Bloody start of 2019: January witnesses killing of 16 militants in ‘clean encounters’

Srinagar, January 23: Even as the year 2018 proved to be a successful for the security agencies operating in Jammu and Kashmir, the first month of New Year—January is proving to the bloodiest month given the number of encounters and the causalities suffered by the militant organisations.

In back to back encounters this month, at least 16 militants were killed and of them nine were killed in the three encounters in the past 48 hours only.

What is more interesting is that the all the encounters that took place in January this year so far, occurred in open fields and no house was razed to the ground as seen in the year 2018. This, however, is the new strategy of the forces, a top police officer told KNO.

The officer said that the thrust is on eliminating the militants, minimising the collateral damage to almost zero and conducting the operations in the most professional manner.

In the recent three encounters, three militants of Al-Badr were killed in Hapatnar, area of Charara-e-Shareef in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, three in Heff-Shirmal area of Shopian and three more in Binner village of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

“Yes some 16 militants were killed in the various encounters so far in January month. Majority of slain belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen oufit,” a top police officer said.

Additional Director General of Police law and order/security, Munir Khan said that it has been the endeavour of the police force to conduct anti militancy operations in a most professional manner to avoid collateral damage. “In the recent encounters, forces engaged militants in open fields as they were hiding in cave like or underground hideouts.

This however, doesn’t mean that forces would blow up the house after zeroing on the militants who refuse to surrender. We will try our best to avoid causing damage to residential houses,” he said.

He attributed the successful anti-militancy operations to complete synergy between various security agencies and the growing technical and human intelligence.(KNO)