Civilian killings alarming: Former Raw Chief A S Dulat

Says sleeper cells with local support active in Srinagar

By: Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar: Amarjit Singh Dulat, former chief of the research and analysis wing (RAW) and the former special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Monday said that the civilian killings in Kashmir is alarming and claimed that “there were sleeper cells with local support active in Srinagar.”

“The recent civilian killings are very unfortunate. There are ups and downs in Kashmir and the situation changes within 24 hours. The situation is alarming and unfortunate. The civilian killings take place in Kashmir but this time there were minorities which attracted more attention,” Dulat told a local news gathering agency.

Asked whether the minorities were being targeted over abrogation of Article 370, he replied, “It is too early to say. Some say it is like the 1990s situation; let’s hope it is not like that.”

“One thing is clear that sleeper cells are active in Kashmir and it seems were involved in the recent killings. How many people are part of these sleeper cells can’t be said. I hope they are in single digits. The recent killings remind of the 1990s when militants would come out in the open. JKLF boys would parade in Srinagar. Then many of these militants were arrested or got killed. Then came a phase of over ground workers, who would come, kill people then do their routine work like riding an auto-rickshaw or running a shop. The situation seems similar now,” he said.

He claimed that the sleeper cells were active in the heart of Srinagar city. “Militants would operate from South Kashmir which would not grab much attention but when such an incident takes place in Srinagar; it has an impact on the whole Kashmir.”

Asked that The Resistance Front (TRF) has claimed responsibility for several recent killings and if it was a challenge for the government, Dulat replied, “I have been hearing the name of TRF for some days. We also heard Geelani Force. Many such names surfaced in the past then they also got eliminated.”

He said it was too early to say that two militants killed recently were part of the TRF. “You get to know if they were part of the TRF and were recently involved in civilian killings when they were arrested, interrogated and revealed everything,”.

He said the killing of civilians in crowded areas was scary. “It is a challenge for security agencies to stop such attacks. There are Pakistanis who are part of these sleeper cells but local boys are also involved in this.”

At least eleven civilians have been killed since October 02 in Kashmir. (KINS)

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