'Local militant recruitment in 2020 higher than 2019'

Jammu and Kashmir: 225 militants, 60 security personnel, 38 civilians killed in 2020

J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh said 2020 saw the highest ever ceasefire violations in the union territory

Credit: PTI/Representative Image

In 2020, 225 militants, including 46 commanders, and 60 security forces personnel, including 16 policemen were killed in more than 100 anti-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir while 38 civilians also lost their lives in militancy-related incidents, the J&K police said

J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh in an annual press conference in Jammu on Thursday that after the successful anti-militancy operation in 2020, almost all the militant outfits were facing “leadership crisis” while “a few active commanders are on the radar of police and security forces and will be tracked down soon.”

“We conducted 103 anti-militancy operations in the year of which 90 were witnessed in Kashmir and 13 in Jammu. 225 militants were killed in these operations of which 207 were killed in Kashmir and 18 in Jammu,” the police chief said.

The slain militants include 46 top commanders of various militant outfits who were either A++ or A+ category ultras, he said. However, the year saw an increase in local militant recruitment compared to the previous year.

“70 per cent of those who joined militancy this year either were killed or arrested. 46 militants were arrested after joining militancy while 76 newly recruited militants got killed,” Singh said adding that the shelf life of militants in the union territory is between three days to three months only.

The police chief said 38 civilians, including political activists, were killed this year and most of these killings took place when the DDC election process started.

On ceasefire violations along the border by Pakistan, he said, “2020 saw the highest ever ceasefire violations in J&K. This was used as a tool by our neighbour (Pakistan) to push militants into this side. However, every ceasefire violation got a befitting reply by our security forces.”

However, he said, 2020 saw less infiltration by militants compared to the past few years. “This is the reason that Pakistan is focussing on raising the local militant recruitment and choosing aerial routes to drop weapons, drugs and cash through drones. We have been able to foil the majority of the attempts that were aimed at dropping weapon consignments through drones,” Singh added.

The police chief said that there was a significant improvement at the law and order front as the year saw the lowest level of such incidents. “There has been a 75 per cent dip in the law and order related incidents this year as only 143 incidents were witnessed compared to 584 last year,” he said.

Singh said that 12 militants surrendered in 2020 during live encounters, for the first time. “Even yesterday at the Lawaypora encounter, one boy tried to surrender, but his associates fired and he couldn’t come out,” he added.

The J&K police chief said that 152 quintals of heroin was seized in various raids in the UT while 35 persons were booked under the PSA. “Huge quantities of charas, intoxicating capsules and bottles were also seized,” he said.