J&K: Militants now relying on the use of pistols

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Srinagar, May 24 (UNI) Forget huge automatic rifles, militants are now relying on portable pistols to keep the pot of turbulence boiling in Kashmir, officials informed on Tuesday.

Police said so far this year they have recovered 130 pistols from militants.

“Out of them, 35 were seized during various encounters and rest have recovered from various modules,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Vijay Kumar said

The large seizure of small arms this year is a clear indication that militants are now more into “target killings” which is emerging as a major challenge for the entire security grid.

Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat was shot dead by pistol-borne militants inside his office at Chadoora Budgam on May 12. His killing sparked instant protests by Kashmiri Pandits.

This year there have been eight target killings of civilians and nearly a dozen mostly non-local workers and members of the minority communities have been wounded in similar attacks mostly in south Kashmir districts.

“The pistols are now used by hybrid terrorists to carry out target attacks. Not only locals, the pistol is a weapon of choice even for foreign terrorists. During various encounters we recovered pistols from FTs,” a senior security official said

The pistols, he said, are easy to conceal and the militants move without getting noticed to carry out target attacks.

On Monday, J&K police achieved a massive success when it recovered 15 pistols in Srinagar.

While IGP Kashmir termed the recovery a big success, the “assignment of pistols was to be delivered to other militants in Srinagar to carry out target killings at the behest of Pakistani handlers.”

These pistols recovered in Srinagar, according to police officials, were smuggled from across the border and had arrived here via Jammu.

Last year security forces have recovered 167 pistols in Kashmir.

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