No encounter in Jammu and Kashmir so far in new year

Express News Service
SRI NAGAR: The  militancy-hit Kashmir has been peaceful this year so far with no encounter taking place between the militants and security forces and no death reported in militancyrelated violence in the first two weeks of 2021. The last encounter in the Valley took place on December 30, 2020 at Lawapora in the outskirts of Srinagar. The incident raised some controversy as the security forces claimed the three men died in the encounter were militants, while the relatives of slain youth alleged their wards were innocent civilians. Also, the police said the three youth were not listed as militants.

Compared to this year, the first encounter in 2020 took place on the 7th day of New Year, in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district in which a local militant was killed. When asked about the current situation, a security official said there have been no let up in anti-militancy operations and security personnel are continuing their operations even in the chilling and intense cold in the Valley.

In 2020, a total of 225 militants, including 46 commanders of different militant outfits, were killed in Jammu and Kashmir. Of them, 207 were killed in 90 gunfights in Kashmir and 18 in 13 gunfights in Jammu region. About 60 security personnel were also killed in militancyrelated violence last year.

Barring a grenade attack on an ITBP vehicle at Tral in Pulwama district on January 2 in which eight civilians were injured, no other major militancy incident has taken place in the Valley so far this year. Last year 38 civilians were killed in militancy-related incidents in the J&K. Meanwhile, a police officer said the security forces have arrested around 10 militant associates in the Valley. Five of them, who were pasting threat posters in some villages of Tral, were arrested on Saturday.