Srinagar, Dec 28: Kashmir witnessed a bloodiest year in a decade.
At least 495 people were killed due to militancy related incidents as well as cross border firing since January 2018. This year, people in Kashmir saw a couple of bloodies days.
On April 1 alone, in three different encounters in South Kashmir and subsequent clashes 13 militants, 4 civilians and 3 army soldiers were killed. One militant was killed in Dialgam (Anantnag) encounter, 7 militants were killed in Dragadh and 5 militants were gunned down in Kachdoora Shopian.
Among the 495 killings half of the slain are militants. This year up to Dec 28, 245 militants and 134 civilians were killed. Among the 115 Forces killed, 55 are Army soldiers, 9 are CRPF personnel, 10 BSF personnel, CISF and SSB one each and 40 are local policemen.
Security agencies this year managed to neutralize A and A++ category militants. The top commanders who were neutralized this year included included Abu Dujana, Abdullah Ghaznavi, Bashir Lashkari, Junaid Ahmed Qayoom Najar, Mehmood Bhai, Umar Khatab from Pakistan, killed at Hartar Sopore, Muzafar Ahmed Naiko alias Muza Molvi of Sopore killed at Gulzarpora Mohchu in Budgam, Abu Surag of Pakistan, Adil Ahmad Reshi of Bijbehara, Abid Ahmad Sheikh of Saktipora and Masood Ahmad Shah of Bewoora village killed in Awora Pahalgam, Abu Musaib of Pakistan killed at Parr Mohalla Hajin, Qari Anas and Abu Ali killed in Hadoora Ganderbal, Azaharuddin alias Ghazi Umar and Sajad Ahmed alias Babar killed in Amargarh Sopore, Mudasir Ahmad Tantray alias Asim of Redwani, Wakeel Ahmad Thokar of Harigam Kulgam, Farooq Ahmad Bhat of Chak Dasand and Younus Lone of Hawoora-Mishpora killed in Nagbal Frisal Kulgam, Mushtaq Ahmed Seer killed at Bandipora, Muhammad Shafi Sherguri and Jahangir Ahmed Ganaie killed at Padgampora, Ayoub Lelhari killed in Pulwama, Sabzar Ahmed killed at Saimou Tral and others.
Majority of the militants killed this year were highly qualified.
In 2008, 550 deaths were reported in Kashmir Valley due to violence, while in 2012, the number was decreased by 99. Then onwards, there was an upsurge in the number of deaths due to violence.
The civilian killings in last four years has increased manifold in Kashmir Valley. In contrast to 41 civilian killings in 2015, at least 134 civilians lost their lives this year.
From 2015 to 2018, Kashmir has witnessed 383 civilian killings. I26 civilians died in 2016 and so far the number of civilian casualties is same in the first 11 months of current year. In 2017, at least 86 civilians including 8 Yatris became prey of militancy related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.
In May this year, there were maximum civilian casualties and the number is 21. As per data available 12 civilians were killed in January, 6 in February, 12 in March, 18 in April, 11 in June, 9 in July, 7 each in August and September, 13 in October and 10 in November and 8 in December.
In 2015, 4 former militants affiliated with Hurriyat were killed by unknown gunmen in the month of June in Sopore town who included Sheikh Altaf of Iqbal Nagar, Khurshid Ahmed Bhat at Bomai, Mehrajuddin Dar at Badambagh Sopore and Ajaz Ahmed Reshi at Mundji Sopore.
Several political workers fall prey to bullets in all these years. They included a National Conference Sarpanch Fayaz Ahmed Dar of Pulwama, PDP worker Bashir of Qasbayar Pulwama, government gunman Abdul Rashid Billa of Hajin, a Public Prosecutor and NC worker Imtiyaz Ahmed Khan of Pinjora Shopian, PDP District President Advocate Abdul Gani Dar of Pulwama, a Janta Dal United worker Ajaz Ahmed of Pulwama, a former panch and PDP leader Ghulam Rasool Ganai of Anantnag and BJP district president Pulwama Shabir Ahmed Bhat who was shot dead at Pathan Pulwama.
This year, at least 40 policemen were killed in different militancy related incidents in the current year in Kashmir Valley. Seven cops were killed in August, followed by 5 in June, 4 each in the months of January and February, 3 in September, 2 each in March, May and July and one in April.
On January 6, a powerful IED blast resulted in the death of four policemen in Sopore town of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district who were identified as ASI Irshad Ahmad EXK number 825685 resident of Doda about 58 years old, Constable Ghulam Nabi Belt number 720/IRP 3rd resident of Rohama Rafiaabad, Constable Parvaiz Ahmad Belt number 915/IRP 3rd resident of Vilgam Handwara, Constable Mohammad Amin Belt number 470/IRP 3rd resident of Sogam Kupwara.
