Year 2018 begins on a ‘bloody’ note, 14 deaths reported in the first week alone

Srinagar: Contrary to the claims of the government that situation in Kashmir is improving, the situation on ground proves otherwise. During the first week of 2018, at least 14 people have already died during various violent incidents.
On January 1st, five CRPF men and three militants were killed when the former launched a Fidayeen attack in Lethpora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Of the three fidayeen militants, two were locals sending the security apparatus into a tizzy.
Among the militants killed was the son of a policeman, a teenager who had joined the Jaish-e-Mohammed four months ago. Taking the leaf out of ‘Taliban textbook style’ of propaganda, before the attack he recorded a video message in which he urged the Kashmiri youth to join the Jaish-e-Mohammed and launch attacks on the government forces.
According to the police sources, this was the first time that a fidayeen or suicide attacker has recorded a provocative message like this before carrying out an attack. The security forces have raised the alarm and said that the video is a cause for serious concern.
Interestingly, late in the evening on the same day, a soldier was killed in cross-border firing in Rajouri district of Jammu division.
Notably, on January 4, when Union Minister of Home (state) Hansraj Ahir in reply to a question in Parliament said that the situation in the state has improved and there is no presence of Al Qaida and ISIS, a Border Security Forces man was killed in Rajouri when Indian and Pakistani armies exchanged fire on LoC.
On the same day in the evening, unidentified gunmen killed a civilian in Sopore town of north Kashmir. Arif Ahmad Sofi, son of Muhammad Maqbool Sofi resident of Wahipora Unisoo, a driver by profession, was fired upon by unidentified gunmen.
Muhammad Maqbool Sofi is the interim chairman of the separatist group, People’s League. Interestingly, later, the ruling BJP claimed that Arif was an active member of the party.
Pertinently, with the killing of four policemen in Sopore blast today, the security situation in the valley refuses to become near normal. Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan’ said that the situation though serious but security apparatus will tackle it effectively.
“Since 2015, it was the first IED blast that killed our four cops. Today’s blast was very powerful that resulted in the loss of life and property,” Khan said.

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