SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police on Thursday declared the north Kashmir district of Baramulla “militant-free”. It is the second time in 29 years that a district in the Valley has got the designation.
The declaration came after three local Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in a gunfight on Wednesday.
Baramulla district has traditionally been a militant stronghold, according to security agencies. Its status of “militant-free” is particularly important because of a surge in local militant recruitment and violence since 2016.
Director General of J&K Police Dilbagh Singh complimented the police for their success. “Kashmir needs peace so that its people could have dividends for a better tomorrow,” he said.
After the launch of “Operation All Out” by security forces in Kashmir in 2017 following the 2016 surge, Baramulla has remained the focus of anti-militancy operations.
“In 2017, 38 militants were killed in Baramulla while 27 militants died in encounters last year,” said the officer. He, however, did not rule out the possibility of the presence of foreign militants.