A day after multiple attacks by militants, the army said around 200 militants are active in Jammu and Kashmir, a jump from under-100 militants reported active between 2012 and 2014.
“Militant numbers are building up but it fluctuates. At present, 200 militants are active in the valley,” said army’s 15 Corps general officer commanding (GOC) Lt Gen Subrata Saha in Srinagar on Tuesday.
On Monday, militants killed three cops and injured another cop and a civilian in three separate attacks carried out in north and south Kashmir's Baramulla, Shopian and Pulwama districts.
“The army and police will evolve extra security plans to stop such incidents in future. It was an unfortunate incident these policemen were unarmed and militants took the advantage of the situation,” he added.
The officer said the army has succeeded in “liquidating 16 militants since September last year.”
For a long period, the state saw militant numbers dropping below 100, particularly in 2012-13.
“There has been a significant increase in the number of militants. The army has to be more vigilant from now onwards to stop any infiltration bid across the Line of Control (LoC),” said Lt Gen Saha.
The army suspects more infiltration as snow has started melting in the upper reaches near the LoC.
“Higher reaches at LoC are still under heavy snow but water canals snow has started to melt,” said the army officer.
Referring to the deadly militant attack on the Uri army camp last year that left 11 security personnel dead, Lt Gen Saha said, “The army has learnt its lessons from the attacks in Samba and Uri. It’s fully prepared to tackle any situation in future.”
Lt Gen Saha hinted, once again, at being the stakeholder in any decision to revoke or withdraw controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which provides impunity to soldiers during operations, from the state.
“The state and Centre are actively considering it (AFSPA). The army will also share its opinion with them on the subject,” he said.