Around 250-300 ultras are active in Kashmir
From P 1
In the same period, preceding September 15, eight civilians were killed and 216 injured due to stone-pelting. A large percentage of these incidents were reported from sites of encounters between the security forces and terrorists.
Home ministry sources said apart from having neutralised a record number of terrorists since June19 when the state was placed under governor’s rule as compared to the preceding period under the PDP-BJP government this year, many top terrorist commanders were accounted for by security forces. These include top Lashkar commander Naveed Jatt, Jaish sniper Usman Haider, who was the nephew of Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar, and Hizbul Mujahideen commander Altaf Ahmad Dar.
Apart from higher civilian deaths this year, almost double that of 2017, what is of concern to the security establishment is the rise in recruitment of local Kashmiris by Hizbul Mujahideen and Pakistan-based terror outfits. “However, a fall in recruitment levels has been witnessed in the recent months,” said an intelligence official. The number of terrorists active in the Valley is estimated to be 250-300.
Explaining the higher number of terror-related incidents this year, a senior officer of the central security establishment said it was essentially because terrorists were being more active this year. There were clear attempts by Pakistan-aided terrorists to disrupt urban local bodies and panchayat polls in the state, with separatists too pitching in with boycott calls and frequent bandhs.