At least 10 local terrorists, mostly belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, are active in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district, Inspector General of Police, Jammu, M K Sinha said Monday.
"A total of 10 terrorists -- eight belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and two to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) are active in Kishtwar district. All of them are local youths," Sinha told reporters in response to a question about the number of active terrorists in the hilly district of Jammu region.
Kishtwar was declared terrorism-free over a decade ago, but was rattled by the killing of State Secretary of BJP Anil Parihar and his brother Ajeet Parihar on November 1 last year, followed by assassination of senior RSS leader Chanderkant Sharma and his security guard inside a health centre on April 9.
So far, the terrorists behind the killings have evaded arrests even as security forces launched a massive operation to track them down and had two brief gunfights with the hiding terrorists on May 31 in Appan area of Marwah and again on June 21 in Keshwan forest.
While two special police officers were injured in Marwah encounter, a suspected terrorist was believed to have been injured in Keshwan, but the terrorists managed to escape from both the places.
Asked whether it was worrying for the security forces that the ultras managed to give them a slip after establishing contact with them, he said, "We have learnt our lessons and will go fully prepared next time when there is an information about their presence."
"When we received information about presence of terrorists in Marwah, we sent an advance party for recce of the area but unfortunately it came under fire and the ultras fled. Same was the case in Keshwan," he said.