Pak handlers push militants into UT to harm civilians, disturb peace: DGP

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Pak handlers push militants into UT to harm civilians, disturb peace: DGP

Jammu, March 16: Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh on Wednesday said Pakistani handlers were pushing militants into the union territory to harm civilians and disturb the prevailing peaceful atmosphere.

“Over the past two weeks, the evil designs of militants once again came to light when they targeted panches and sarpanches. The sinful acts of harming and killing innocent people evoked strong condemnation from all quarters,” the police chief told reporters on the sidelines of a function in Kishtwar district.

The DGP, along with the Additional DGP of Jammu Mukesh Singh, visited Kishtwar to inaugurate a cricket tournament being hosted by the police department in the memory of Deputy Superintendent of Police Aman Thakur who laid down his life in an encounter with terrorists in south Kashmir’s Kulgam in February 2019.

Sarpanches Sameer Bhat and Shabir Ahmad Mir were killed in Srinagar and Kulgam districts on March 9 and March 11, respectively, while an independent panchayat member, Mohammad Yaqub Dar, was gunned down by terrorists in Kulgam on March 2.

“Pakistani handlers are pushing them (militants operating in J&K) to harm innocent people by targeted killings and grenade throwing. Two civilians, including a girl, were killed in one such grenade attack in Srinagar (on March 6),” the police chief said.

On counter-militancy operations, he said, “Over the past few days, we have carried out over half-a-dozen successful operations, including the one in Srinagar which resulted in the killing of three militants (on Wednesday). These three militants were involved in the killing of Kanmoh sarpanch (Bhat).” Eleven militants have been killed in seven encounters in different parts of Kashmir Valley since March 10. While two militants were killed in Pulwama and Srinagar’s Hazratbal on March 10, three encounters in Pulwama, Ganderbal and Kupara left four militants dead and one more arrested. Another militant was killed in Pulwama on March 15.

The DGP said the culprits behind the killing of a sarpanch in Kulgam, a CRPF personnel in Shopian and an Army jawan in Budgam were also arrested.

CRPF jawan Mukthar Ahmad and soldier Sameer Ahmad Malla were killed by terrorists in Shopian and Budgam districts on March 12 and 10, respectively. Both of them had come home on leave when they were attacked by the terrorists.

“Those behind the killing of a sarpanch in Kulgam were arrested and the main militant was identified and is being chased. The module behind the CRPF jawan’s killing was busted and similarly, the culprits involved in the killing of army jawan were also arrested and the militant identified and he too will be neutralized,” Singh said.

He said, “The operations against militants will continue so that the people can live in a peaceful atmosphere and the killings at the hands of Pakistani and local militants at the behest of Pakistani agencies are stopped.” Asked about fear among Panchayati Raj Institution members in the wake of recent attacks, the DGP said there is no need to panic.

“Providing security to every individual is not possible everywhere but we are making efforts to provide a peaceful atmosphere through area security, we are providing security (to individuals) following intelligence input,” he said.

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