The Indian Army on Tuesday put the blame squarely on Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI along with terrorist organisation Jaish-e-Mohammad for the recent Pulwama attack that left over 40 Indian soldiers dead. The Indian Army confirmed the mastermind behind the attack had been killed in an Army encounter in Pinglina village on Monday. The Army reassured its commitment that terrorists entering the Kashmir Valley will not go alive, and that anyone who would pick up the gun in Kashmir would be eliminated. Representatives from the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF were also present at the press conference.
The Army, J&K Police and CRPF in a joint conference said that the focus of the security forces, including the Jammu and Kashmir police, was very clear on terrorism, and militant recruitments had decreased in the Kashmir Valley in recent times, which was a positive sign.
On reports of a major security lapse in the Pulwama terror attack, Lt Gen JJS Dhillon, 15 Corps Commander, said: "There are many inputs on such matters we keep on receiving, which I will not discuss. We are acting on it." He added that recruitment had come down in the recent months, and that he would like to congratulate the people of the Valley on it. In a direct message to those picking up guns in the name of jihad in Kashmir, Lt Gen Dhillon said: "You pick up a gun, you are dead." SP Pani, IG, JK Police, also confirmed that recruitments had come down significantly in the recent past, and people of the Kashmir Valley had played an important role in curtailing youngsters from diverting towards militancy. "Top commanders are being hunted down, conspirators are being eliminated, I am sure recruitment will gradually go down," he said.
On the kind of explosive used in the Pulwama terror attack and radicalisation of the Kashmiri youth, Dhillon said: "We have details on what kind of explosive is being used. We have details but we would not like to divulge them." He added that radicalisation had not helped anyone, and all the stakeholders in Kashmir needed to work collaboratively. The police chief also said that they had a credible lead on where the explosives came from, and were investing the matter.
On reports of "harassment" of the common people in Kashmir after the Pulwama terror attack, Lt Gen Dhillon said: "No one used to be probed earlier, but now certain restrictions have been put in place. We are streamlining the process, and a through procedure will be passed to the civil authorities."
On the issue of a security lapse, Zulfiqar Hasan, IG, CRPF, said the ROP (road opening party) was inspecting the area through which the CRPF convoy was passing. "The ROP had fully secured the NH, but now we are changing the civilian traffic so the entire area will be cleared before any such movement." The J&K police chief said the security forces, in associations with the local police had eliminated over 252 terrorist last year.
Edited by Manoj Sharma