Verifying if any fresh infiltration has taken place post 370 abrogation: Police

Verifying if any fresh infiltration has taken place post 370 abrogation: Police

Firdous Hassan

Srinagar: The Director General of Police, J&K, Dilbagh Singh Wednesday said the police was “verifying” whether any successful infiltration by militants had taken place after the abrogation of Article 370 early last month.

“Yes, there have been many reports of infiltration. The militants tried infiltrating through certain areas including Rajouri, Poonch, Gurez, and Karnah. In Gulmarg sector, two militants were recently held who were produced before media. Now we are trying to verify whether any successful infiltration has taken place,” he said while addressing a press conference here.

Singh said that there have been reports about the activity of militants in their launching pads along the LoC.

“Pakistan agencies are very desperate to push in militants to Kashmir but we are very active to respond to them and foil their attempts. At their launch pads, there’s activity and presence of militants,” he said.

The DGP said the activities of the Over Ground Workers (OGWs) were also being monitored, whom he blamed for “being equally responsible for creating a sense of scare among the people”.

“Not just militants we closely watch the activity of OGWs. They have also created a sense of scare among the people by posting posters and carrying their messages to the people. We held eight OGWS in north Kashmir, five in Srinagar and four in Shopian. The investigation about their role is going on,” Singh said.

The DGP said a total of 184 law and order incidents were reported from various regions of the state in the aftermath of abrogation of Article 370.
Singh, however, said heavy violence was only reported in only half-a dozen cases. “Minor incidents took place in most of the places. Till yesterday, 184 incidents of law and order engagements were there of which not more than half-a-dozen are of such nature, where a little higher level of violence was seen in terms of stone-pelting by the civilians,” he said while addressing a presser.

The police chief said that 15 to 16 militants were active in North Kashmir adding there were hardly any reports of fresh recruitment in militant ranks in the valley.

“There is hardly any report of youth joining militancy recently. One of the two youths who had joined militancy was brought back in the mainstream with the help of their parents and civil society,” he said.

The DGP said forces have also tried to exercise “a lot of restraint with very minimal use of force wherever required.’
Asked whether the restriction imposed after the abrogation of Article 370 will be lifted, he said they are considering giving more relaxation in the coming days.

“I am happy to say that our people in the state in all three regions have been very cooperative and maintenance of law and order in Jammu and Kashmir has been very good. Despite a number of law and order incidents reported from various places in the state, there was hardly any serious law and order engagement,” he added.

Meanwhile, police claimed that have killed a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Asif Maqbool Bhat during a gun battle in Sopore area of north Kashmir on Wednesday.

“Based on specific inputs, we set up checkpoints to track and block Asif. We intercepted him and he attacked us. He threw a grenade. A few police personnel were injured but they are out of danger,” the DGP said.

According to the police, Bhat was responsible for a recent shootout in which three members of a fruit trader’s family and a five-year-old girl were injured. Police also said he was also responsible for the shooting of a migrant labourer named Shafi Aalam in Sopore.

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