SRINAGAR: Security forces have managed to eliminate 101 militants this year in Jammu and Kashmir, and are now focusing on neutralising around 125 more ultras, including 25 foreign terrorists, in the southern districts of the Valley, officials said on Monday.
General officer commanding of the Army's XV Corps Lt General BS Raju said while it was difficult to put out an exact number of militants active at the moment, the security forces were looking at 100 odd local ultras and around 25 foreign terrorists in south Kashmir.
"We can give a rough figure of 100 odd local terrorists (that) we are looking at and, may be, another 20-25 foreign terrorists," Gen Raju told reporters at a hurriedly convened press conference at the Victor Force Headquarters in Awantipora, 33 km from here.
Police officials said the total number of militants killed in the Union territory has crossed 101 since the beginning of this year but the security forces have paid a heavy price for their efforts to maintain peace, losing 29 personnel, including some officers, during the counter-insurgency operations. "With the four militants killed in the encounter at Pinjora in Shopian this morning, the total number of ultras eliminated this year has reached 101," the officials said here.
They said while 29 security forces personnel have laid down their lives while fighting the ultras, the militants have shot dead 11 civilians in the corresponding period. There was a slight lull in anti-militancy operations during the month of March but the operations have picked up speed since April.
While 29 militants were killed in April, 15 were neutralised in May and an equal number have been killed in the first eight days of June.
Lt Gen Raju said the successes against the insurgents were due to the professionalism of all agencies involved in these operations. "Starting from the intelligence given by the Jammu and Kashmir police, the solid crowd control done by the CRPF and the appropriate tactics that were used by the forces on ground ensured that it was done in the most professional manner," he added.
Lt Gen Raju said he would give credit to the local population, "which kind of facilitated in conducting the operation in such a smooth manner". "We will continue with our professional operations in a manner that we cause minimum inconvenience to public and our primary aim remains to bring in peace. We are neutralising somebody so that people can live without fear, they can go about their routine in a manner where their livelihood is not disturbed. That is our primary focus," he added.
Asked about the emergence of The Resistance Force (TRF), the corps commander said, "There is no organisation called TRF. It is a social media entity which is trying to take credit for anything and everything that is happening within the Valley. It is in the electronic domain. We are taking appropriate action to neutralise it. To me, it is a mirror image of a foreign entity of Lashker-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad," he said.