In the aftermath of the killing of a 22-year old Chennai tourist who came under attack from stone-pelters on the outskirts of Srinagar on May 7, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti requested the Centre for a unilateral ceasefire in the Ramzan month that began last week. Mufti’s request was approved on May 16, when Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh dialled the chief minister to inform her about the Centre’s decision to halt all security operations in the militancy-hit state during the holy month.
Five days after the ceasefire came into effect, the valley has witnessed a series of militant attacks on security forces while cross-border shelling by Pakistan continues risking the lives of security personnel as well as villagers living beside the Pakistan border.
Since Tuesday, two BSF personnel and four civilians have lost their lives in unprovoked mortar shelling and small arms fire by Pakistani Rangers along the international border from Hiranagar to R S Pura sectors. Five people, including a BSF personnel, were killed and ten others injured in firing from across the border in Arnia and R S Pura sectors on Friday.
Here are the recent militant attacks that followed the Ramzan ceasefire in J&K:
Encounter in Kupwara ahead of PM Modi’s Kashmir visit
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on May 19, a gun-battle ensued between the Army and the militants in Kupwara on Friday, news agency PTI reported, in a first counter-militancy operation since the central government announced an unilateral but conditional suspension of operations during Ramzan.
Shopian encounter after Army patrol attacked by militants
An encounter broke out between security forces and militants in Shopian district on the day the ceasefire announcement was made by the Centre on May 16, police authorities told PTI. The militants opened fire on an Army patrol at Jamnagri while the Army personnel retaliated. No casualties were reported.
Militants loot bank in Kulgam
Suspected militants looted cash at gunpoint from a bank in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on May 17, the Jammu and Kashmir police said. The militants entered into a branch of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Qaimoh area and allegedly perpetrated a robbery amounting to Rs 3.28 lakh, a police official informed PTI.
Suspected militants snatch service rifles from J&K police in Dalgate & Kashmir University
Suspected militants snatched three rifles from police personnel at a guard post in Dalgate area on May 17, officials told PTI. The militants targeted a police post in the Dalgate tourist hot spot. In a similar incident, militants decamped with a rifle from the guard post at the main gate of Kashmir University in Hazratbal in Sri Nagar, PTI reported.
“A rifle was snatched from the guard post at the Kashmir University near the Rumi Gate. The guards were deployed at the university on deputation from the Armed Police,” a police official was quoted as saying.
Pakistani shelling continues on the border
Pakistani Army has been incessant in its shelling and cross-border fire on BSF outposts as well as border villages. Taking cognizance of the Pakistani ceasefire violations, J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the ceasefire violations by India’s western neighbour are a manifestation of its lack of respect for the holy month. “Continued firing on the border in Jammu is cause of pain and worry. Sad that while our country took the lead in starting peace initiatives with cessation of operations during Ramzan, Pakistan has shown no respect whatsoever for this holy month,” Mufti tweeted on Friday.
Continued firing on the border in Jammu is cause of pain & worry. Sad that while our country took the lead in starting peace initiatives with cessation of operations during Ramzan, Pakistan has shown no respect whatsoever for this holy month. 1/2
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) May 18, 2018