From killing militancy to deadliest month for security forces, Kashmir from 2001 to 2019

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Wahid Bhat| SRINAGAR

From Pulwama attack in Kashmir valley on February 14 2019 in which 40 CRPF men were killed, militancy-hit again on the boil with security forces in Kashmir and seen situation of 90’s in back to Kashmir.

According to the official figure 49 security forces personnel were killed in February this year, February was the bloodiest month for the security forces in the valley since September 2002 when 68 personnel had lost their lives in militant-related incidents of killings.

On 14 February 2019, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber at Lethpora (near Awantipora) in the Pulwama district, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The attack resulted in the deaths of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and the attacker.

The responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed. The attacker was Adil Ahmad Dar, a local from Pulwama area of South Kashmir’s Jammu and Kashmir, and a member of Jaish-e-Mohammed.

In the same time period, as many as ten militants and one civilian were also killed during various encounters in February.

Additionally, the total number of security forces fatalities during the first two months of 2019 now stand at 51 only two security forces personnel were killed in January which is more than half of the total 95 fatalities that occurred throughout 2018. The number of security forces fatalities in February this month is also more than the total security forces fatalities in 2014 (41) and 2015 (47).

After Pulwama attack

Following intelligence inputs, in the early morning hours of 18 February, a joint team comprising 55 Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and Special Operations Group of India killed two militants and two supporters in an anti-terrorism encounter operation in the ensuing manhunt for the perpetrators in Pulwama.

One of them, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi alias Kamran, was identified as a Pakistani national and was considered the mastermind of the attack and a commander of the militant group Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM). In addition, local JeM recruit Hilal Ahmed, along with two sympathisers who housed Ghazi and Ahmed to evade capture, were also shot dead in the encounter. Four security personnel were killed in the gunfight.

Killings in Kashmir
After a low in 2012, when the total fatalities in the state were 117, the number of killings have steadily increased to a staggering 451 last year which is a 285 percent rise over a span of six years.

2018 was the bloodiest year in the valley in a decade. In 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, a total of 181, 189, 175, 267, and 357 people were killed.

According to J&K Coalition of Civil Societies, another organisation which compiles data on violence in the valley, the numbers are even higher. JKCCS pegs the total number of fatalities during 2018 at a significant 586 which includes 159 SFs and 160 civilians and 267 militants.

2001 J&K legislative assembly car bombing

On Monday, 1 October 2001, three militants belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammed carried out an attack on the Jammu and Kashmir State Legislative Assembly complex in Srinagar using a Tata Sumo loaded with explosives, ramming it into the main gate with three fidayeen suicide bombers 38 people and three fidayeen were killed in this attack.

The attack took place at about 2 pm, one hour after close of business. One militants attacker drove a Tata Sumo loaded with explosives to the main entrance and exploded it. The other militants entered the building and seized control.
All militants were killed in the ensuing gunbattle which lasted several hours. No Lawmaker was killed since they were meeting in temporary facilities as the legislature building had recently been damaged in a fire. Many senior leaders had already left the building. The speaker Abdul Ahad Vakil was escorted to safety by the security forces.

The militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility and named a Pakistani national Wajahat Hussain as the suicide bomber. Subsequently, the Indian foreign Ministry issued a strongly worded statement aimed clearly at the government of Pakistan.

“India cannot accept such manifestations of hate and terror from across its borders” said the statement. “There is a limit to India’s patience.” Farooq Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, eulogized the 38 victims and called for reprisal attacks on Pakistan, where the group blamed for the attack is based. “The time has come to wage a war against Pakistan and to bomb the militant training camps there” he said. “We are running out of patience