the official said militancy can't be completely eradicated from Kashmir unless Pakistan stops infiltration.
Pertinently, November month alone saw the killing of at least 40 militants including eight top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba, while total number of militants killed this year has crossed 230. Surprisingly, the number of active militants continues to remain static at 250.
The killing of 230 militants since January this year in Kashmir has triggered a debate as to whether militancy in the Valley was dying as it seems that forces are out to "to clear Kashmir of the militancy no matter whether the militant is a local or a foreigner."
In the recent presser, Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh said that this year so far 230 militants were killed which includes top commanders like Naveed Jhat, Umar Ganai, Waseem Wagay, Adil Lone and Basit Mir.
November has been the bloodiest month of this year with 35 militant killings. However, the number of active militants continues to be 250 which suggests that there were at least 500 militants active in Kashmir.
230 militants have been killed in different parts of Kashmir so far this year. Last year, 207 militants were killed in this period.
Now only three commanders are surviving who are also on the hit list of forces. They are Hizbul Mujahideen's operational commander Riyaz Naikoo, Al-Badr commander Zeenat-ul Islam who was earlier with Hizbul Mujahideen, Lateef Tiger who was an associate of Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa, the chief of Ansar-ul-Gazwat-ul-Hind. Sources said that Hizbul Mujahideen has appointed new district commanders for Shopian, Anantnag and Pulwama.
A police official said that the number of militants keeps on fluctuating in Kashmir. "It is not like we killed 230 and there will be 50 odd militants now. There have been some successful infiltration and also the new recruitment as well," he said. "In the past two months, there has been no recruitment, but before that youth were joining militancy." The official hinted at some successful bids by the militants, stating that "militants in large groups may have managed to sneak in, as we have tough terrain, deep ravines and woods along the fence (Line of Control) in Kashmir."
A top police officer revealed on the condition of anonymity that militancy in Kashmir won't end till Pakistan stops sending militants from across. "No doubt that the militancy in Kashmir has received a major dent this year. This is for the first time since 2007, that such a huge number of militants were killed in a year," the officer said. "Fact remains that unless infiltration stops from across the LoC, militancy can't be wiped out from Kashmir soil."
Official sources disclosed that this year, human intelligence increased and that helped in successful operations against the militants. "When forces try to clean Kashmir of the militancy, militants, Pakistan pushes in large groups to keep the pot boiling," a source said. "The problem is that unless infiltration is plugged, militancy will remain."
A source said that since 2017 March, 500 militants including 25 top commanders were killed in various encounters.