Wahid Bhat| SRINAGAR
Security forces have killed 68 militants in the last three months in Kashmir Valley, including 27 from Jaish-e-Mohammed militants.
According to a senior security official, massive flush-out drives were carried on the ground to eliminate the militants involved in the Pulwama attack. If reports are to be believed, 21 militants were killed post-Pulwama attack by Security forces.
Fulfilling Narendra Modi government’s ‘zero tolerance towards terrorism’ policy, the security forces have eliminated 19 JeM militants in 45 days who were involved in the attack.
While four JeM militants who were involved directly in the Pulwama attack were killed, while four others have been arrested during different operations.
The Army claims that there has been a significant dip in fresh militancy recruitment in the last two months and the number of locals participating in funeral processions of militants has reduced.
Last year security forces killed 257 terrorists across Jammu and Kashmir.
91 security personnel also laid down their lives fighting militancy in the state during the year, which ended at a high note with smooth conduct of the annual Amarnath yatra and elections to panchayats and local bodies after a long gap despite security concerns and challenges.
The number of militants killed in 2018 was around 260 which is higher than 2017 and the highest in a single year in the last eight years, officials said.
In 2010, as many as 270 militants were killed in action by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir. The number reduced to 119 in 2011. Then in 2012, 84 ultras were killed, 100 in 2013, 110 (2014), 113 (2015), 165 (2016) and 218 (2017), 257 last year.
They said the higher number of militant casualties in 2018 was because of pinpoint intelligence and meticulous operations by the security agencies.
However, the successes notwithstanding, the year gone by was one of the bloodiest for the security forces as they suffered the highest number of fatalities than in any other year in the past decade.
Last year, 91 security forces personnel were killed, while 83 personnel were killed in 2017.
Violence in 2018 started early when on January 6, four policemen were killed and two others were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast set off by militants in Sopore town in Baramulla district of north Kashmir.
The number of militant fatalities in a single month in 2018 was highest in November when 40 ultras were killed by the security forces.
In the second half of the year in 2018 in the four months of August, September, October and November – the security forces went on an overdrive, killing 130 militants, including several top commanders of various outfits.