In his annual press conference, the police chief in Indian-administered Kashmir admitted that more local youth had picked up arms against Indian in the disputed Himalayan region.
The Director General of Police, Dilbagh Singh, told the mediapersons in Jammu that 2020 saw an increase in the local militant recruitment compared to last year. “But it is less than year 2018. The important thing is that 70 per cent of those who joined militancy were either slain or were arrested.”
46 local insurgents were arrested after picking up arms while 76 newly recruited rebels were slain in various anti-militancy operations.
Singh said: “The shelf-life of militants is very less. It is between three days to three months only.”
Analysts believe that the average life of an insurgent in a conflict is between three to six years after joining the ranks.
Singh said that in this year over 100 anti-militancy operations were conducted that led to 225 insurgents, including 46 top commanders, of various rebel outfits being slain.
He said at present, almost all the militant outfits are facing “leadership crisis”.
“We conducted 103 anti-militancy operations in 2020 of which 90 were in Kashmir and 13 in Jammu. 225 militants were killed in these operations of which 207 were killed in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu. The slain include 46 top commanders of various militant outfits who were either of A++ or A+ category,” the DGP said.
In 2020, 38 civilians including political activists were killed compared to 38 last year. “Most of these killings took place when the election process was started,” the J&K police chief said.
The year also saw highest ever ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, according to Singh. At the same time he said there were less infiltration attempts by insurgents as compared to past few years. “Drones were used along the LoC to drop cash, weapons, and even drugs to promote militancy,” Singh claimed. “We have been able to foil the majority of the attempts that were aimed at dropping weapon consignments through drones.”
The DGP said that 36 militant modules were bused while as 100 people associated with these modules who were tasked to provide logistic support, shifting of weapons from one place to another were arrested.
According to him there was a significant improvement in law and order. “There has been 75 dip in the law and order related incidents this year as only 143 incidents of law and order (with less intensity) were witnessed in Kashmir compared to 584 last year,” the DGP said. “There was zero causality in the law and order incidents in the year 2020. Last year two people had died in the protests just because of their over excitement.” He said in year 2020, there was almost zero collateral damage barring a single incident at Batamaloo area of Srinagar where a woman got killed in cross fire during an encounter.
The police chief said that 12 militants surrendered in 2020 during gunfights- a first in Kashmir.