‘How many militants are active in JK?’

MHA Asks Army, Police, Intelligence Bureau To ‘Reconcile Numbers’

SHABIR IBN YUSUF

Srinagar, Dec 23: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the Army, Police and Intelligence Bureau (IB) to ‘reconcile’ their figures about the number of ‘active and infiltrated’ militants in Jammu and Kashmir for the year 2012 as the numbers put forth by them were varying.
“The disparity in the number of active and infiltrated militants is being reconciled,” a senior MHA official told Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity. “We have directed the security agencies to reconcile the numbers as soon as possible. I think in coming week the process will be completed.”
The MHA said the Army puts the number of militants present in J&K at over 400 while the J&K Police has put the number of active militants at 223. On the other hand, the Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) working under the aegis of the IB has put this number at 104. “The MAC says that 42 among them have so far been killed in different anti-militancy operations in the state,” the senior MHA official said.
An official of the State Home Department told Greater Kashmir that the huge disparity in numbers first came up for discussion during the visit of Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to Kashmir in the last week of October. “The discussion came up during the security review meeting and directions were passed to these agencies to reconcile their figures,” the official said, adding that Shinde was ‘surprised’ to see such huge disparity in numbers. “The representatives of these security agencies were present when it was discussed,” he said.
In Kashmir, the official said that most of the militants, according these security agencies, are operating in Sopore area of Baramulla district, Kupwara and Bandipora in north Kashmir, Anantnag and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir.
In Jammu division, the official said, the security agencies said militants are active in Poonch, Ramban and Rajouri.
The official said that Police and IB during the meeting put forth the point that infiltration was at its lowest ebb and so the number of active militants in J&K has dwindled.
The State Home Department believes that there is also disparity in number of militants infiltrated this year. “That too is having gaps and numbers are being reconciled,” a source said, without divulging the disparity.
Pertinently, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during a recent press briefing at Sheeri Baramulla in north Kashmir admitted that there is disparity in number of militants who have infiltrated this year. “I cannot disclose any number of militants infiltrated this year,” he had said, adding that Army formation has put one number and other agencies have put some other numbers.
“Let them reconcile the numbers. Then I will be able to tell you the exact number,” he had said.
The issue has, pertinently, cropped up for discussion during many meetings of security agencies, with officials pitching for 'reconciling figures' to end disparity.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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