Srinagar: The outgoing General Officer Commanding (GOC) 15 Corps Lt Gen D P Pandey on Thursday said that over 250 youth, who were “at the cusp of joining terrorist ranks” were brought back to mainstream in the last over one year.
Describing it as his achievement, Lt Gen Pandey stated that the change occurred during the last over one year in Kashmir as J&K police were getting more human intelligence about militants.
“More than 250 youth, who were possibly on the cusp of becoming a terrorist and majority of them, had become terrorists in some form or another, were brought back into the society. That is my achievement,” Lt Gen Pandey told reporters here.
“My endeavour had been that no mother, sister or daughter should cry in pain for just somebody picking up arms and getting killed in encounters,” he said.
Lt Gen Pandey said that he had come up with a “philosophy of breaking the cycle of violence” in Kashmir after he took over as 15 Corps Commander last year.
“I had come up with a philosophy of breaking the cycle of violence in Kashmir in which on one side we kept on neutralizing terrorists or making them to surrender and on the second side we wanted to reduce the number of youth picking up arms. And I think we have done well at both the levels,” he said. “Most importantly change has happened over the last one year in Kashmir as J&K police are now getting more human intelligence about militants,” he added.
GOC 15 Corps said, “The transaction has taken place today and now J&K police, instead of tech (technical) input, are getting so much human intelligence. They are getting it as people don’t want terrorists to come out and stay in their houses. They do not want to be openly called as terrorist supporters.” “There are places even, where the supporters of the terrorist are being isolated. There is a change which is happening,” he added.
The outgoing Corps Commander said the presence of weapons from foreign countries was not a challenge as counter measures were already put in place. “Yes, some (American) weapons have entered Kashmir but it is not a challenge anymore,” he said.
The senior Army General said, “Hybrid terrorist was a challenge some nine months ago, but not now.”
About the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra, he said that there would always be threats to disrupt pilgrimage. “But the security system and measures taken will always be there to foil such plans,” Lt Gen Pandey said.