Police Census: 104 Militants Active In Kashmir

Police Census: 104 Militants Active In Kashmir

23 February 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: A latest census by the J&K Police shows 104 militants are active across Kashmir and out of them nearly 60 per cent are of foreign origin. This confidential data compiled by the police last month also reveals the presence of 59 active cadres of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba across Kashmir, which is almost double the number of indigenous Hizbul Mujahideen militants, whose number as per the census figures is pegged at 30. While there are a total 62 foreign militants active in Kashmir valley at present, out of five top militants operating in different parts of the Valley, four are of local origin. These five top militant commanders have been categorised as ‘A plus plus’, according to the police document. 'A plus plus' category means the most wanted and hardcore militants. These top commanders include Lashkar-e-Toiba’s Abu Qasim, a Pakistani militant, Sajad Ahmad Bhat, hailing from Srinagar, Mohammad Muzzaffar Naikoo of Sopore and Bilal Ahmed Bhat of Pulwama. The Hizbul top man in Kashmir, Qayoom Najar, hails from Sopore. The document, a copy of which has been accessed by The Tribune, shows that majority of the 104 militants are operating in various districts of north Kashmir. The document shows that seven militants of Lashkar are operating in Srinagar district and except one, all are foreigners. “Out of the seven militants operating in Srinagar, two Pakistani militants, Hurera and Babar, are categorised as 'A plus',” the document reveals. Srinagar’s neighbouring district Budgam, which recently witnessed an encounter in which a Hizbul Mujahideen militant from south Kashmir was killed, has no resident militant. Ganderbal district has one active militant, who is said to be a local. According to the report, there are 35 militants active in the frontier Kupwara district, out of which 16 operate in the Handwara area, which is close to the Line of Control. The Sopore area in north Kashmir continues to be the hotbed of militants. According to the report, there are 15 militants of three outfits operating in the Sopore area of Baramulla district. “These militants include Hizbul Mujahideen’s top commander Qayoom Najar. LeT’s another top commander in north Kashmir, Mohammad Muzafar Naikoo, who is also an ‘A plus plus’ militant, also operates from Sopore,” says the document. Once the hotbed of militants, Bandipore district has no resident militant. Baramulla district has only two militants. South Kashmir’s Pulwama district has 29 active militants. This includes LeT’s top most Pakistani commander Abu Qasim and a local commander Bilal Ahmed Bhat. The Qasim module of the LeT has been responsible for many deadly attacks on security personnel since the last year in Srinagar, central Kashmir and south Kashmir. The module is also alleged to be responsible for the attack in Hyderpora on an Army convoy in June last year. The Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit has also its presence in Awantipore. The Jaish-e-Mohammad’s top commander in Kashmir, Adil Pathan, is also based in south Kashmir. The Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit has 15 active militants in the Valley. In Shopian district, there are eight militants and Kulgam has six militants, according to the document. The report revealed that Anantnag had one Hizbul militant, who was arrested recently. Among those named in the list, five have been killed and two, including Hizbul commander Mubarak Ahmed Wani, have been arrested. Vital numbers: 59 cadres of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba active across Kashmir; Hizbul Mujahideen militants’ number as per the census is pegged at 30; The Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit has 15 active militants in the Valley.