Oct bloodiest month in J&K after Article 370 abrogation

October most violent month in J&K after abrogation of Article 370

The month started with the killing of a local militant affiliated with Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit on October 1 in Shopian district

CRPF personnel stand guard on a street in Srinagar. Credit: Reuters File Photo

Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 44 killings in October, turning it into the most violent month since the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019.

The violence increased on multiple fronts with 19 militants, 13 civilians — including three members of minority community and five non-locals — and 12 security forces personnel killed in various militancy-related incidents in October across the Union Territory (UT).

The month started with the killing of a local militant affiliated with Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba outfit on October 1 in the Rakhama area of south Kashmir's Shopian district. On October 2, suspected militants shot dead two civilians in Srinagar and just three days later on October 5, three more civilians, including a prominent Kashmiri Pandit businessman and a non-local street vendor, were killed.

On October 7, two government school teachers, including a female principal, were shot dead by militants in the old city Safa Kadal area of Srinagar. On the same evening, a civilian was killed in firing by paramilitary CRPF after a vehicle driver “failed to stop” despite a signal in south Kashmir's Anantnag.

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In the wake of civilian killings, security forces launched a crackdown across the Valley, killing 19 militants in 14 encounters. A massive crackdown was also launched against the alleged sympathisers of militants – summoning, arresting and detaining hundreds of youths.

However, despite the crackdown, militants continued to target non-locals and killed four more labourers from Bihar in three separate incidents in Srinagar, Pulwama and Kulgam. The civilian killings triggered migration of non-locals from the Valley, with thousands leaving in October. Some migrant families also left Kashmir in the same period.

11 Army soldiers, including two junior commissioned officers, were also killed in one of the longest and biggest search operations in border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region. The anti-militancy operation started during the intervening night of October 10 and 11 and is still under way.

While October turned out to be the most violent month after August 5, 2019, J&K Police chief Dilbag Singh said the situation is returning to normalcy after a spike.

“People want to move towards peace and development and they are against violence. There were a few violent incidents. Now, the situation is better,” he told reporters on Sunday.

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