“This year we have had a number of successful operations in Kashmir valley. If you look at the stats, we have killed 190 militants as on day in 2017. Out of these, 80 were local and 110 were foreign militants. Out of 110 foreign militants, 66 were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) while infiltrating,” Lt Gen Sandhu, flanked by Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid and IG (Operations) of CRPF Zulfiquar Hasan, said during a joint press conference held at headquarters of 15 crops in Badami Bagh cantonment here.
Lt Gen Sandhu said that killing of about 125 militants in the hinterland in the valley has resulted in a remarkable change in the situation. “…to a great extent the agitation which was seen here in the earlier part of this year, has been brought under control,” he said.
Talking about Saturday’s encounter in which a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander, nephew of the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, was among six militants killed by security forces, the GOC Chinar Corps said Hajin in north Kashmir was a focus point for security forces. “In the early part of this year, we (security forces) had eliminated several militants in Hajin. But, militancy had revived in the area and they intensified their activities in the area,” he said.
Lt Gen Sandhu said as a strategy, security forces were conducting Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) on a daily bases in Hajin since September. “We had inducted Special Forces in the area and with the help of police and CRPF law and order was brought under control. After the situation came under control, good information started coming in from the area,” he said.
He said on Saturday following specific information, a joint search operation was launched by Army, police and CRPF in Hajin. “Six militants, who were all foreigners, were killed in the encounter. The militants were led by Mehmood Bhai and comprised bulk of Hajin group. So in effect, I would like to highlight that the Hajin group has by and large been decimated,” he added.
He said one of the six militants killed was Osama Jangi, who is the nephew of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.Asserting that the operation will continue, he hoped that peace will soon be restored in the valley. (UNI)