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General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 15 Corps Commander Lieutenant General JS Sandhu said, "The local terrorists must realise that it is easy to call themselves a Mujahid. But are you a Mujahid, or just a proxy for Pakistan? Come back to the mainstream as this will facilitate return of peace to the valley. We are ready to receive them in an honorable manner."
While addressing a joint press conference along with state Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid, Sandhu claimed that the security forces have gunned down about 190 militants this year so far.
"We have killed about 190 terrorists sa far this year. Out of these 190, 80 are local terrorists and 110 foreign. Out of these 110, 66 terrorists were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) while infiltrating," he pointed out.
He further said that the security forces have killed 125-130 terrorists in the hinterland of Kashmir Valley which has resulted in a remarkable change in situation.
Speaking about the Bandipore encounter, Lieutenant General Sandhu hailed the Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police for successful operation.
"Based on specific information, joint operation was launched by CRPF, Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police in which six terrorists were eliminated, all were foreign terrorists. I commend all agencies who worked to ensure success of the operation," he said.
Six Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi's nephew Owaid, were gunned down by security forces in the encounter in Hajin area of Bandipora district on Saturday.
Meanwhile, DGP Vaid also called for peace in Kashmir and lauded the security force for Bandipora encounter.
"Kashmir valley needs to be free from violence, terror, guns and drugs. It was a commendable joint effort by our agencies and jawans. Wish very soon we can see Kashmir free of violence," he said.