Almost one terrorist incident occurred on an average every day in the conflict-hit Jammu and Kashmir this year till July 23, indicating no sign of let-up in Pakistan-led activities in the valley, according to a Home Ministry report.
In fact, there was an almost 25 per cent rise in incidents in the nearly seven months of this year, compared with the corresponding period last year.
According to the report, a total of 184 violent terrorist incidents took place in the state between January 1 and July 23, 2017, as against 155 incidents during the same period last year. In 2016, there were a total of 322 terrorist incidents. The number of such incidents was 208 in 2015 and 222 in 2014.
The report said that 109 terrorists — highest in the decade — were killed this year till July 23. The number of terrorists killed in 2016 was 150, compared to 108 in 2015 and 110 in 2014.
Killing of civilians and security forces had, however, increased, the report stated, adding that 19 civilians and 38 security personnel were killed between January and July 23 this year as against 15 civilians and 82 security personnel last year.
In 2015, 17 civilians and 39 security personnel were killed while the figure for the year before stood at 28 and 97, respectively.
A Home Ministry official, on condition of anonymity, told IANS that intelligence information indicated the role of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit behind major attacks in the Jammu and Kashmir, as the Pakistan-based terror group’s recruitment had peaked in the last one year. A top commander of the group, Abu Dujana, was killed on Tuesday in a gunfight with security forces.
The intelligence report said that over 130 out of approximately 300 terrorists found active in Kashmir belong to LeT, most of them being local recruits. Other terrorists had links with Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda.
“Now, Pakistan-based LeT operatives have chosen a new modus operandi in recruiting cadres. Apart from infiltrating well-trained terrorists into Kashmir from Pakistan, they are recruiting local youths in the valley,” a security official said, pointing to the alarming situation in the valley.
The official said that earlier the local recruits were more attracted to Hizbul Mujahideen, a group oriented towards the cause of Kashmir.
Dujana’s killing triggered widespread protest in parts of Kashmir where curfew-like restrictions have been imposed in seven police station areas of Srinagar after a shutdown was called by an alliance of key separatist leaders — Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.