SRINAGAR:Up to 63 militants, most of them local residents, have been killed in firefight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir since January this year.
According to a police officer, many local militants have been killed in 2015 unlike in the past years. “In 2014, 110 militants were killed in the state and most of them were foreigners. But this year, more local militants were killed,” he said.
The police officer said more locals had joined militancy and they were more active in South Kashmir and parts of North Kashmir. “Since the militants are active in South Kashmir, the frequency of encounters in the region has also increased,” he said.
Militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen, LeT and the Jaish-e-Mohammad are active in South Kashmir comprising Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag districts, he added.
Police statistics show that 56 militants had been shot dead in encounters with the police, Army, CRPF and the BSF in first seven months of 2015. In the first two weeks of August, seven more militants were killed in encounters with security forces, taking the total number of militants killed by forces this year to 63.
The officer said foreign militants had been killed in firefights with security forces along the LoC and the International Border. The Army said 19 militants, mostly foreigners, had been killed along the LoC thus far. It claimed to have foiled 11 infiltration bids by militants.
According to police, 185-200 militants are active in the state and only 40 per cent of them are foreigners.
General Officer Commanding Lt Gen Subrata Saha recently told reporters that educated youths joining militant ranks was a concern for all security agencies.