Ready to tackle militancy, which will be main threat in coming months: CRPF IG
In the last four months of unrest, the number of militants in Kashmir has seen a sharp rise of over 54 per cent from less than 200 to nearly 300, posing a challenge to the security forces which are already battling infiltration and ceasefire violations.
The number of militants has increased despite 44 of them getting killed this year so far. A majority of the militants were eliminated along the LoCwhile attempting to infiltrate during the unrest following the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8.
“Militancy will be the main threat in the coming months and the forces are ready to tackle the situation,” said Inspector General, Operations, CRPF, Kashmir, Zulfiqar Hassan.
According to official figures, 179 militants were active before the unrest broke out in July and now the number is between 275 and 300.
The increase in the number of militants has been largely due to the spurt in infiltration and nearly 50 local youth have taken up arms during the unrest.
The new recruits are mostly associated with indigenous militant group Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Toiba, which continue to remain the most dominant outfits in Kashmir.
A senior police officer said at present nearly 220 militants were listed with various security agencies in Kashmir. Of them, 115 are locals and the rest foreigners. The rest of the militants are yet to come on the security radar, even as there are inputs about their presence in various districts.
“Those militants who have not been listed have sneaked in recent months and are hiding in forest areas,” the officer said, adding that the increase in number of militants is a cause for concern.
A senior officer of the Central Armed Police Forces said the coming months would bring a whole lot of challenges on the militancy front.