Srinagar, Jan 30: Although Finance minister Abdur Rahim Rather has expressed hope that 2010 would turn out to be most peaceful year in the State, the first month of the year has witnessed a steep increase in infiltration, encounters, grenade explosions and trooper killings.
According to army sources, 25 infiltration bids have taken place since January one through various sectors in the State. “As per our assessment, at least 42 militants have sneaked into this side of fence since January 1. Most of them preferred international border (IB) for the cross over. The infiltration attempts through IB have increased by 30 per cent,” army sources told Rising Kashmir. They feared summer this year would be full of challenges for security agencies. “The infiltration attempts may increase and more militants would try to cross over to this side of LoC,” they said. According to army statistics, 499 infiltration incidents were registered in Jammu and Kashmir in 2009.
Cease fire violations, flag meetings
Army sources said five ceasefire violations have taken place on LoC this year so far. “The violations have occurred in Poonch and Samba sectors of Jammu province”. They said two major flag meetings have taken place, wherein army has registered serious protest with Pakistan officials for violation of ceasefire.
Encounters, shoot outs
Police sources said 15 encounters, a fidayeen attack and two shoot-outs have taken place in the State so far since January 1. “Five gunfights took place in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district while Sopore area in North Kashmir accounted for four encounters,” they said. A fidayeen attack, first in over two years, took place in city’s commercial hub, Lal Chowk on January 6.
Militants managed to give slips to security men during the search and combing operations. “Seven such incidents have taken place in the State since the onset of 2010. Two major escapes of militants took place in Jammu region—one in Mendhar and another in Kishtwar yesterday, where four Hizbul Mujahideen militants managed to give slip to troopers after killing two army men. In Kashmir, the militants managed to give slip to troopers in Abhama and Kalampore villages of Pulwama district. They also escaped from troopers cordon at Qaimoh in Kulgam district.
Militants killed, arrested
According to police statistics, seven militants were killed in different militancy related incidents in the State in this month so far. Four of the slain militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba and three others owed allegiance to Hizbul Mujahideen. Police sources said three militants and three of their over ground workers were arrested during the same period.
According to police sources, three civilians were killed since January one. One of them was killed in Lal Chowk fidayeen attack, while another was killed in IRP firing at Pattan area and recently a 32-year old civilian (father of three) was allegedly killed by troopers at Kalampore, Pulwama.
Former militants killed
Two former militants were killed by unidentified gunmen in January. One of them was killed in Kulgam district and another in apple town of Sopore.
Four army men were killed in separate militant attacks since January 1. Two army men were killed in an encounter with Hizbul Mujahideen militants on January 14 at Kulgam while two others died in militant attack at Tandar village in Dachan area of Kisthwar district on January 29.
Police sources said six grenade attacks have taken place in January so far. Two of the bombs failed to explode and were defused by experts of bomb disposal squad.
An IED blast took place at Tral area of Pulwama district. Two IEDS were also defused.