Only 'specific' anti-militancy operations in Ramadan: Police

Top security officials Thursday said that “only specific input-based anti-militancy operations” will continue across Kashmir in Ramadan and all efforts would be made so that religious gatherings are not disturbed.

They said the morale of security forces was up in the wake of peaceful conduct of Lok Sabha polls and killing of highest number of militants in the first four months of year 2019.

“Though there is no direction from the Centre for Ramdhan truce unlike last year, security grid will be launching operations against militants only after specific input is received,” a top police officer told Greater Kashmir.

Last year Centre had announced Non-Initiation of Combat Operations (NICO) in Ramadan. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) didn’t extend it beyond a month.

The police officer said that even though a peaceful atmosphere was prevailing in Kashmir, but summer months will be challenging.

“There are many factors responsible for the peaceful atmosphere in Kashmir this year so far. One is that the number of militants killed since January is highest in the recent years. Since January, 77 militants were killed so far. All the foreign militants killed so far were killed in the hinterland and none was killed on LoC,” the officer revealed. He said given the fact majority of “foreign element” in the Kashmir militancy “was cleaned,” the move resulted in a significant dip in the local militant recruitment, first time since 2017.

“This year 32 local boys joined militancy. Of them, three returned to their families, five were killed and four arrested alive,” the officer said.

He said that the peaceful conduct of polls including the well-thought out plan of conducting polls in sensitive south Kashmir in three phases worked well and resulted in a morale booster for the security forces in Kashmir. “Having said all this, we won’t be lowering the guard as upcoming summer months pose a great challenge as we will have the annual Amarnath Yatra and also the chances of surge in the infiltration attempts on the LoC,” he said.