September 2003 News

Army calls Kuka Parrey a great motivator

15 September 2003
The Hindu
Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The killing of militant-turned-politician, Kuka Parrey, in Baramulla, is a great loss to the Army, say senior officials. The new public face of the Army, D.H. Summanwar of the Military Intelligence, told newsmen that Parrey had evolved into a great motivator in weaning away locals from militancy. The former legislator was killed in retaliation for the gunning down of top Jaish-e-Mohammad commander, Gazi Baba, in Srinagar. Parrey had broken off from extremists in the mid-90s and provided accurate information about movement of militants and it helped the Army in engaging and killing many of them. Maj. Gen. Summanwar, however, denied that the Army had anything to do with his security or the lack of it. The responsibility was with the local police and the private guards who accompanied him. Despite the close association and reliance on Mr. Parrey, the Army was carrying out counter- insurgency operations with vigour and had eliminated 60 terrorists since September 1. Its reasoning for the large number of encounters and killings was the turmoil among militants following Gazi Baba's death. When militants came over ground to attack Army posts many of them were killed. Maj. Gen. Summanwar, considered a 'thinking general' by his peers, was drafted from a field posting in Ladakh to beef up the publicity wing of the Military Intelligence following the Surankot fiasco. Many details of the major operation the Army conducted in Surankot region near the line of control (LoC) were found exaggerated. Dwelling on the encounter in Kathua region in which the Army returned empty handed after a week-long siege, the officers pointed out that it was a 'handover' operation. The Army was called in after the local police were unable to handle an encounter with seven militants who had taken refuge in a nearby forest. He implied that the former had not planned the operation from the initial stages.


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