Terming the involvement and killings of educated militants recently as an aberration, Director General of Police Ashok Prasad today said initial investigations have not substantiated media reports suggesting that a large number of educated people were taking up arms in the state.
“There is no such phenomenon that educated people are suddenly taking up arms or that there is a great deal of motivation for educated people to join militancy. This is an aberration that in a few cases they were educated. All these militants killed recently are old identified commanders and there is nothing new in it,” the DGP said while talking to a local news agency, KNS.
He further added that the matter has been taken seriously at highest levels in the police and the administration and police is conducting an inquiry. “Preliminary results have not substantiated that the phenomenon exists. These projections have not so far been substantiated but we will probe it in depth,” DGP said.
Meanwhile he admitted that recently a militant killed had a technical degree. “However his reason for joining militancy has more to do with the fact that his friends and family members have been militants. Another militant had completed his matric and had attempted to get a diploma in engineering in a private institute but failed,” he said
“In fact in grenade throwing incidents in Islamabad district the profile of arrested youth indicates that most of them were extremely poor with very low levels of education and had joined militancy only to secure their livelihood. However the enquiries into the matter are continuing and details of the individual militants deceased would be made available in due course.”
Prasad also dismissed reports of escalation in militancy in the state. “There was 30 per cent reduction in militancy incidents this year and 30 per cent reduction in the last year. Militancy is on a decline and the downward trend in militancy is continuing”, he added.
He said there was a concerted, series of attacks on forces in the recent months which should not be read as an alarm. “These attacks and deaths happened because of the operational laxity of forces and also because they were targeted”, he said.
The state police Chief said there were around 200 militants present in the state as per the police assessment. “On the basis of our assessment the number of militants is roughly around 160 to 180 in the valley and about 20 to 25 in Jammu region”, he said and added that 10 to 12 of the militants are important commanders who are the backbone of militancy. “When a commander is arrested, the task becomes easier for us and the rest of the group disappears,” he added.
While as over the restrictions on Hurriyat (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s religious rights, the DGP said there were only reasonable restrictions on his movement and no restrictions on his religious rights. “He is not being stopped from offering prayers. If he goes to Hyderpora mosque, no body stops him or for that matter nobody stops him from going to Delhi”, the DGP said adding, “Basically the issue of restriction on any religious activity does not arise but when the religious platform is likely to be misused for the purpose of spreading hatred or for the purpose of politics do you think it should be permitted specially when it is going to violate the rights of others, when it is likely to lead to break down of law and order?” he asked. “He addresses people on telephone no one stops him. He has religious freedom with reasonable restrictions,” he added.
On removal of bunkers from the city, the DGP said the state government and security establishment were continuously working on the policy of bringing down the footprints of government forces from residential areas in the valley. He said the CRPF will vacate the hotels under their occupation as soon as alternate accommodation becomes available for them.
“8 to 9 hotels are presently under occupation of CRPF but we are trying to find alternate accommodation or land for their hosing,” he added
However, the DGP refused to comment on the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, “My stand is that DGP is not competent to speak on the issue. It will be decided by the government and the police have actually no role in it.”