Anantnag, Dec 30: Army and police on Tuesday said that the number of militants was lowest in the “history” of Jammu and Kashmir.

Addressing reporters after the killing of six militants and a soldier in twin encounters in Kulgam and Anantnag, top army and police officers said that while the number of total militants active was less than 200, the count of local counterparts was around 85-86 only.

“The numbers this year has reduced,” said GoC of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen D P Pandey while responding to question if the number of militants was rising in the Valley.

“There is very interesting trend which has come to light which I thought I should share with you all,” he said, adding, “The senior youth which is beyond 20, 21 or above are not joining. Having finding it difficult to join from this rank, they have started to recruit in age pocket of 15-16,” he said.

The second trend which is come out, he said, is that the militants are no more “proud of themselves of picking of weapons.”

“So they are not declaring their names and they are hiding their identity. It was very clear and evident in the recent operation which happened and which came to spotlight for various reasons that all family members belonging to that OGW network or militants came out in open and claimed innocence.,” he said, adding, “So Today I feel that society is not wanting to accept OGWs and militants in their houses and proximity.”

Majority of the operations which happened this year, he claimed, were “based on human intelligence which is another trend.”

“We have been able to breach 200-mark which something different. We still got 2 days to go. Lets hope numbers are further brought down.”

Inspector General of Polioce Vijay Kumar said it was for the “first time in the history that militant number has reduced to less than 200.”

“It is for the first time that local number has come down to less than 100—there are now 85-86 militants left after yesterday’s encounter,” he said, adding, “Increase in encounters does not mean increase in militancy. It means proactive action on our part. The militancy is not increasing but declining.”

He said in summer foreign militants are hiding in higher reaches and with the winter they are come down “which is good thing for us.”

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