100 killed in J&K since ceasefire withdrawal
8 June 2001
The Times of India
The Times of India News Service
SRINAGAR: At least 100 people, including 70 militants, have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir since the withdrawal of the ceasefire by the Centre on May 31. Most of those killed in the week after the Centre ended its six-month-long unilateral ceasefire were foreign militants. They were eliminated in various parts of the Jammu region. Incidentally, the police said that during the ceasefire period, 1,049 people were killed in Kashmir alone. These included 425 militants, 220 security personnel and 404 civilians. Director-general of police Ashok Kumar Suri said the militants in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu were killed in the last one week with the help of inputs from the intelligence agencies, which relayed specific information about the whereabouts of the militants in the forest regions. "The assault against militants hiding in the hills will continue as was the practice in the past," Suri said. The police chief said cordon-and- search operations would resume but they would be conducted with restraint in order to avoid harassment to the local people. Meanwhile, the Border Security Force has launched a massive operation in and around Srinagar city to check the entry of foreign militants into the heart of the city. All passing vehicles are being thoroughly searched and the occupants frisked. Huge drop gates have been erected on all the seven bridges to keep foreign militants away from the city. An assistant commandant of the BSF posted in Lal Chowk said a number of foreign militants are seen strolling in the Lal Chowk area. When asked why they (the security forces) do not take action against these militants in the heart of the city, the officer said it could lead to civilian casualties. The police have also launched massive operations alongwith the Army to check any fresh infiltration from north-west Kashmir. The entire mountainous region in the area has been sealed to check such attempts, said a senior intelligence officer. But sources in northern Kashmir said the infiltration was still continuing despite the claims of the security agencies. A fresh batch of around 25 militants, mostly foreign, had been seen in the Kupwara forests, the sources added.