September 2001 News

Foreign militants paying hefty sums to house owners for seeking shelter: Gill

8 September 2001
The Daily Excelsior
Gopal Sharma

SRINAGAR: For ensuring their safe and comfortable stay, the foreign militants are paying hefty sum of ‘fake currency’ to house owners, whose rooms are being used as their hideouts and safeguarding their activities. Inspector General of Border Security Force Srinagar Frontier, Mr Gurpreet Singh Gill told Excelsior that militancy is Kashmir valley is now mainly dominated by the foreigners. The local number is not much higher. But in order to ensure their safe and comfortable stay, the foreign militants are paying hefty sum of fake curency to the owners of the houses which they are using as their hideouts. The poor and innocent people are being duped who may get the fake currency notes of rupees 50, 100 and 500 denomination. Though entire leadership is in the hands of mercenaries and they are carrying on their anti-security forces and anti-India activities with the active support of local Kashmiri militants, yet security forces continued to dominate their cadre in the Valley and there is no impact on their mind and morale due to Fidayeens’ attack on the security force camps and other vital installations. They have become more vigil and alert to thwart any attack from militants’ side. Mr Gill, an IPS officer of the Himachal Pradesh cadre and inducted to BSF last year as IG, said the morale of Border Security Force personnel was very high and they are well prepared and trained enough to handle any task in the counter insurgency area of this region. They are well trained in handling and defusing mines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and its Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) are playing a crucial role and smashing hideouts and handling very challenging tasks in the militancy-hit region of J&K state. When asked how he felt when he received posting orders from a most peaceful state to most trouble-torn region of the country, Mr Gill quipped,'' Earlier I was shocked but I had been in the BSF about five years back and handled some challenging situations. Now, I have settle down here and carrying on the task with best of my ability and efficiency.'' Earlier, talking to reporters the IG disclosed that the Border Security Force which have deployed at present 48 battalions in Kashmir valley, eliminated 116 militants and apprehended 172 from January to August 31 this year. These ultras belonged to thirteen different militant outfits operating in Kashmir valley. Out of them, 42 were foreign mercenaries and eight active leading militant commanders. During this period four ultras surrendered. The number of surrenderees is very low these days as most of them involved in active operations are foreigners. In 1991, the highest number of 405 militants surrendered followed by 180 in 1992 and 123 in 1996. In the year 2000, only six surrendered before BSF while their number was only nine in 1999. It has been learnt that maximum number of ultras surrendered before J&K police. Majority of local militants have either been killed or surrendered. Now a large number of foreigners are carrying on their activities. Therefore, less number of locals are available who surrender alongwith their weapons. The foreigners never do it as they have learnt to do or die. They are either facing starvation in Afganistan, Sudan or N-W Frontiers of Pakistan or criminals languishing in Pakistani jails. Moreover, they have no other option. They are taken out by ISI personnel, given weapons, training and huge money for accomplishing the tasks given to them. They are lured for heavy amount for their any major action on this side including killings, attacks on security forces and causing maximum damage. It may include killing of top politicians and prominent religious figures on this side. Referring to some of the top ultras eliminated in recent past, Mr Gill said one of the prominent militant commander was, Muzaffar Ahmed Yattoo alias Muzza alias Shakoor, District Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, who was planning and coordinating the militant activities in Srinagar, controlling finances, selecting targets and getting them accomplished. He was instrumental in killing number of security force personnel, SPOs, sympathisers of police and other forces. Their another leader —Rafiq Ahmed Baba , District Commander Jarb-e-Islami was also involved in number of selective killings ansd attacks on security force camps and vital installations. However, the BSF besides playing key role in combating militancy in Kashmir, has undertaken various civic actions programmes for the welfare of civil population. In first six months of this year, the BSF arranged 27 medical camps and treated 25,111 patients , arranged Pulse Polio Immunization programmes, provided books, stationery and uniforms to about 1000 poor and needy children and also arranged kero- sene oil in far flung areas. The force adopted 1,500 students since last year and has beeen sponsoring their expenditure on uniform, books and stationery etc. This process will continue till the student will pass 12th standard. These students belong to families living below poverty line and whose parents are unable to provide them education.

 

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