The AK-47 will remain the “mainstay weapon” of militants in Kashmir, the police said Tuesday, even as it described the recovery of a US-made M4 carbine colt rifle as the “highlight” of an operation against Jaish-e-Mohammad militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
“ The AK- 47 will remain a mainstay weapon with the militants. The M4 rifle is difficult to carry, maintain and conceal. It is being used for social media purpose by militants to show they have big weapons,” IGP Muneer Khan said when asked if the AK 47 was still “relevant” at a press conference in Srinagar.
Khan said appropriate authorities and “concerned embassies” will be informed about the recovery of the M4.
“ There are challenges in handling this M4 carbine . It needs much more maintenance where as the AK 47 is a rugged and extremely effective weapon,” Major General BS Raju, General officer commanding (GOC) of the Victor Force, said.
Raju said that the use of M4 or other new weapons will not alter the dynamics of militancy in Kashmir, and these were being used as “psychological warfare to target the forces and to recruit more youth.”
The police and army said there may be five to 10 other such weapons with the militants operating in Kashmir.
Raju said the M4 is used by NATO forces as well as by the Special Forces of the Pakistan Army. He said that the Army has reason to believe that the particular weapon was given to JeM cadres by the Pakistan Army, clearly showing the “complicity between the Pakistani forces and the Jaish-e-Mohammed.”
An AK-74 rifle, a variation of Russian made AK-47, was also recovered from the militants.
(Featured image: IGP Muneer Khan displays an M4 carbine rifle recovered from slain Jaish militants in Pulwama district)