Won't allow militants foothold in Srinagar: IGP

File Pic of Vijay Kumar (IGP) /GK

Srinagar is not militancy-free as the ultras keep coming to the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir to seek medical treatment, funds and meetings for future course of action but security forces have ensured that they are not able to set up base here, a senior police officer said on Friday.

“Srinagar is such a city where militants keep coming repeatedly. Some come for medical treatment, some for getting funds and some for further meetings. So it would not be correct to say that Srinagar is militancy free. Militants will keep coming here, we will keep getting information and do encounters (sic),” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters after the wreath laying ceremony for a CRPF personnel who was killed in an encounter with militants in Malbagh area of the city late on Thursday night. One militant was also killed in the encounter.

Replying to a question on the increase in the number of encounters in the city over the past couple of months, Kumar said these were preventive actions carried out by the security forces.

“There were no attacks in Srinagar, these are encounters… It was preventive action by security forces based on pinpoint information,” he said.

Kumar said if there are no encounters in a district, it does not mean that there are no militants there.

“Militants hide everywhere, they have shelters and hideouts which they keep changing. They are on the run … We get information and launch operations to neutralise them,” he added.

Kumar said Srinagar police had got information about the presence of a militant in the Malbagh area last night.

“Security forces conducted cordon and search operation. The militant opened firing in which one of our jawans was injured. The jawan kept pressing forward and killed the militant,” the officer said.

He said the slain militant, identified as Zahid Dass, was from ISJK. “There were five militants in this group. Three have now been killed while two are at large. They were involved in several killings,” he said.

The IGP said the slain ultra was involved in at least four killings since November 2019 including the June 26 attack at Bijbehara in which one CRPF personnel and a six-year-old child were killed. “We had named him the same day in the FIR and circulated it on social media as well as in newspapers. His killing is a big victory for the security forces,” he said.