Only 200 terrorists active in J&K, most terror group leaderless now: DGP Dilbagh Singh

After the completion of one year of the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, active militancy is in its lowest phase in the erstwhile state in decades and all terror groups are leaderless due to the continuous anti-terror operations by the security forces as well as the administration.

Dilbag Singh, J&K Director General of Police said that active terrorists in J&K has been around 200 compared to 350 or 400 earlier. “All the terror organisations are leaderless now and those militants who are recruited as leaders of any group by Pakistan-based handlers are caught or killed,” he stated. 

“In 2019, a total of 131 militants were killed till July but only 29 were killed from July to December that year as we were busy maintaining law and order, and our operations had declined. In total, we killed 160 militants in 2019 in 67 successful operations and over 5,000 cordon and area search operations,” Singh said. He added that this year, a total of 150 terrorists have been killed till date.

Of these 150 terrorists, 30 were foreign and 120 were locals, including 39 top commanders of all major groups. 

The top police cop said that most of terror groups in the Valley are facing a severe crunch of weapons and Pakistan has adopted a new technique of supplying arms and ammunition to them using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). He added that several such incidents have been reported in the recent past.

The DGP called 2018 a ‘landmark’ year compared to 2013, the DGP said that security is ‘much better now than ever before’.

“The number of poster boys of militancy started increasing in 2013 and major recruitment was done till 2017. Poster boys like Manan Wani, Burhan Wani and Riyaz Naikoo were so famous here at that time. Youths used to carry their photos,” he stated. 

“Operations against such groups improved in 2017 and 2018 was a landmark year as far as our operations were concerned. Governor`s rule came in 2018, and there was a huge difference in the first six months and second half of 2018 in terms of law and order and militancy operations,” Singh said.

The officer said 93 successful operations took place in 3,600 cordon and search operations in 2018, and the trend set in 2018 was maintained in 2019.

He said that in August last year, when the abrogation came, 5,500 people were picked up by the police for disrupting law and order situation in the state. “We told the stone pelters to fill a `Good Behaviour Bond` and handed them over to their family members after keeping them in custody for 4 to 5 days. We kept only 1,200 people in custody who were a threat to law and order,” Singh said. The 1,200 people in custody include Hurriyat members, some stone pelters and some OWG workers.

As per the J&K police chief, the graph of anti-militancy operations reached a high that was not achieved in the last 10 years.

The officer said a total of 144 stone pelters aged below 18 were picked up under legal procedures and all of them, except 17, were handed over to their families after warning them. “These 17 were put in juvenile homes and court cases were filed.”

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