The killing spree in Jammu and Kashmir continues with around 413 persons, including 237 terrorists, 94 civilians and 81 armed forces personnel, killed this year till now, report said on Tuesday.
According to a report , said the official records reveal that 176 locals have joined the militant ranks this year with the highest number of youngsters, 30, joining in May and lowest, 4, in November.
On Sunday, three militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba were killed in an encounter in Mujgund area on Srinagar-Bandipora highway, during which seven houses were completely damaged as well.
“The number of militants killed this year is highest in the past decade and the armed forces claim to have targeted the militant leadership, which has controlled the local recruitment into militant ranks as well,” said the report.
“Out of 237 militants, 163 were killed since June this year, when Governor rule was imposed after BJP pulled out from the alliance with PDP in the state,” it said.
According to government records, 59 civilians were killed during protests and near encounter sites, while as 35 civilians—suspected as over ground workers of militants or informers of armed forces and political workers—were killed by unknown gunmen. The highest number of civilians– 26 were killed in volatile Shopian district of south Kashmir, reported.
“Among armed forces, 41 police personnel, including 9 SPOs, 31 army personnel, and nine paramilitary forces, were martyred in the state. The highest number of police and army personnel—20– were killed in Shopian and Pulwama districts of South Kashmir,” the report said.
“After the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in 2016, the government started Operation All Out to wipe out militancy from the state. In 2017, the armed forces killed 213 militants, which included top leadership of HM and Lashkar-e-Taiba,” it added.
The report quoted officials in police and army as having said, the number of militants active in the state vary between 250 to 280.
“Killings should stop at any cost. Human Rights cannot be defended just by wailing over ongoing killing spree. We have to question the government’s approach and take them on,” the report quoted Ahsan Untoo of International Forum for Justice and Human Rights, who released a report in Srinagar on Sunday, regarding civilian killings this year. He has filed petitions in courts and the State Human Rights Commission regarding the cases of civilian killings. The report was released on the eve of International Human Rights Day on December 10, when Hurriyat leadership has called for a complete strike against continued human rights abuses in the state.
“HM and LeT were not able to launch any major attack this year. They even changed the tactics and started killing off-duty security personnel. The pattern of their violence has changed because they are on the back foot. Now this is the matter of their survival,” a top police official, privy to anti-militancy operations told.