The regular appearance of militants at funerals of fellow militants, killed in counter-insurgency operations, has become a matter of concern for the Centre.
The Home Ministry, on Wednesday, informed Parliament that “Centre is seized of the matter.” Minister of State (MoS) for Home, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, in a reply to parliamentarian Rajkumar Dhoot, said, “As per the report of Jammu and Kashmir government, a few instances of militants making brief appearance in large gathering of funeral of militants have been observed.”
As reported by India Today, “In these instances, the militants after making brief appearances, then disappear. They take advantage of large gatherings. In order to prevent such activities of militants, numerous steps have been taken, including strengthening of operational grid with enhanced human intelligence and use of technical intelligence grid. Further, the intensity of counter insurgency operations has been increased resulting in neutralizing of several militants.”
In Kashmir, militants openly dare the security forces by giving gun salutes to slain colleagues. This is being seen as a new normal, reminiscent of the 1990’s, where militants appeared in a similar fashion during funeral.
Sources in the intelligence agencies, according to reports, however, say the appearances are aimed to recruit more “misguided” youth into their cadre.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry said that there has been a considerable reduction in the militancy related incidents in J&K.
“During the last three years (July 2014 to June 2017) there is reduction in incidents of violence by 22.25% (3999 to 3109) compared to the preceding three years (July 2011 to June 2014) and an increase of 78% (228 to 406) in killing of Left Wing Extremists compared to the preceding three years (July 2011 to June 2014),” this was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangarm Ahir in a written reply to question by Prabhat Jha in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
The figures that were presented in the Parliament reveal that during 2016, 322 incidents of violence occurred in the state, in which 15 civilians were killed. The figures further say that during the same year 82 security forces and 150 militants were killed.
A meeting of the Chief Ministers of violence affected States was called by the Union Home Minister on 08 May 2017. Both security and development related measures for elimination of terrorism were discussed.
In the year 2015, figures suggest that 208 militancy related incidents occurred, in which 17 civilians, 39 security forces and 108 militants were killed in J&K.
The detailed figures provided by the Home department says that in the year 2017, up to July 9, there have been 172 militancy related incidents in the state in which 12 civilians, 38 security forces and 95 militants were killed.
The data has been provided from the year 2011 until 2017 and in 2016 the number of militants killed has been on the higher side: 150. This is high from the year 2011. This number was 110 in the year 2014.
As per figures, the highest number of militancy related incidents occurred in the year 2011 and the number was 340 and only 322 in the year 2016.
The lowest number of security forces killed, as per the figures, was in the year 2012 in which 15 security personnel were killed and the highest number for this category is 82 in the year 2016.
Figures reveal that the lowest number of civilians killed during militancy related incidents is 12 up to July this year and has been highest, 31 in the year 2011.