Terrorists ‘shelf life’ reduced in Kashmir with over 360 killed in 2 years: CRPF DG
The Terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir… Some of them are from outside and there are also the misguided youth (locals) who join militant groups. It is quite a mix. The numbers go up and down but if you were to look at the length, the time for which Terrorists survive in J&K, then the signal is very clear that it is having no impact, he said.
Back-to-back operations by security forces in the Kashmir Valley have reduced the “shelf life” of militants and over 360 were killed in less than two years, CRPF Director General (DG) Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar has said.
In an interview to PTI, he said as figures show an increase in the number of local youths joining Terrorists groups in the Valley, security forces are reaching out to young men through all possible ways to stop them from taking up arms.
The Terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir… Some of them are from outside and there are also the misguided youth (locals) who join Terrorists groups. It is quite a mix. The numbers go up and down but if you were to look at the length, the time for which Terrorists survive in J&K, then the signal is very clear that it is having no impact, he said.
The shelf life of Terrorists, the time frame to survive, is very short, he said. “So, even if the numbers (of joining Terrorists ranks) may be large, they may be more, but the consequence is limited,” he said when asked if recruitment of local Kashmiri youths by militant groups is rising and a cause of concern.
The CRPF chief, on youths taking up arms, also said, “Obviously this is something that we have to prevent and take appropriate steps so that the youth does not take to militancy and those who have done so, come back.”
“The official numbers show an increase in recruitment. However, with the increase in the number of neutralisations the overall picture is better,” he said.
The chief of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which has over 60 battalions deployed in the Kashmir valley (over 60,000 personnel), said his force, the state police and the Army are operating in “very good synergy”.
The forces now have an edge or to say the upper hand in the militant scenario in the valley, Bhatnagar said. “We have worked as one unit. That has given us a lot of success. This year 142 militants have been neutralised. If you look at last year’s figures, it was more than 220 Terrorists who were killed. There is excellent coordination between security forces and they have the upper hand.
He also spoke about better equipping his personnel to combat the security challenge in the state, specifically in the valley. “We have gone in for better protection, full body protectors for our people, use of less lethal weaponry so that there is less collateral damage and the number of casualties and serious injuries on our side and the public is less.
“The collateral damage has been fairly minimised,” the DG underlined.
When asked about the use of much-debated pellet guns and the damage rendered by them on locals, Bhatnagar said while these ammunition are not being discarded, its use is part of a well laid out standard operating procedure.
“The sequence in which we use force is well laid out. We fire and disperse them (protestors) by using tear smoke and other allied irritant kind of non-lethal gases…
“So our first effort is to disperse them by making a proper bandobast. Also, we have a large number of plastic bullets that are used,” he said.
Pellet guns, the CRPF chief said, “are used where we find that it is required to disperse the mob”.
“We are taking precautions by using deflectors (on pellet guns) so that injuries are on lower part of the body. There is a graded use of force. Even when crowd tries to come very close, our boys have shown restraint. We have done our best to meet the objectives for which we have been deployed in J-K,” he said.
The pure intent is always to have less and less collateral damag.