Ramban: Once infamous as an operational hub of militancy, the mountainous district of Ramban in Jammu and Kashmir is speedily moving towards "zero militancy" as only four militants of Hizbul Mujahideen are currently active in the area, a senior police official claimed.

 "There are only four militants of HM outfit operating in Ramban district," Superintendent of Police Anil Mangotra said.

The militants, who are operating in Gool and Banihal areas of the district, are Ghulam Qadir of Gool, Reyaz Takray alias Usman of Trigam, Mohammad Ayoub Chopan of Sumber and a Pakistani militant, Saifullah, he said.

 "These surviving militants are hiding somewhere in the upper reaches, and the police and army are trying hard to locate and eliminate them," he said.

Five top militants including two top commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed in Ramban in 2011, giving a big jolt to militancy in the district, he said.

On February 8, self-styled HM divisional commander Abdul Rashid alias Qari Zubair was killed along with two more militants Naseer Ahmad alias Mansoor and Mushtaq Ahmad alias Usman. The most wanted LeT commander Mohammad Ayaz Malik alias Abu Mousa was also gunned down in a joint operation in Danbinallah area of Banihal along with his associate Farooq Ahmad Seeh alias Zulkarnain, the SP said.

Huge quantities of arms and ammunition were also recovered last year.

Bordered by thick forested belts of Doda, Anantnag, Udhampur and Reasi districts, Ramban has seen more than 400 militants of different outfits including HM, LET, JEM, HUJI, HuM and HMPPR operating in the district till 2000, he said.