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State witnessed killing of 257 militants in 2018, highest in 4 yrs
1/20/2019 10:53:38 PM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Jan 20: Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the killing of 257 militants in 2018 - the highest in four years - by security forces, official figures show. A total of 213 militants were killed in 2017, 150 in 2016 and 108 in 2015. While 142 militants were eliminated in anti-terror operations till August 31, the rest were killed in the remaining four months. An official said that August witnessed the killing of 25 terrorists - the highest in a single month in 2018.
Also, 105 militants were arrested and 11 surrendered in 2018. The number arrested in 2017 was 97, 79 in 2016 and 67 in 2015. Security forces also secured surrendering a higher surrender of militants in 2018, which was almost six times more compared to 2017. Only two militants surrendered in 2017 against one in 2016. No militant surrendered in 2015. The data further revealed that the number of violent incidents were also at a peak during 2018 - almost one-and-half times more than 279 incidents in 2017. A total of 223 violent incidents were registered in 2016 and 143 in 2015. The security forces also seized 153 AK rifles in 2018 -- a dip from 213 in 2017, data accessed by IANS revealed. The number was 178 in 2016 and 177 in 2015.
An official deployed in internal security in Jammu and Kashmir said AK-47 assault rifles were the preferred weapon of militants. The official, who did not want to be named, said that over 300 militants, including foreigners, were still active in the Kashmir Valley, specially in south Kashmir, which is the epicentre of militancy for over three years now. "And these militants have been continuously attempting to radicalize youngsters in the Valley to take up arms and to shed fear of getting killed," said the official. Militants were known to monitor activities of youngsters on social media - Facebook and Twitter -- who are inclined to militant activities and hardcore religious activities - an easy prey for radicalism.
According to the official, radicalization escalated during the period the Centre announced suspension of operations at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan on May 17. There has been a marked improvement in the security scenario in the Kashmir Valley ever since the imposition of Governor's rule on June 19 when the BJP withdrew support to the Mehbooba Mufti-led government, another official said.
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