October 2005 News

Kashmir Violence Drops 50 Pc

4 October 2005
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Despite some sensational strikes by militants and major successes achieved by security forces, there has been a considerable decline in the number of violent incidents and persons killed in Jammu and Kashmir in the past three years. The incidences of violence have come down by more than 50 per cent, according to official figures. Against 3,401 incidents of militancy-related violence in 2003, there were only 1415 such cases registered during the current year. While 2,716 people were killed in the militancy-related incidents in 2003, during 2005 only 1,313 people, including civilians, security forces and militants, were killed. Last year, 2,565 incidents of violence were recorded across the state in which 2,039 people were killed. Security forces achieved major successes against the militants in the state, eliminating several top commanders of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar- e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Harakat-e-Jehad-e-Islami outfits. Hizb was the most to suffer in counter-insurgency operations as it lost top 10 commanders including self-styled operational commander, district commanders and divisional commanders. Over 1,000 local militants and 470 foreign ultras were killed in 2003 while the figure stood at 516 and 141 respectively for the current year. In 2004, the figures were 687 for local militants and 289 for foreign ultras. Although security forces enjoyed the upper hand against the militants, the ultras also carried out some sensational strikes across the state. In May this year, militants had triggered a car bomb in Srinagar in which two civilians were killed. In June, the ultras carried out a similar attack in Pulwama town, killing 15 people including three CRPF jawans. Militants also targeted two security convoys in the heart of the summer capital with car bombs in June and July in which 13 jawans were killed. As against 384 jawans and officers killed in 2003, the number declined to 173 this year while it was 330 during 2004. Civilians also got a reprieve from the violence during the current year as statistics show that the number of militancy related deaths fell by nearly 50 per cent compared to last year. Militants killed most of the 836 civilians, some of whom died after being caught in cross firing with security forces or were shot dead by the troops in cases of 'mistaken identity' during 2003. This year only 383 civilians were killed against 733 in 2004. Although the ruling People's Democratic Party claims the change in situation was due to the policies of the coalition government, the party suffered the brunt of militant violence as well. The highest number of civilians was killed in Pulwama district, which is a stronghold of PDP, and most of the victims were activists of the party.


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