223 terrorists killed in Jammu&Kashmir this year, highest in 8 years

December 9, 2018

Violence has run high in Jammu & Kashmir this year, with terrorists killed at a eight-year high of 223 while terror-related incidents rose to 429 from 342 last year and civilian casualties shot up to 77 from 40. The number of security personnel killed is 80, the same as last year.

The figures reflect increased attacks mounted by terrorists from Pakistan with the support of local cadres in the Kashmir Valley even as the Army stepped up security counter-measures and also warned that stone-throwers at encounter sites will be treated as over-ground supporters of terrorists.

According to home ministry data, the figure was higher only in 2010 when 232 terrorists were killed.

The number is likely to rise with more than three weeks to go before the year ends with an encounter in progress near Srinagar
even on Saturday. The number of terrorists killed this year has already surpassed the figure of 213 recorded in 2017, according to official statistics accessed by TOI.

Of the 223 terrorists killed, 93 were foreigners. While 81 of the terrorists were killed over a period of 80 days since local body and panchayat elections were announced on September 15 in the state, 51 were killed in the preceding 80 days between June 25 and September 14.
Between September 15 and December 5, two civilians were killed and 170 injured in stone-pelting incidents across the state.
In the same period, preceding September 15, eight civilians were killed and 216 injured due to stone-pelting. A large percentage of these stone-pelting incidents were reported from sites of encounters between the security forces and terrorists.
Home ministry sources said apart from having neutralised a record number of terrorists since June 19 when the state was placed under governor’s rule as compared to the preceding period under the PDP-BJP government this year, many top terrorist commanders were accounted for by security forces. These include top Lashkar commander Naveed Jatt, Jaish sniper Usman Haider, who was the nephew of Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar, and

Hizbul Mujahideen commander Altaf Ahmad Dar.
Apart from higher civilian deaths this year, almost double that of 2017, what is of concern to the security establishment is the rise in recruitment of local Kashmiris by Hizbul Mujahideen and Pakistan-based terror outfits. “However, a fall in recruitment levels has been witnessed in the recent months,” said an intelligence official. The number of terrorists active in the Valley is estimated to be 250-300.
Explaining the higher number of terror-related incidents this year, a senior officer of the central security establishment said it was essentially because terrorists were being more active this year. There were clear attempts by Pakistan-aided terrorists to disrupt urban local bodies and panchayat polls in the state, with separatists too pitching in with boycott calls and frequent bandhs.
Sources said attempts to use violence to sabotage local polls were effectively thwarted with adequate deployment of security forces and keeping terrorists engaged in intelligence-based counter-operations through the process of civic and panchayat elections in the state.


Source : Times of India

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