Over 60 Militants Infiltrate This Year, 91 Killed

21 December 2015
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: At least 60 militants have managed to infiltrate into Kashmir valley this year ahead of snowfall, sources said. However, the Multi Agency figures of the infiltration for this year's are at 25 till October. So far security forces have killed 91 militants in counter-infiltration and counter-militancy operations this year. A top security officer said that they have confirmed infiltration figures of at least 60 militants for this year. 'Majority of these militants are still in the forest areas of North Kashmir along the LoC, however, over a dozen have managed to shift to South Kashmir', he said. According to figures of last few years, 65 militants infiltrated in 2014, 97 infiltrated in 2013, 121 infiltrated in 2012, 52 infiltrated in 2011, 82 infiltrated in 2010, 99 infiltrated in 2009 and 27 infiltrated in 2008. The security officer said that majority of these militants are from Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) while majority of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants were killed during the infiltration. He said that these militants are highly trained and possess sophisticated weapons and communication technology. The officer said that there are around 12 Launch Pads of militants active in Pakistan occupied Kashmir along 400 kilometer LoC that Kashmir valley shares with PoK. He said that around 40-50 militants are waiting on each of these launch pads for infiltrating into Kashmir. According to figures, around 91 militants were killed in Kashmir valley including LoC while infiltrating. Out of these, 32 were killed in South Kashmir in various counter-infiltration operations and 59 were killed along LoC and North Kashmir, majority of them in the forest areas. Security forces launched massive operations in North Kashmir's forest area along the LoC for last several months against these infiltrated militants. However, in majority of these operations the militants slipped out of the cordon. Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles of Army, Colonel Santosh Mahadik, was killed in a fierce gun battle in North Kashmir's Kupwara on November 17 and on November 22 Colonel SK Natt was critically injured in two of these operations in Manigah forest area. Army and Police launched massive operations in Manigah forests for over 15 days last month against these militants in which two militants were killed. However, the other members of the group managed to give slip to the security forces. Similar operations were launched in Bandipora forests of North Kashmir for over one month against a group of around 17 militants. However, no one was either arrested or killed. Now with the heavy snowfall along the 400 kilometer LoC from Gulmarg to Gurez, the infiltration has become difficult. However, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps, Lt General Satish Dua said last week that there are still some areas where snowfall is less and from where the militants can try to infiltrate.