North Kashmir’s Baramulla district has become the first police district in the Valley to be militant-free.
Who is a militant in police records?
- A militant is a person who has picked up a weapon and has joined a militant group fighting against the state.
- The district police
militants according to their involvement in militancy-related activities, with categories as A++, A+, A, B, and C. categorises
- The killing of a militant in each category carries a different monetary reward and incentives.
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What is the achievement in Baramulla?
- Three militants were killed in an encounter in the Baramulla police district recently.
- With this, Baramulla has become the first police district in the Valley that no longer has any militants. (There are 13 police districts in Kashmir.)
- When there is no militant listed as active in police records, the district would be deemed militant-free.
- As with Baramulla, there is nobody in police record who is a militant either in the district, or any militant who belongs from Baramulla and is active in any other district.
- There were efforts by police to dismantle the base of militant support and also to prevent people from joining militant ranks.
- The developments leave hope for further consolidation of peace building efforts together by police and public.
What are the challenges ahead?
to securityagencies, there are close to 300 active militants in the Valleat present.
- The four South Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag have the highest number of active militants.
- A large number, including many foreign militants, are active in North Kashmir as well.
- Moreover, indigenous militancy spiked after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani in 2016.
- This is the first time since the beginning of the current phase of renewed militancy that the police have claimed of freeing a district entirely of militants.
- Earlier in 2008, police had declared Kulgam militancy-free, but that situation, however, did not last.
- Baramulla is close to the Line of control (LoC), and neighbours the districts of Sopore, Handwara, Kupwara, Budgam and Bandipora, all of which have a significant presence of militants.
- In the town of Sopore, which is under Baramulla district (administrative), 10 local militants are currently active, as per police records.
- So there is a possibility of militants from neighbouring areas moving to Baramulla.
- The presence of overground workers (OGWs) and militant sympathisers who could help to recruit for militant outfits also remains a challenge.