170-175 militants active in Kashmir, says army

Local commuters, armed forces personnel walk near Ghanta Ghar in Srinagar. [FPK Photo/ Mukhtar Zahoor]

Kupwara: General officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based army’s 15 Corps Lieutenant General D P Pandey on Monday said that at least  170-175 militants are active in Kashmir while militancy has also registered a “significant decline” from the last two years.

“As compared to the last two years, the active militant rate has come more down while as 170-175 militants are active in Kashmir, ” he said in reply to a query whether militancy is decreasing in Kashmir and how many are active.

On Kunan-Poshpora mass rapes by the personnel of the Indian army, the GoC said that a delegation from the said village have met them and as they were demanding rehabilitation and self-employment opportunities for the people.

He termed the incident a “fake narrative” which, according to him,  kept them away from all the basic facilities and they were kept separate from other others”.

The Kunan Poshspora incident was a mass rape that occurred on 23 February 1991 when the Indian armed forces launched a search operation in the twin villages of Kunan and Poshpora, located in Kashmir’s Kupwara District. Villagers claimed that many women were raped by forces personnel that night.

The First information report filed in the police station after a visit by the local magistrate reported the number of women alleging rape as 23.

However, Human Rights Watch asserts that this number could be between 23 and 100.

While the Government’s investigations into the incident rejected the allegations as ‘baseless’, International human rights organizations have expressed serious doubts about the integrity of these investigations and the manner in which they were conducted.

Human Rights Watch stated that the government had launched a “campaign to acquit the army of charges of human rights violations and discredit those who brought the charges.”

Pertinently, a military operation against militants is underway in south Kashmir’s Awantipora area and one militant has been killed so far, police said.


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