149 foreign militants active in Kashmir: LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammad men on the prowl
Security agencies have prepared a list of 149 foreign militants active in Kashmir ahead of a major counter-insurgency offensive to be executed in the coming days.
The list, obtained by the Hindustan Times, has been jointly compiled by intelligence agencies, security forces and state police. Sources say the list is based on technical surveillance and human intelligence. Security experts, however, believe that it may not be an exhaustive list as the numbers may vary.
According to the list, most of the foreign militants are listed as residents of either Pakistan or Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Security agencies have not been able to determine place of origin of some of the militants in the list, while some have “resident of PoK/Pakistan” written against their names.
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) tops the list with 109 of their men operating in the valley. Jaish-e-Mohammad is believed to have 30 militants and Hizbul Mujahideen, which is mostly composed of local Kashmiri militants, also has 10 foreigners.
According to the list, 34 foreign militants are currently active in Handwara followed by 31 in Kupwara, 27 in Sopore, 21 in Bandipora, seven in Pulwama, six each in Baramulla, Awantipora and Srinagar, five each in Kulgam and Ganderbal and one in Anantnag.
South Kashmir has a major presence of LeT militants, while the north has witnessed resurgence of sorts for the JeI headed by Maulana Masood Azhar. There are some in the list who are simply identified by their code name indicating that they have not been identified by the security agencies yet.
The list also suggests security establishment’s willingness to increase the incentives for killing foreign militants.
The list, in detail,categories the foreigners as A++, A+, A and B militants.
The state government last year increased the reward money for killing A++ militants from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12.50 lakh, for A+ category militant the amount was increased to Rs 7.50 lakh from Rs 5 lakh and for A and B categories the amount was increased to Rs 5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh from Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively.
In the current list, two foreign militants are classified as A++, eight as A+, 84 as A and two as B category.
According to the compilation, Abu Dujana, the LeT’s divisional commander in South Kashmir and Aijaz alias Abu Huraira are categorised as A++.
While both the central and the state governments seem to be on the same page when it comes to countering militant activities, with Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the PMO, even claiming that militancy in Kashmir was in its last phase, sources in security establishment told Hindustan Times that “targeting the militants will be an uphill task”.
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