Anantnag: The holy month of Ramadan has seen a major escalation of violence in the restive Kashmir valley, where 25 combatants have been killed thus far – 21 of them militants and four government forces’ personnel.
Ten gunfights, between government forces and militants, have taken place in Kashmir valley this month. Only one of the gunfights ended with no damage being done to militants.
“In fact, an army man was killed in this gunfight, on April 16, in Kokernag area of south Kashmir,” a senior police official said, adding that all other gunfights have been “overwhelmingly in favour of the security forces.”
No security forces’ personnel has been killed in any of the other 9 gunfights that took place across April, as the forces have been heavily relying on technologically advanced equipment to fight scantily armed militants.
Video footage from a drone that flew over the site of a gunfight in Pahoo area of Pulwama district was testimony to this technological advancement by government forces.
In the video footage, three militants can be seen exposed and being continuously watched over by the drone cameras, their every move exposed and their every tactic bared.
“This has been another reason for clean operations with no collateral damages whatsoever,” the police official said.
Meanwhile, the death toll of militants in April is on the higher side given the casualties inflicted on militant groups in the first three months of 2022.
On March 17, the Inspector General of police had maintained that 39 militants had been killed in 2022, “so far,” and here the first 25 days of April have already witnessed 21 militants getting killed.
Forces have been hyper-active in their anti-militancy operations, across the Kashmir valley, as the militants have been hitting “softer” targets – including non-locals, the local non-muslims, and politically affiliated locals.
Director-General of Police (DGP), Dilbagh Singh, recently called such attacks frustration on the part of the militants, even as the police have been maintaining that the number of active militants has come down to an all-time low.
The militants, on the other hand, have been relentless as well. They have been hitting armed targets, in Srinagar and elsewhere – including an attack on CRPF men in the Maisuma area of Srinagar and another one on Railway police personnel in Pulwama district.
Previously, violence has ebbed in the holy month of Ramadan – with often a cease-fire being extended by one side or the other. This year, however, the violence has continued unabated – escalated, in fact.
Apart from these attacks, shootouts have been reported from across Kashmir targeting non-locals or politically affiliated locals. A fidayeen attack was also averted in Jammu, leaving a CISF officer dead along with two militants.
Timeline of attacks
April 1 Jaish-e-Muhammad militant killed in Shopian district of south Kashmir
April 4 CRPF man killed, another injured in Maisuma area of Srinagar
April 6 2 militants, one of Lashkar and another of AGH, killed in Tral in Pulwama district
April 9 Lashkar-e-Toiba commander killed in Sirhama village of Anantnag district
April 10 2 Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in Bhishember Nagar of Srinagar
April 11 Pakistani militant among two killed in Kulgam district
April 14 Four local Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in Shopian district
April 16 Army man killed, militants flee from gunfight site in Kokernag of Anantnag
April 18 Two Railway Protection Force men killed in Kakapora shootout
April 21 Four Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in Malwan area of Baramulla
April 23 Two Pakistani militants of Jaish killed in Kulgam district
April 24 Three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in Pulwama