Nobody ready to take up LeT leadership in Kashmir, says police chief
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Nobody ready to take up LeT leadership in Kashmir, says police chief

With security forces gaining an upper hand against militants, Jammu and Kashmir police chief S P Vaid says it doesn’t matter who becomes the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s operational commander in Kashmir.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2017 00:26 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir,J&K Police,Security forces
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police S P Vaid inaugurating the water sports festival Jashan-E-Dal in Srinagar on Monday.(HT PHOTO)

After killing the top leadership of Lashkar-e-Taiba in Kashmir in quick succession, Jammu and Kashmir police chief on Monday took a jibe at the outfit saying nobody was now ready to fill in the gap.

“What is in a name? I have heard the vacancy of commander is yet to be filled in LeT. And nobody is ready to take it,” Director General of Police, S P Vaid told journalists when asked whether Zeenatul Islam has replaced Abu Ismail after the latter’s death in an encounter this month.

The police chief was talking on the sidelines after inaugurating a water sports festival “Jashn-e-Dal” on the Dal Lake.

Abu Ismail believed to be behind the Amarnath Yatra attack this year was killed in an encounter with security forces in the outskirts of Srinagar on September 14. Ismail’s killing came just one and a half months after the death of Abu Dujana on August 1.

Dujana was named the LeT commander for Kashmir valley in 2015 after the death of Abu Qasim the mastermind of an earlier attack on a BSF convoy in Udhampur that year.

Security forces have turned the heat on the militants over the past few months with vigorous no-stop operations particularly after increase in militant activities following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July last year. Around 140 militants have been killed this year after security forces drew up a hit-list of top militant commanders and started going after them.

Read more: Army kills two militants in north Kashmir, foils infiltration bid

The DGP said that the water sports festival was aimed at engaging the youth and children so that they don’t go for “drugs or guns”.

“We want to engage children so that there are smiles on their faces. These activities definitely contribute towards peace and I have no doubt about it,” Vaid said.

The police, army and the CRPF on September 11 had jointly appealed all the militants of Kashmir to lay down arms and join the mainstream after two of their colleagues surrendered during encounters in south Kashmir.

They had assured that those joining the mainstream will have a safe future while heightened anti-insurgency operations in Kashmir would continue.

Vaid reiterated that ‘Operation All Out’ which aims to eliminate all militants would continue till there was peace in the region.

First Published: Sep 18, 2017 20:38 IST