Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) on Friday released a report for the first three months of 2019, revealing that 162 persons including civilians, forces personnel and militants were killed from Jan 01, 2019 to Mar 31, 2019.
In comparison to the first three months of 2018, which witnessed 119 killings, the number of killings significantly increased in the first three months of 2019.
“The first three months of 2019 saw at least 162 killings in various incidents of violence in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir, which include 21 civilians, 58 militants and 83 forces personnel,” the report reads.
It added that for the first time in twenty-nine years, the killing figures (83) of armed forces personnel in Jammu and Kashmir is higher in ratio as compared to the killings of militants.
The report reads that at least 27 persons including two civilians, 17 militants and eight forces personnel were killed in the month of January this year while as 87 persons including five civilians, 22 militants and 60 forces personnel were killed in the month of February.
It added 48 persons were also killed in the month of March that includes 14 civilians, 19 militants and 15 forces personnel.
The report, a copy of which lies with KNS further reads that reads that among 83 forces personnel and Jammu Kashmir police personnel killed in the State, the highest (65) forces personnel were killed in counter-insurgency related incidents, including in a suicide attack by a Kashmiri militant on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on 14 February, which resulted in the killing of at least 48 CRPF personnel, while six armed personnel were killed at the volatile Line of Control (LOC).
“Seven armed forces committed suicide, three CRPF troopers were killed in a fratricidal incident by a CRPF trooper in Udhampur district of Jammu and two Special Police Officers (SPO) of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed by suspected militants,” it added.
It further reads that among the 21 civilians killed in Jammu and Kashmir in the first three months of 2019, the highest (seven) killings were carried out by unidentified gunmen in which two killings were suspected to be carried out by militants, while six were killed due to shelling at LOC.
“Three persons were killed by forces and four persons died in grenade and IED explosions,” it reads, adding that among the three civilians killed by forces in the first quarter of 2019, two were killed by forces following encounters with militants, and one 28-year-old youth was killed due to torture ‘inflicted on him by forces’ during his detention at Cargo, an infamous torture center in Srinagar.
The report said Pulwama recorded the highest (eight) number of civilian killings in the first quarter of 2019, followed by Poonch (three), Baramulla (two), Kupwara (two), Jammu (two), Anantnag (one), Bandipora (one), Shopian (one) and one non-local person who was killed in an explosion.
“The killing of civilians accused of being army informers by armed gunmen points to the ways the unresolved conflict in Jammu and Kashmir is inevitably endangering the lives of the civilian population,” it reads, adding that among the 21 civilian casualties, three were minors including twelve-year-old Atif Mir, who was first held hostage by militants at his house in Hajan Bandipora and later was killed when armed forces blasted the very house where he was held hostage.
“In the first quarter of 2019, at least 89 Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) were conducted in Jammu and Kashmir. A majority of these CASO’s were conducted in four south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam,” it reads, adding that 89 CASO’s have resulted in the killing of at least 58 militants, three civilians and destruction of at least 18 civilian properties.
“In the first quarter of 2019, at least 18 cases of destruction of civilian properties were reported in Jammu and Kashmir. Out of the 18 cases, 15 are residential houses and 3 are cowsheds,” report added.
Internet services continue to be curtailed as part of the ongoing counterinsurgency measures by the government in Jammu and Kashmir, the report reads, adding that in the first quarter of 2019, internet services were suspended 23 times in Jammu and Kashmir and most of these suspensions of data services were reported in South Kashmir.
“In the first quarter of 2019, at least 42 incidents of attacks on Kashmiris across India were reported. The reported incidents of violence against Kashmiris in the first quarter of 2019 (42) are significantly higher than the combined incidents of attacks against Kashmiris in India last year in 2018 (22),” the report compiled by JKCCS and APDP added.
Between January and March, at least 25 people were booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA), including but not limited to many of the prominent activists of Jama’at-e-Islami, as well as JKLF chief Yasin Malik, it added.