Express News Service
SRINAGAR: After the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in mid-August, there has been a surge in the killings of security forces and civilians and drop in militant casualties in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to statistics, from August 15 till October end, 16 security men and 15 civilians lost their lives to militancy in J&K.
During the same period, 39 militants, including some top militant commanders, were also killed in encounters.
“In October, 12 security men, 20 militants and 12 civilians were killed, while in September, three security men, eight militants and one civilian were killed. In the 15-day period from August 15 to August 31, one security man, 11 militants and two civilians were killed,” reveals the statistics.
The Taliban militants gained control of Kabul on August 14.
And immediately afterwards, security experts had been cautioning that the violence level in J&K would go up as Taliban win against the US would be a “morale booster” for the militants.
The data of the last two and a half months suggests that security forces and civilian killings have gone up, while the militant casualties have gone down.
There were eight security force casualties from June 1 to August 14.
During the same period, 52 militants were killed in encounters with security forces in different parts of the Valley. Twelve civilians also lost their lives.
Of the 15 civilians killed in a two and a half months period in J&K after Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, six were migrant skilled and unskilled labourers and three minority community members.
The killing of migrant workers, which has led to the exodus of non local workers from the Valley, seems to be a change of tactics on part of the militants, say security experts.
Former J&K DGP Kuldip Khoda says Pakistan’s strategy is to raise the pitch of militancy in Kashmir as they are now free from Afghanistan.
“Their first task is to send a message that they will not allow outsiders to come and settle in Kashmir. That is why there were targeted killings,” Khoda says, referring to the killing of five migrant workers by militants in October.
According to Khoda, Pakistan will now push battle hardened and well-trained militants into J&K.