New Delhi: Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba continue to be the dominant militant groups in some areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the issue was also taken up with Pakistan, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told a Parliamentary panel.
Addressing the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament attached to the Home Ministry that reviewed the security situation in the northern state on Wednesday, Shinde said the two terror outfits were "mostly operating from the districts of Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipore, Anantnag and Pulwama in Kashmir and Poonch, Ramban and Rajouri in Jammu region".
"This issue is being addressed from the security point of view and also taken up diplomatically with Pakistan. The state and central governments have adopted various counter-measures to neutralise the efforts and capabilities of militants and others to disturb peace in the state by inciting people towards violent agitations and protests against duly elected institutions and authority," the minister said, according to a statement on Thursday.
At the meeting, also attended by Minister of State for Home RPN Singh and Home Secretary RK Singh, the Home Minister said the level of militancy in the state, "which was at its peak in the 1990s, started declining from 2003 onwards and today it is at its lowest in terms of incidents as well as casualties of civilians and security forces".
"This has been made possible because of the yearning among the people of the state for peace and the successful measures taken by the security forces of the state and central government in restricting the infiltration of the militants from across the Line of Control (LoC) and various other counter-insurgency actions on all fronts," the statement quoted the minister as saying.
The panel members discussed the current security scenario in the state, as well as the reports of the interlocutors appointed by the central government for Jammu and Kashmir and action taken on the reports.
"The issues of migrants, rehabilitation of the surrendered militants and speedy implementation of Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme and PM's Package for Return and Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Migrants to the state were also discussed."