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Working on two-pronged strategy in Kashmir: To prevent local militant recruitment, to curb OGW, Social media network used for radicalization, says GoC 15 Corps D P Pandey

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AGH chief among seven militants killed in 2 separate gunfights in South Kashmir; Shopian operation was very difficult as militants took shelter in masjid, provided enough opportunity to militants to surrender, they refused; two militants killed in Tral had fled from Shopian; 7 AK riffles, 2 pistols recovered; all slain locals, 5 identified so far: IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar

(Asian News Hub) – General officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar based 15 Corps Lieutenant General D P Pandey said that the army is working on a two-pronged strategy in Kashmir—to prevent the local militant recruitment and to squeeze the OGW and social media network used for radicalization of youth. He, however, said that anyone who picks up arms will be dealt strictly—local militants will be offered surrender if they refuse, they will be killed.

GoC 15 corps was addressing his maiden presser at Police Control Room (PCR) Srinagar along IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar and GoC Victor Force Rashim Bali about two encounters—Shopian and Tral, Pulwama in which seven militants including the Ansar Gazwatul Hind (AGH) chief were killed.

As per news agency—KNO, GoC 15 Corps said that the army is working on a two-pronged strategy which entails preventing the local militant recruitment and to block the OGW and social media network which is used for radicalization of youth in the Valley.

“This is my first media interaction and I can feel that there is a new change and new energy. One and all want J&K to be a peaceful region. While rest of Kashmir is peaceful, South Kashmir and some parts of Central Kashmir are witnessing cycle of violence,”GoC Pandey said. “Our efforts are on to address the situation. We need cooperation from the general public. Our youth are being radicalized and people must help us in stopping the trend.”

He asserted that some parents whose youth have joined militancy have approached army and requested it to “get their children back and rehabilitate them even if they need to be lodged in jails.”

Asked whether local militancy graph was high this year, the GoC said that the local militant recruitment is very less this year so far compared to previous years.

Briefing the media about two separate gunfights, IGP Kashmir said that in two encounter—one at Jan Mohalla, Shopian and another at Nowbugh, Tral in Pulwama district, seven militants including AGH chief Imtiyaz Shah, who was active since April 2019, was killed.

“In Shopian operation we had to be very patient. We followed all SoPs. We allowed the Moulvi of the local masjid in which militants were hiding, to persuade militants to surrender twice in the night. We also brought brother of a militant. His request for surrender was also turned down. We brought parents of militants in the morning, but militants refused to surrender,” the IGP said, adding that in Shopian gunfight no IED, no explosive and grenades were used. “We used tear smoke shells. In the ensuing gunfight, five militants were killed—two from Hizbul Muajhideen, one from LeT and two from AGH. All were categorized militants.”

He said that two militants including the AGH chief Imtiyaz Shah had fled from the Shopian encounter site during the initial cordon after throwing grenades. “We developed the lead and found that duo had fled to Nowbugh area of Tral. Today, early morning a cordon was launched in an open area where Imtiyaz along with his aide were killed,” he said. From of the seven slain militants, the IGP said seven AK-riffles and two pistols were recovered. He said that in Shopian operation sanctity of the masjid was maintained and the place of worship suffered very minimum damage.

The IGP identified the slain militants of Shopian as Muzamil Tantry who had joined militancy in August 2019, Adil Lone who picked up arms in July 2019, Younish Ahmed Khanday, who joined militancy in November last year and  Basit Bhat who picked up gun in June last year. He said the fifth militant has not been identified yet. Similarly, the IGP said one of the slain militants of Tral gunfight was identified as Imtiyaz Shah, the chief of AGH, who was active since April 2019, and was tasked to target Amarnath Yatra in Tral area. The identity of Imtiyaz’s aide is being ascertained.

Speaking on the occasion, GoC Victor Force Rashim Bali said that in Shopian operation sanctity of the masjid was maintained and only automatic fire and small grenades were used to kill militants hiding inside. “Every effort to make the militants surrender failed,” he said, adding that the army men on ground are being strictly directed to respect the local sentiment and to ensure minimum collateral damage during anti-militancy operations.

To a query whether any civilian was injured in Shopian encounter, the IGP said: “During the initial exchange some miscreants tried to disrupt the operations after which police used minimum force to disperse them. Three civilians sustained injuries and all are stable.”

Replying to a query how many soldiers sustained injuries in Shopian operation, GoC 15 Corps said that four soldiers including an officer were injured during the operation and all are stable. On whether militants are planning to target Amarnath Yatra, the GoC said that it won’t be for the first time that militants may be planning to target the pilgrimage. “Militants are always looking for soft targets. We will ensure all measures are taken to see a peaceful pilgrimage of Amarnath this year,” the GoC said.

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Nitishwar Kumar posted as additional secretary in Union Women and Child Development Ministry

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Srinagar, Sept 25: In a significant development, the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has posted Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to LG Manoj Sinha, as additional secretary and financial advisor, Ministry of Women and Children Development.

According to an order, a copy of which is in possession of news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Nitishwar Kumar, IAS (UP:96), presently on inter-cadre deputation, as Additional Secretary & Financial Adviser, Ministry of Women and Child Development, by temporarily upgrading a vacant post of Joint Secretary & Financial Adviser in the Ministry.

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Two militants killed near LoC in north Kashmir: Police

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‘Identification of slain being ascertained’

Srinagar, Sept 25: Two militants were killed in an encounter near the Line of Control in Tekri Nar locality of Machil in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Sunday, police said here.

Kashmir zone police in a Tweet, informed that the identification of the militants was being ascertained.

Police also said that two AK-47 rifles as many pistols and 04 hand grenades were recovered from them.

“Army and Kupwara Police neutralised two #terrorists near #LoC Tekri Nar in Machil area of #Kupwara. Identification of the killed terrorists being ascertained. 02 AK 47 rifles, 02 pistols & 04 hand grenades recovered. Further details shall follow,” police tweeted. (KNO)

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Police attach residential house in Bandipora for wilfully sheltering, harbouring militants

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Bandipora, Sept 25: Police in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district have attached a residential house for wilfully sheltering and harbouring militants after obtaining sanction from competent authority.

In a statement, cited by the news agency-KNO, a spokesperson said that police attached the residential house of one person namely Bashir Ahmad Mir of Wanpora Gurez at present Watrina after obtaining legal sanction from the competent authorities.

The statement reads that the house was linked to case FIR No.166/2021of PS Bandipora U/S 16,18,19 ,20,23,39UAPA ,307IPC ,7/27 IA Act, dated 26_09_2021 in which two hardcore militants were neutralised, who were involved in different crimes in Bandipora.

“The investigation proved beyond doubt that the said house was used for the purpose of militancy, sheltering, harbouring militants & such act was voluntarily and knowingly given by the member of the family. Many attacks on civilians and protected persons were carried, conspired and planned by militants while using this house as hideout,” it reads.

The statement reads that Bandipora police requests citizens once again not to harbour or give shelter to militants, failing which they will be liable to action under law including property attachment (movable/immovable) proceedings.

“In case of any forced and coercive entry by militants into any house or vehicle, the matter should be brought to the notice of police immediately, otherwise proceedings under law will follow against such houses or other properties,” it added.

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