From August to August: 155 militants, 40 personnel killed in 71 gunfights; 70 youth joined militancy in Kashmir

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Srinagar: Post-abrogation of Article 370, armed forces have gone full throttle against the militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

Figures compiled by different government agencies reveal that more than 155 militants have been killed since the abrogation of Article 370. Forty security forces men were also killed by militants. There have been 71 gunfights since August 5 last year.

Security forces halted operations for sometime soon after Article 370 abrogation as the focus was on maintaining law and order. From August 5 to December 31, 2019, only 18 militants were killed. From January 1 to August 4, 2020, over 137 militants were killed.

Likewise, seven security forces were killed in gunfights from August 5 to December 31 last year. This year so far, 33 security men have been killed. Similarly, only 10 gunfights took place between August 5 and December 31. This year so far, 61 gunfights have taken place.

The army lost a colonel and major rank officers besides five elite Special Forces (Para) commandoes in different gunfights this year in north Kashmir. Figures reveal around 70 youth joined militancy post abrogation of Article 370.

Security forces achieved major successes when they killed the operational chief of Hizbul Mujahadeen Reyaz Naikoo, chief commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad Qari Yasir, top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Haidar and Burhan Koka of Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind.

Figures reveal that 257 militants and 91 security men were killed in 2018. In 2017, 213 militants and 80 security men were killed. Likewise, 150 militants and 82 security men were killed in 2016.

“Review of security indicators show that the violence level has dropped in the last one year. Intelligence inputs indicate desperation in Pakistani establishment and separatists to generate violence and civil casualties in the valley. Security Forces have to be wary of attacks on political workers, attacks on soldiers on leave, IED attacks and attacks on isolated posts or patrols,” said a defence spokesman after a core group meeting to assess security situation post abrogation of Article 370.

The core group meeting also resolved that law and order including COVID restrictions need to be enforced for the safety of the common man.

“The officials also discussed local recruitment which though less than last year had seen a spurt in the last few weeks. It was decided to enhance steps to prevent local youth from joining militant outfits. Steps would include proactive steps in consultation with families of vulnerable youth, and identification and arrest of instigators,” he said.

The spokesman said recently increased infiltration attempts and ceasefire violations were also discussed in the meeting. “Reports indicate that the launch pads across the LoC are full and Pakistan establishment is keen to push in infiltrators in the next few weeks. The forces are ready for any border misadventure in form of BAT actions or actions to support infiltration,” he said.

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