October 2001 News

572 militants killed in Rajouri till October-end

31 October 2001
The Times of India

RAJOURI, Jammu: A total of 572 militants have been eliminated by police and security forces in the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri since January 1 to October-end this year, a senior Army officer said here on Wednesday.Out of 572, 37 have been killed in Pir Panjal ranges by the Army units located in the area to counter militancy and pressure on the militants continued unabated, Major General Dalip Mukherjee, who heads the Romeo Force tackling the insurgency, said here.Police and security forces have evolved a joint strategy to combat the insurgency in these areas by launching joint operations which has helped in eliminating the terrorists, 90 per cent of whom are foreigners, he said.He estimated the number of foreign mercenaries present in Pir Panjal ranges about 300 to 500, who often mobilise themselves in the ridges and higher mountain peaks.He said most of these militants are being sent to Jammu and Kashmir for a maximum period of two years and are being replaced by new comers from Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.Heavy pressure from the security forces and non-cooperation from the local population the ultras are now trying to return, tight security along the Line of Control has made that too very difficult, he said.


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