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.
Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts
Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.
UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report
United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.
Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk
Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.