Security forces step-up winter offensive against ultras

Security forces have launched major counter-insurgency operations against militants across the Kashmir valley

Stepping up their winter offensive, security forces have launched major counter-insurgency operations against militants across the Kashmir valley.

In October out of 30 killed militants, three were district-level commanders and a well-trained sniper, who picked targets in the darkness of night. The killed ultras included Aligarh Muslim University scholar-turned-militant commander Manan Wani and Sabzar Ahmad Sofi.
The pinpoint counter-insurgency operations launched jointly by the Army and J&K police are an indication that security forces have tightened their hold in Kashmir, especially worst-hit southern districts of Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag.
There were two encounters in Srinagar, which is registering a return of militant activities after a hiatus. In October four militants, including Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Mehraj-ud-Din Bangroo and Sabzar Sofi were killed. 
In one of the counter-insurgency operations, the security forces zeroed in on a hideout in south Kashmir’s Tral sub-district where it killed a well-trained militant sniper, Usman Haider, who had carried out rare sniping attacks on security forces in September and October.
Most of the militants killed in encounters were young and had joined the militancy between last year and now. Sources in the security establishment expressed the hope that parents of active militants will now encourage their children to shun violence and surrender. 
The fresh offensive against militants has coincided with the conclusion of municipal elections in the state. Police attribute the successful counter-insurgency operations to the “very good” quality of information. “The quality of information from various channels has been very good, that is why there have been result-oriented operations,” ADGP Munir Khan said.
He said nearly 200 militants has been killed this year while the number of active militants is in the range of 280 to 300. 
Sources said the fresh offensive came after senior officers of the Army, CRPF and police brain-stormed and re-calibrated their plans to check the rise of local recruitment into militancy and eliminate the active ones. “Soon, intelligence information from locals started flowing, resulting in encounters that saw the top militant leadership, including the main recruiters being eliminated,” they said.
“The security environment within Kashmir has largely improved on account of security forces offensive against the militants in recent times. Security forces are successfully locating and initiating encounters against militants,” they added.

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Security forces step-up winter offensive against ultras


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