August 2002 News

More than 1,900 dead in J&K violence this year: Officials

28 August 2002
The Hindustan Times

Srinagar: More than 1,900 people have died in Jammu and Kashmir''s terrorist violence this year, including 136 people in the first half of August, official sources say. A total of 1,912 people have been killed in separatist-linked violence in the year to August 15, they say. The dead include 1,052 terrorists, 634 civilians and 226 security force personnel. The figures show there has been little let-up in the violence this year, although the 2001 toll is slightly higher. Some 2,055 people died in the corresponding period last year. ''Last year, we had more security force and civilian casualties,'' a Jammu and Kashmir Government official said, adding 308 security personnel and 688 civilians were killed in the first eight months of 2001. But there has been a marked drop in civilian injuries, with 945 so far this year compared to 1,372 in January-August 2001. The official, who requested anonymity, said the people who died in the first two weeks of August include 72 Muslim terrorists, 24 security forces personnel and 40 civilians. Despite the slight fall in death figures, there are fears that the toll could rise sharply as a result of the upcoming Jammu Kashmir Assembly polls which both hardline terrorists and separatists are boycotting. The four-phase polls will be held under tight security between September 16 and October 8. The counting of votes will begin on October 10. Thursday is the last day for filing of nomination papers by the candidates for 26 segments of six border districts going to polls in September 16. The police Intelligence Department has recorded a total of 2,377 violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir this year, down from 2,756 incidents last year. In Muslim- majority Kashmir valley, 1,481 incidents were reported as compared to last year''s figure of 1,881. However, in Hindu-dominated Jammu region a total of 896 violent incidents took place, an increase of 21 incidents over last year. The number of civilian killed in the Jammu region increased to 279 this year between January and mid-August, as compared to 222 last year. It has fallen in the Kashmir valley to 284 this year from 367 last year. Police recorded 931 incidents of cross- firing, 209 abductions, 269 explosions and 490 incidents of random firing till August 15 this year. Terrorists directed 518 violent attacks at the security forces between January and mid-August, 177 fewer than last year. Since the launch of counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990, security forces have seized 24,426 AK rifles, 27,782 bombs and explosive devices, 6,642 kilograms of RDX explosives, 46,224 hand and rifle grenades, 5,691 mines and 4,135 rockets. More than 36,500 people have died in Jammu and Kashmir since the eruption of terrorist violence in 1989, and official sources say 30,600 of the victims were civilians and Muslim terrorists. Officials have also recorded a total of 7,213 incidents of firing across the Jammu and Kashmir border with Pakistan, 130 of them in the first half of August.


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