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October saw bloodshed in north, south, and centre

Srinagar, Oct 26: Bloodshed has dominated October, with 44 killings recorded in the valley in the last two weeks alone.

While the first fortnight of the month passed rather peacefully, except the killing of two political workers, the frequency of encounters hiked with the start of municipal polls.

In the last 16 days, nine encounters occurred, killing 24 militants. Twelve civilians have been killed so far this month.

Top militant commanders Manan Wani and Mehraj-ud-din Bangroo were among the prominent militants killed.

Wani, a scholar from Aligarh Muslim University, was trapped and killed at Handwara in north Kashmir on October 11—10 months after he had joined Hizbul Mujahideen.

Bangroo, a top militant commander from old city’s Fateh Kadal area, who joined militancy in April 2016, was killed along with his associate, Faid Mushtaq, of Khanyar.

On October 21, 10 killings occurred across the valley, including seven civilians and three militants at Kulgam.

Compared to the previous months, most of the encounters in October occurred in north and central Kashmir, where a total of 14 militant were killed in five encounters.

Sabzar Ahmad Sofi who was killed at Nowgam here on October 24, was the third scholar-turned-militant killed during the current year.

Eight soldiers also lost their lives.

The year 2018 has seen more than 90 per cent increase in the militancy-related incidents over the last year.

As per the figures, the current year saw 244 militancy-related incidents till October 7, compared to last year’s 131.

Data claims that 166 militants have been killed during anti-militancy operation till now, which, during the last year, was recorded 213.

Munir Ahmad Khan, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order and Security, said the “precise and specific” information helped the forces to kill the militants.

“It all depends upon the kind of information. We actually had good information about the presence of militants, which led to the successful culmination of operations this month,” he said.

Khan said police has been able to kill some of the “experienced militants” this month.

“We always give them an opportunity to surrender. Our operation starts once the militants fire, and we neutralise them whether they may be experienced or inexperienced,” he said.