Srinagar : Director General of Police of Jammu and Kashmir Dilbag Singh has said that though the number of local youths joining militant groups has fallen from 85 to 69 this year, the “unfortunate trend” continues to a certain extent and that more efforts from the society and agencies are needed to check it.
Singh highlighted the efforts of the police force to combat militancy and said Jammu and Kashmir has seen an overall decline in militancy after the police cracked down on the network of Over Ground Workers (OGWs) by detaining 417 of them over a period of time.
“That is an unfortunate trend as I see some amount of recruitment is taking place. It is 69 to be precise. But then if you compare it with the same period of previous year it was 85. You see a declining trend here but the fact is that certain recruitment is taking place. We are trying to address this problem by targeting the people who are responsible for luring the youth and radicalization of the youth,” he told PTI here.
Singh, a 1987-batch IPS officer, said the police have succeeded to an extent in targeting “such elements” who were responsible for luring the youth into militancy.
“But much more is required to be done from within the society and some other agencies which must be dealing with THE youth to see that they are away from the path of destruction and they are brought back to the positive activity and engagement. So, therefore, all concerned agencies of the government have to engage our vulnerable youth positively (and) more efforts are required to be put in,” he said.
Without sharing details, Singh said there have been some heartening developments in this regard when a “very sizable number” of youths who had left their homes to join militant groups were brought back.
“Their number is 30 and they have since joined their families back…public faith in police is very heartening, anybody missing, public is reporting to police, especially parents reporting to police simultaneously to help them get their wards back is a very healthy trend,” he said.
“I assure that if they come back, there will be no harm done to them, they will be happily reunited with their families,” he said.
He said surrender appeals have even been made during live encounters. “That experiment has also been very successful…over a dozen people came out…the boys were grateful especially when they came out and told their stories…how they were lured into and made to be part of the terror outfits which they never wanted to. They were actually coerced into joining militant activities,” he said.
On recent attacks in Srinagar city, Singh admitted that terrorists have been trying to gain their foothold in the city “but we have been able to decimate their plans. Whosoever comes and sets up his base in the city, he is targeted sooner or later.”
He said police carried out 17 encounters last year within the city and this year also nearly 3 to 4 encounters have taken place.
“So, we are getting information about people and we are going after them. Very soon you will be hearing about another solid operation in Srinagar city,” he said.
The police chief said the number of militants in Jammu and Kashmir has fallen from 300-plus to nearly 200. “Within the 200, there are some foreign elements. So, the figure stands at 190-195 out of which we have 60 to 70 foreign militants,” he said.
“As I see, the situation is much better as compared to the previous years”.
Only 84 incidents have taken place as compared to 120 in the corresponding period last year. It shows a decline of 30 per cent.
“Similarly, when we talk of law-and-order situation, 48 incidents have taken place as compared to 100 incidents in the period of last year which shows a decline of 52 per cent for which we feel much satisfied with it,” he said.
“I am glad to say that there is no single casualty during the course of our operations. Our counter-terror operations have been very neat and clean,” he said.
Singh said the anti-terror operations were to strengthen “our efforts to augment an environment of peace and get rid of the fear from the minds of people that has been created by militants and their stooges and associates.”
“We are trying to keep the pace…despite the Covid challenges, we have tried to carry out a large number of operations. Over 34 operations have been carried out during the current year while 83 terrorists have been killed during this year which included around half-a-dozen foreign militants.”
He said apart from this, security forces have have been able “to strike at their terror network, OGW network, and the network which sustains the ecosystem of militancy, of terror funding by various means.”