A sustained crackdown on militancy in J&K, aided by strong ground intelligence, has seen the killings of terrorists outstrip recruitment by terror groups this year, with ranks of separatists increasingly dependent on infiltration of “foreign” operatives into the state.
–The number of terror recruits in J&K this year, going by intelligence records, is around 71
-As many as 132 terrorists have died in security operations so far this year
– Though more youth joined terror groups over the past 3-4 months, deaths of terrorists exceed recruitment levels
The infiltration from PoK and Pakistan is slightly higher with 78 terrorists sneaking into J&K till July against 123 in entire 2016 but intelligence agencies say, given the current trend, it is a matter of time before the total number of active terrorists in the Valley sees a decline.
The number of terror recruits in J&K this year, going by intelligence records, is around 71, while as many as 132 terrorists have died in security operations.
Of the 132 terrorists killed as a result of intelligence-based operations this year, 74 were foreign nationals and 58 locals. As many as 14 were top commanders of LeT, Hizbul Mujahideen or Al-Badr. These included two in the “A++ category, four in A+ category and eight in A category””.
Sources said cooperation between central and state agencies is paying off. J&K police, CRPF and Army have jointly accounted for top Hizbul Mujahideen leaders even before they could settle down to their roles as one succeeded the other. After Burhan Wani, who assumed charge of the outfit in 2014, was eliminated in an encounter on July 8, 2016, the counter-terror forces have been hot on his successor Zakir Musa’s trail.
Musa, however, parted ways with Hizbul and floated own outfit Ghazwat-ul-Hind in May 2019. Sabzar Ahmed Bhat, who took over after Musa, was killed within a week.
His successor Yasin Itoo did not last long and was killed on August 13, barely two-and-ahalf months after taking over.Though more youth joined terror groups in the Valley over the past 3-4 months, deaths of terrorists exceed recruitment levels. While May, June and July saw 15, 15 and 10 locals taking up arms, fatalities among terrorists surged from an average 9.5 killings a month till April to 18 in May, 30 in June, 25 in July and 21 until August 17.
Data provided by intelligence sources show that among 14 top terrorists killed this year, one was a most-wanted Al-Badr leader. Active in and around Sopore, he would facilitate movement of foreign militants. The five top Lashkar commanders eliminated this year include Mudassir Ahmed; Mohammad Shafi Shergujri; Junaid Ahmed, who had attacked a police party at Malpura, Qazigund on May 6, 2017, Bashir Ahmad Wani, who trained at Abdullah Bin Massod camp in Muzaffarabad and Mohammad Ayub Lone, who would bring groups of militants from north to south Kashmir.
The top Hizbul terrorists felled this year include Mohammad Ishaq Bhat who was associated with Burhan Wani, Abid Hussain Sheikh from Anantnag; Adil Ahmed Reshi, who on a constable in Bijbehara in June 2016, Mudassir Ahmed, linked to stone-pelting, Aquib Ahmed Bhat, invloved in motivating youth in Tral and Awantipora to indulge in violence and Gulzar Ahmed Lone, a terror recruiter from Sopore.