Updated: January 25, 2021 8:02:36 am
IN ITS FIRST full year as the newest Union Territory of the country, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed an uptick in recruitment to militant ranks; the number of law and order incidents, however, dropped significantly during the year.
According to police data for the last three years, the number of law and order incidents in J&K plunged 75 per cent to 143 in 2020 compared with 584 in 2019. Militancy-related incidents also dropped 5 per cent to 243 in 220 compared with 255 in 2019. The fall is significant when compared with 2018, which witnessed 417 militancy-related incidents.
The number of recruits joining militancy in the UT has, however, seen a 22 per cent rise to 174 in 2020 from 143 in 2019. Of the 174 recruits, 76 militants were killed and another 46 arrested. Just 52 remain active, data with the J&K Police shows.
When contacted, Director General, J&K Police, Dilbag Singh, told The Indian Express that 2020 marked a significant improvement in the situation on counts of terrorism, law and order and security. “If you look at the past decade, the situation is better on all parameters since 2016. I would say a lot of improvement has been made on law and order and security as well as terrorist violence. Several militant commanders were killed in a single year and civilian and police casualties were brought down,” he said.
Between January and December 2020, as many as 225 militants were killed by security forces operating in J&K. In the course of 103 operations — 90 in Kashmir and 13 in Jammu — 207 militants were killed in the Valley while 18 in the Jammu region.
Officials said 46 top commanders of various militant outfits were among those neutralised in 2020. These include Riyaz Naikoo and Junaid Sehrai and Dr Saifullah of the Hizbul Mujahideen. Lashkar’s Sajad Haider, Burhan Koka from Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind and commanders of the newly-carved The Resistance Front were also among those killed in 2020, an official with J&K Police said.
The data also shows that 36 civilians and 45 security personnel succumbed to military-related activities in 2020. The casualties are lower than the previous year. The number of J&K police personnel killed due to militant activity has also seen a 24 per cent decline. In 2020, as many as 61 police personnel lost their lives.
Meanwhile, ceasefire violations across the LoCs (Lines of Control) have increased by over 50 per cent, recording 930 incidents in 2020. Over 9,500 cordon and search operations across J&K were carried out in the past year.