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June 26, 1999
Militants on the run in Jammu region, says IG
Intense pressure by security forces on militants has yielded encouraging results in terms of militants killed and recovery of arms and ammunition in the Jammu region.
Inspector General of Police (Jammu zone) Kuldeep Khuda said 201 militants, including top-ranking foreigners, were eliminated during the first five months of this year as against 89 militants killed during the same period last year.
He said the militants who were planning to disrupt the movement of security forces and had set off improvised explosive devices on the national highway at Nowgam Banihal were identified and eliminated.
The militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba were Abu Husana and Abu Nayoem (both Pakistanis), Mohammad Sadiq alias Hyder and Khurshied alias Abu Hamat, he said.
Khuda said the ongoing operations of the security forces had thwarted the moves of militants to relocate and strengthen their positions, particularly in Doda district, and had kept them on the run.
He said a large number of militants were camping on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control, waiting for an opportunity to sneak into Indian territory to carry out their nefarious activities. The security apparatus is however ready to face any eventuality, he said.
Khuda said while 52 militants were killed during May, seven others were arrested. Two militants surrendered to the authorities.
The IGP said 57 police/ security forces' personnel were killed and 92 injured between January and May this year as against 29 personnel killed and 62 injured during the same period last year.
''Higher casualties among security personnel were due to stepped up anti-militant operations and resultant encounters,'' he said.
Khuda said 150 civilians were also killed and 117 injured in militant attacks between January and May as against 90 civilians killed and 64 injured during corresponding period last year. The increased civilian toll was indicative of the militants' desperation who were hitting soft targets, he added.
During the five-month period, 371 encounters and 219 firing incidents took place, he said and added 35 encounters took place in the last month alone, including 14 in Doda district, 11 in Udhampur and five each in Poonch and Rajouri districts.
The militants resorted to 13 attacks on civilians and 11 on security forces during May.
Apart from 37 explosions triggered by militants, 25 cases of kidnapping, 18 of arson and four of looting by militants were also reported during January to May.
Khuda said significant progress was registered in the recovery of arms and ammunition between January and May, including three anti-tank missiles, 39 rocket launchers, 144 rifle grenades, 410 grenades/bombs, three aero-dynamic modules, 180 AK-rifles, 48 pistols/ revolvers, nine silencer-fitted pistols, five universal machine guns and two mortar guns.
On the crime position, the IGP asserted that preventive action by the police had kept crime well under control.
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