Srinagar: Over 400 militants are active in Jammu and Kashmir and using hit-and-run tactics to carry out subversive activities in the state, senior police officials said here.
"The militants come from other parts of the Valley, strike in the city and go back," Kashmir Inspector General of Police Shiv Murari Sahai said.
Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda had recently said there are 400 to 450 militants active in the state with nearly 100 ultras, who have sneaked into the state from
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) during the current year.
Sahai said that the ultras are using hit-and-run tactics to carry out subversive activities in Srinagar before returning to their hideouts outside the city.
The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir witnessed three major encounters between militants and security forces this year but none of the eight militants killed in these
gunfights belonged to Srinagar, he said.
The brief shootout at Qamarwari earlier this week, in which three local militants were killed, was the first gunfight between the security forces and ultras in the city.
Police had identified one of the slain militant as a resident of north Kashmir`s Bandipora district and the two others from Sopore town.
In October, a fierce gunbattle took place between three holed-up militants and security forces in Maloora locality on the outskirts of Srinagar. The three killed militants could not be identified but were believed to have travelled from north Kashmir`s Bandipora district.
The north Kashmir districts of Bandipora, Kupwara and Baramulla have seen heightened militant activity this year. The police officials said there can be around 150 militants operating in the region, which borders the Line of Control.
"There are around 140 to 150 militants in north Kashmir and these are conservative estimates," Sahai said.
A senior police officer on duty in north Kashmir said the region is "flooded" with militants.
He, however, said the exact number of militants could not be known as they frequently move from one district to another and use multiple names to throw the security agencies
off the track.
Most of the militants active in north Kashmir belong to Lashkar-e-Toiba, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammad.