Reyaz Rashid

Police declare Baramulla ‘militant free’ district

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Baramulla, Jan 24: Day after three local LeT militants including a district commander was killed in a gunfight at Binner village in Baramulla, the police on Thursday declared this north Kashmir district as “militant-free”.

This is the first time since militancy-hit the Valley that a district has been declared as being “militant-free”.

“We now don’t have a resident terrorist in Baramulla district and neither is any militant from Baramulla operating anywhere else,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Baramulla Imtiyaz Hussain Mir told ‘Kashmir Images’.

Mir said the focus has not just been on killing the militants but also ensuring that recruitment into the militants’ network does not take place and that youth don’t “fall into their trap”.

“We have worked hard to target the support network of these militants,” he said. “Last year, only one local boy took to militancy and he has been killed.”

The officer said that police have worked with families of militants and have helped some of them to renounce violence.

“The real success is when we don’t allow recruitment to take place. And that is what we are focusing on,” he said.

Sources said that that about 50 militants belonging to the district had been killed in different operations by the government forces in Baramulla and the LoC in the last two years.

“What is significant is that many over-ground workers, who could have become active militants, were taken out of circulation by detention and counselling during the same period,” sources in the police said.

“Baramulla has become the first district of Kashmir with no surviving militant as on date. J&K Police extends its thanks to the local population for all their support in providing a better security environment in the district,” police spokesman said in a statement.

He said Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh complimented police personnel for their successes, and that he expected further consolidation of peacebuilding efforts together by police and public.

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