Srinagar, Jan 31:
In the first month of 2019, the militancy violence is down compared to last year’s figure in January but the militant casualties have gone up.
This year’s first month witnessed 19 casualties and highest among them were militants, who were killed in various encounters with forces in the Valley.
Of the 19 killings, 17 are militants while a civilian and a policeman were also killed in militancy violence in January this year.
The overall casualties (19) in January this year is lower than the corresponding period last year when 21 killings took place.
However, militant casualties (17) this month is higher than first month last year, when ten militants were killed in gunfights with troops.
Seven civilians and four policemen were also killed in January last year.
In January 2019, a civilian and a Special Police Officer (SPO) were killed in two separate attacks in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
This year began with the killing of SPO Sameer Ahmad Mir by militants. He was fired upon by militants at his residence at Hanjan-Payeen in Pulwama.
On January 4, a civilian Simranjeet Singh son of Nanak Singh of Khasipora, Tral was killed by unknown gunmen.
Among the 17 militants killed in the month include Zeenat-ul-Islam, who was one of the most wanted militants and chief commander of Al Badar oufit.
Zeenat, a category A militant commander had switched over to Al-Badr from Hizb in November last year.
In a span of five days—from January 22 to 26—eight militants were killed in three separate gunfights, one each in Shopian, Baramulla and Srinagar.
All the gunfights this year took place in hinterland. No confrontation was reported between militants and forces along the Line of Control (LoC), where army has strengthened counter infiltration grid to prevent infiltration of militants.
This year, according to sources, there has been almost no detection of any infiltration attempt by militants along the LoC in Kashmir as the accumulation of snow on the mountains has kept infiltration points closed.
According to a security official, major infiltration routes usually get closed after heavy snowfall in the winter.
“The infiltration attempts are reduced to near zero after heavy snowfall. However, troops are maintaining vigil round the clock to prevent any infiltration of militants,” he said.
Courtesy: Rising Kashmir