- 92 terrorists were killed till July 2 this year, against 79 in the corresponding period of 2016
- As against 371 infiltration cases recorded in 2016, 124 were recorded till May-end this year
As counter-terror forces mount offensive against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, the gains are starting to show. As many as 92 terrorists were killed till July 2 this year, against 79 in the corresponding period of 2016. In fact, the numbers of terrorists killed in counter-insurgency operations so far this year have surpassed the year-wise figures for 2012 and 2013 when UPA was in power at the Centre.
While 72 and 67 terrorists were eliminated in J&K in 2012 and 2013 respectively, the numbers picked up during NDA’s tenure, touching 110 in 2014, 108 in 2015 and 150 in 2016. “Terrorists killed till July 2 this year are only slightly less than killings through 2014 and 2015,” a senior home ministry official said, attributing the successes to seamless coordination between the Army, central forces, state government and intelligence agencies.
“The forces have been given a free hand to track and intercept the terrorists holed up in the valley, before launching intelligence-based operations with due mapping of the target and how to neutralise terrorists with minimum collateral damage,” said a senior home ministry functionary.
The official underlined that among the 92 terrorists killed in J&K till July 2, most of the targets were big and prominent terror operatives.
Infiltration figures also show a decline. As against 371 infiltration cases recorded in 2016, 124 were recorded till May-end this year. “Many of these 124 terrorists have been neutralised since,” said a home ministry official.
While terror-related incidents were higher at 168 till July 2 this year as compared to 126 in the corresponding period of 2016, stone-pelting incidents witnessed a dip with 142 incidents till June 2017. In July 2016 alone, there were 820 incidents, though this was largely on account of outbreak of violence after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani on July 8.
The central security establishment feels that better statistics of terror-related violence in J&K, are largely to do with the Centre’s strategy to actively engage with the terrorists holed up in the valley with full backing of the state government.
“Not only are pro-active operations being undertaken but the response of the Army and para-military forces to terror attacks against their personnel and installations has improved manifold,” said an officer.
However, the momentum of the counter-terror operations needs to be sustained or intensified. “We are tracking top terrorist leaders including expelled Hizbul man Zakir Musa, and will engage them in encounters as and when they are cornered.
Simultaneously, we are taking steps to choke terror funding and have also raised the J&K terror issue diplomatically, leading the US to designate Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist,” said the official.
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