On February 5, two policemen Mushtaq Ahmed of Karnah and Babar Khan of Shangas Anantnag were killed when militants fired upon them inside SMHS Hospital helping LeT militant Naveed Jatt to free from police custody. Naveed along with six other prisoners were brought to hospital for medical check-up on that day.
Two cops were shot dead by suspected militants on February 25 at two different places. An Armed policeman Kultar Singh of Samba was killed at Charar-e-Sharif shrine while another cop Farooq Ahmed Itoo of Chadoora guarding Hurriyat leaders Fazal Haq Qureshi’s house at Soura was also shot dead. Militants managed to decamp with the rifles of both these slain cops.
Two policemen were killed during the intervening night of March 20 and 21 at Halmatpora Kupwara in a fierce encounter. The said encounter also resulted in the death of five non-local militants and three Indian soldiers.
On March 29, suspected militants shot dead SPO Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh at Katoo Wubzan village of Dachnipora belt of Bijbehara while his wife Fareeda Begum received injuries during a scuffle with assailants. Two days later on March 31, suspected militants shot dead another SPO Muhammad Ashraf Mir in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Only one cop became the prey in the month of April and this time he was an SOG man Latif Gojri who along with a soldier was killed in a massive gun battle in Laam Forest area of Tral town in Pulwama. Four militants were also killed in this gun fight.
Two policemen were killed in May. On May 11 militants killed a cop Shameem Ahmed of Yaripora Kulgam when they attacked a minority picket at Wadwun Budgam while on May 15 a policeman Abdul Rashid was killed in a militant attack at Padshahibagh Bijbehara.
On June 2 Policeman Aqib Wagay of Panzgam who was injured in a militant attack succumbed to his injuries. On June 13 two policemen Ghulam Hassan Wagay and Ghulam Rasool were killed while another cop was injured after militants attacked court complex Pulwama. Militants snatched their rifles as well.
A cop Tanvir Ahmed was killed on June 20 after militants attacked a police patrol at Galandar Pampore. An SOG man Ashiq Hussain was killed on June 22 in Khiram Srigufwara area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district during an encounter. This encounter also resulted in the killing of four militants and a civilian.
On July 5 suspected militants abducted policeman Javaid Hamid Dar near Vehil Shopian and later killed him while on July 16 Mudasir Ahmed, a security guard of National Conference leader Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir was killed after militants attacked their vehicle in Muran Pulwama. Militants also snatched two rifles while another security guard was also injured in the attack.
The month of August witnesses 7 killings of policemen. On August 22 militants killed 3 cops in three separate incidents in South Kashmir’s Pulwama and kulgam district on the eve of Eid-ul-Azah. They were Inspector Muhammad Ashraf Dar of Larav Pulwama, Yaqoob Shah of Loisani Pulwama and Fayaz Ahmed of Zazripora.
Four policemen were gunned down by militants in on August 29 in Arhama village of Shopian district. They were identified as Constable Ishfaq Ahmed Mir son of Abdul Aziz Mir of Watergam Dangiwacha, Constable Muhammad Iqbal Mir son of Abdul Rehman Mir a resident of Hardu Chanam Rohama, Constable Javaid Ahmed Bhat son of Nazir Ahmed Bhat of Panzinara Sumbal and SPO Adil Manzoor Bhat son of Manzoor Ahmed, a resident of Zawoora Shopian.
On September 21, three cops were abducted and killed by militants in South Kashmir’s Shopian district. They were identified as Firdous Kuchary and Kuldeep Singh of Batagund and Nisar Dhobi of Kaprin Shopian.
Sep 30: A policeman was killed in a militant attack on police station Shopian. Militants also decamped with the rifle of the slain policeman Sakib Mir.
On Oct 17 two militants and an SOG man Kamal Kishore were killed in Fathekadal Srinagar encounter. On Oct 27 a police sub-inspector Imtiyaz Ahmed Mir of Sontbugh Pulwama was shot dead by militants in Wahibugh area of pulwama district and on Dec 11 militant attack in Zainapore Shopian leaves four cops dead. They were identified as Anees Ahmad Mir, a resident of Souch, Kulgam; Mehraj-u-din, resident of Bandipora; Hamidullah, resident of Anantnag and Abdul Majeed, a resident of Ganderbal.
The 2018 also witnessed incidents of rifle snatching. A special police officer Adil Bashir posted with the People’s Democratic Party MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir fled with at least eight weapons including the licensed pistol of the former legislator from his official residence at Jawahar Nagar Srinagar.
This year majority of the strike calls forwarded by Joint Resistance Leadership were against the civilian killings. JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik faced curbs from security agencies. Geelani continued to remain under house arrest while Mirwaiz was frequently barred from offering Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid.