Srinagar, Dec 30: A senior Army officer on Wednesday said the militants, who were killed in an encounter with security forces in the city outskirts, were planning to carry out a “big attack” on Srinagar-Baramulla highway as they were armed with huge cache of arms and ammunition.
General officer Commanding (GoC) Kilo Force Major General H S Sahi said, “Pakistan is trying to push more and more militants into this side to cause disturbance in Kashmir.” However, he said the synergy among different security forces agencies has created a security grid that can foil any attempt to disrupt peace in the Valley. “If we look at the arms and ammunition the militants used against security forces throughout the night, it indicates that they were planning a big attack on the national highway,” Major General Sahi told reporters during a press conference here on Wednesday.
Answering a question about the reason in increase of militants in Srinagar and its outskirts, he said the militants are preferring to hide in the city outskirts because of the mix population in these areas. “Militants feel that these areas are safe havens for them because these localities are congested,” he said.
He said the other reason is that Srinagar main town is nearer to these area. “Attack on security forces in Srinagar city attracts attention and militants try to gain mileage and publicity,” he added.
But, he said security forces have killed militants, who have entered the city, in successful encounters.
He said handlers of militants, who are sitting in Pakistan, have instructed the militants in the Valley to disrupt peace. “They tried to disrupt peace before DDC election and during it. But the security gird is capable to foil any attempt to disturb peace,” he said.
The Major General said militants have been trying to carry out attacks on special days, like January 26. “However, I assure you that they will not be allowed to create disturbance in the Valley,” he added.
Giving details about the encounter, he said, the operation was launched following specific information about the presence of militants. “Since past many days, intelligence inputs were coming about the movement of militants on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. Yesterday, we developed leads and came to know that militants are hiding in a house right opposite to Noora hospital. After it was established that militants were present in the area, a joint operation was launched by security forces,” he said.
He said the militants were given ample chances to surrender. “One of the militant tried to come out of the building, but the other two lobbed grenades and started firing following which he again went inside,” he said.
“After repeated appeals to the militants to surrender, they continued firing and lobbed grenades. So we realised that they will not surrender. All the three militants were killed in the firing,” he said.