Situation in Kashmir fragile but better than 2016: GOC

ANI | Updated: Dec 08, 2017 21:07 IST

Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir) [India], December 08 (ANI): General Officer Commanding (GOC) Lt Gen JS Sandhu on Friday said that the present situation in Kashmir is fragile but better than last year.

"There has been a great amount of normalcy as of now. In most places, the businesses, schools, colleges, etc are functioning very well. At times there are band calls, the effect of which is very minimal nowadays. We do have violence incidents isolated at time in some places but overall the situation in Kashmir is much better," Sandhu said.

He said that they will be looking forward to more tourists visiting Kashmir this winter.

Talking about the number of militants, Sandhu said that while there is neutralisation by the Army, there is also some intake in the terrorists' cadres.

"It is a continuous operation which leads to greater peace. By neutralising large number of terrorists, we have disrupted the networks here, brought down the level of violence phenomenally and most people are able to perform their activities without being cohorts by terrorists, he added.

Sandhu also said that there were major challenges in stopping the infiltration bid by the terrorists, but they successfully foiled many this year.

"Challenges to stop infiltration are great as the Kashmir border is mountainous, forested with deep ravens and witnesses extremely bad weather for most parts of the year. But we have killed about 70 such terrorists on the LoC," he said.

The GOC claimed that the Hajin operation was an extremely important operation as six Pakistani terrorists were neutralised, including Mehmood Bhai, who was reception coordinator for Bandipore, and the nephew of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, who is a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) leader.

He also said that the success of Qazigund operation was a major setback to the LeT as the abilities of the terrorists to strike convoys at highways have been reduced.

Concerned over the youth in Kashmir joining terrorist ranks, Sandhu said that why should the Kashmiri people unnecessarily lose the young men to a cause arising due to misguiding.

"There is alienation in the youth especially in South Kashmir. And so many join the terrorist ranks. We have spoken to many parents, many of who are anguished and want their children to return. I know of few boys who have come back and we should be getting a few more," he added.

The GOC also clarified that the Islamic State (IS) is not present in Kashmir. (ANI)