Militants find hard to get recruits: DGP

Militants find hard to get recruits: DGP

11 June 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: With the pressure of the security forces building up on militants they are desperate to aim at soft targets across Kashmir Valley to make their presence felt, Director General of Police K Rajendra said here today. In an interview to the Excelsior, the new Police Chief said that there is lot of pressure on the militants operating in the State from their handlers across to act. 'And there are large numbers of soft targets available which militants aim at to show their presence', he added. The DGP said that for every strike militants make, security forces prevent several of them. He said that police in majority of the cases have been successful in foiling the militant strikes but in the isolated cases they succeed. 'We have to succeed every time and they succeed once. We have upper hand and situation is totally under control', he added. Rajendra said that all those strikes that were carried out in Srinagar in recent months have been carried out by militants who came from outside Srinagar for the purpose and fled soon after. He said that there are no known sleeper cells of the militants in Srinagar but didn't rule it out also. He said that militants target Srinagar and other towns for their high news value. The DGP said that there are no fresh recruitments of militants taking place in the State. He, however, didn't rule out few odd cases in parts of Kashmir Valley. The Police Chief said that despite the elimination of top commanders and coming down of the infiltration, the militancy is not over yet. He said that there are still around 200-250 armed militants in the State. 'They are mostly in South and North Kashmir with Central Kashmir being least affected', he added. The DGP said that Tral, Shopian, Sopore and Kulgam are affected by the militancy and any one can sneak in other areas of Kashmir Valley to carry out the strike due to easy connectivity. He said that location of Sopore and its background is the cause behind survival of militants in the area. He said proximity of Sopore to the LoC through Bandipora, Kupwara and Baramulla, easy to operate and easy escape routes in the area are behind the growth of the militancy in the area. He said that Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) is making desperate attempts to recruit youth in Sopore but they are finding it very difficult. 'There is hardly any recruitment as there is no support for it. One odd child they may recruit', he said. The Police Chief said that militancy is on decline and credit goes to the people. 'It is down because of the public support which the Government, police and security forces are receiving', he added. He said that militant incidents have come down and this year there have been 52 incidents of militant violence across the State. Rajendra said that militants are desperate to fill their depleting ranks that have been eliminated over the past year. He said that with the killing of their commanders, the militant coordination, logistic and operations have been affected. 'And in the process the remaining militants became in-effective and some of them surrendered', he added. The DGP said that as long as training camps across the Line of Control (LoC) are there, the militancy will remain. He said that the training camps across the LoC are being relocated to avoid detection. The Police Chief said that despite attempts by the militants to infiltrate, the level of infiltration has come down. He said that more and more militants are attempting to infiltrate into the State but the troops along the LoC and border are alert and have foiled their attempts. He, however, said that 10-15 odd militants must have been successful in making their way into the state but majority of them have either been killed on the LoC or have gone back to their launching pads. When asked about the separatists' plans to disturb peace like they did in 2008, 2009 and 2010, Rajendra said that separatists are desperate to disturb the peace and smooth functioning of the Government but they have no public support. He said that common man knows about the damage and destruction it has caused. 'He knows how developmental activities were relegated to the background, tourist industry was hit and livelihood suffered', he added. The Police Chief said that no body wants destruction today and Kashmiri children are doing well at the educational front. They are topping various exams these days and support for militancy is hardly any, he added. On the recent threat to Panchs and Sarpanchs, the DGP said that some elements are spreading rumours and causing panic to subvert the elected system in the State. He said that there have been some incidents and some of the Panchs, Sarpanchs have been targeted for various reasons other than militancy. 'It is not something alarming', he added. Rajendra, however, said that police is investigating these cases where the Panchs and Sarpachs have been targeted and have been threatened through posters. 'We have mapped these areas, mostly in South Kashmir, where these incidents have taken place and joint patrolling is being done by the security forces in these areas', he added. On the Amarnath Yatra that commences later this month, Rajendra said that security arrangements are in place for the smooth conduct of the yatra. He said that despite snow on the mountain, Army has taken positions at vantage points along the yatra route. And Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have also established pickets for the yatra security in the snowbound areas. The Police Chief said that elaborate arrangements are being taken for the decongestion of Srinagar city during the yatra period. He said that yatris will proceed directly to Pahalgam and Baltal from Jammu without touching Srinagar. He said they will use alternate route of Shalteng for traveling to Baltal so that Srinagar city is not congested during the summer. On financing of militancy, he said that security forces have managed to block various channels of funding militancy in the State. But, he said, they are using multiple channels. He said that police have identified the people who are channeling hawala money and have managed to choke the funding to a great level. Rajendra said that there are various channels like money transfer and depositing of money into the accounts of Over Ground Workers (OGWs) from third country. 'Other banking channels of funding militancy are also being used', he added. The Police Chief said that LoC trade is also being used to fund militancy in the State. He said that modus operandi is under invoicing of the goods. He said that 6 cases have been registered in funding of militancy through LoC trade routes of Uri and Poonch.