J&K police to hunt over ground workers of militants

Last Updated 15 December 2018, 10:18 IST

After killing nearly 230 militants this year, including top commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, the focus of J&K police has shifted to wipe out the over ground worker (OGW) base of the two banned militant outfits.

“The Jammu and Kashmir police is revising the list of OGWs of militants and have called many of them for questioning in recent weeks as part of their efforts to cut the support network of militants and freeze their movement,” sources told DH.

They said names of over 300 locals, whom police suspect of being OGWs, have been circulated to all the district SPs in the Valley to get the latest information on them. “Hizbul and LeT have a well-established network of OGWs which is sustaining militancy in Kashmir. For every active militant, there are 10 OGWs lined up by their mentors. Militants act on the advice and orders of their mentors and OGWs,” they added.

A senior police officer said that OGW base is the main reason that militants move without getting noticed. “If OGW networks are shattered, militants will be sitting ducks. OGWs have been lined up in such a manner that they help and guide the militants to our disadvantage. We want to take out the water from the pond. The fish will automatically not survive," he said.

The police categorise “anybody who supports the militants” as an OGW. A person providing a safe house, passage, information or acting as a messenger for suspected militants automatically comes under the radar of the police as an OGW.

The police believe that tightening the noose around the logistic base of militants will help it to get closer to the remaining militants, especially the top commanders. Recently, two alleged OGW modules were busted in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district by police in which ten persons were arrested.

“With local recruitment into militancy down in the recent months, coming summer will be crucial. When forces try to clean Kashmir of the militancy, Pakistan pushes in large groups to keep the pot boiling. The problem is that unless infiltration is plugged, militancy will remain,” the officer said.

Recently state police chief Dilbagh Singh said though the militant recruitment had declined considerably in the last two months, there were still 250 active militants in the region. Fall in the recruitment, he said was an indication that youth in Kashmir realized the futility of violence and didn't find it appealing anymore.

(Published 08 December 2018, 06:31 IST)

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