New Delhi [India], Jan 13 (ANI): 15 Corps Commander Lt General Anil Bhatt on Sunday urged the local youth of the valley, who had joined terror groups to surrender and return to the mainstream.
General Bhatt made the statement a day after the security forces gunned down top Al Badr commander, Zeenat-ul-Islam in Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir.
He told ANI, that the Army made the appeal, as the forces will continue to target the terrorists and their leaders.
“This was a major success for the security forces in the Kashmir valley. My message to the local terrorists operating in the valley is to return to the mainstream and surrender as we will continue to hit terrorists hard and continue eliminating the terrorists’ leadership,” Lt Gen Bhatt told ANI over phone.
The Corps Commander’s offer to local terrorists to either surrender or face elimination is part of the force’s hard and soft power policy where it is allowing terrorists to quietly give up arms and come back to mainstream.
The 15 Corps Commander, who is the in-charge of counter terrorist operations across the Kashmir valley, was speaking after the elimination of terrorist Zeenat ul Islam who had been operating in the valley for many years now and was placed in the Category A++ list of the Army.
In the last over 18 months, the Army has managed to eliminate nine of the top ten terrorist commanders on its list and the only category A++ terrorist surviving in it is Riyaz Naikoo.
Lt Gen Bhatt credited the coordination between the Jammu and Kashmir police, CRPF and the Army for the success in operations against the terrorists in the Kashmir valley where over 250 terrorists were eliminated while over 60 of them were arrested or had surrendered.
Islam and another terrorist Shakeel Ahmed Dar were killed in an operation in Kulgam after getting a specific input gathered from both human and technical intelligence about the presence of terrorists in a particular house in Kulgam.
A joint operation was launched on Saturday night by the Army, Police and CRPF in Kulgam after receiving specific information about the presence of terrorists there. As the security forces were conducting the searches, the terrorists fired upon them. The forces retaliated to the firing, ensuing an encounter in which the two terrorists were gunned down.
Weapons and other war-like stores have been recovered, officials said, adding that no collateral damage has been reported. (ANI)