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Post Aug 5, 2019, encounters, civilian casualties, law & order issues in J&K shows huge dip, reveals official document

 Post Aug 5, 2019, encounters, civilian casualties, law & order issues in J&K shows huge dip, reveals official document

‘20 security forces personnel, 13 civilians killed in 44 encounters till Nov 15 this year; 58 per cent decline in incidents compared to last year’

Sajid Raina

Srinagar, Dec 14 (KNO): Since the government's decision to revoke Article 370 and Article 35A on August 5, Jammu and Kashmir has experienced a notable decline in encounters, civilian casualties and improvements in law and order, marking a perceptible positive shift in the overall security situation.

Figures accessed by the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), till November 15 2023 there have been 33 casualties that include 13 civilians and 20 security forces personnel. Also, there were 44 encounters and 41 incidents initiated by terrorists during this period

The data available with the KNO reveals that the momentous decision on August 5, 2019, led to a significant decline in terrorist activities in the Valley. Following the government's decision to revoke Article 370 and Article 35A on August 5, there has been a perceptible improvement in the overall security environment.

This includes a huge decrease in encounters, civilian casualties, and improvements in law and order. Simultaneously, there has been a substantial reduction in local militant recruitment in J&K. The intensified crackdown on terror-related networks has continued across Jammu and Kashmir, with Anti-terror agencies such as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and State Investigation Agency (SIA) conducting raids at numerous locations.

Comparing the data across the years, there was a substantial increase in civilian casualties from 2017 to 2019, marking a 125.5% rise. However, the following year, 2020, witnessed a decrease of 18.55% in total fatalities. Moving to 2021, there was a slight decrease of 17.82% in fatalities compared to the previous year.

The year 2022 continued this trend with a further 24.1% reduction in recorded fatalities. As of November 15th in the current year, there has been a notable decrease of 58.73% in casualties compared to the same period last year. From 2017 to 2019, there was a considerable increase of 64.55% in encounters and a substantial rise of 32.89% in incidents initiated by terrorists. However, in 2020, both encounters and incidents witnessed a decrease of 33.33% and 26.8%, respectively.

The following year, 2021, showed a 24% increase in encounters but a decrease of 26.14% in incidents initiated by terrorists. In 2022, there was a substantial decrease of 14.89% in encounters, contrasting with a slight increase of 3.1% in terrorist-initiated incidents. As of November 15th in the current year, there has been a noticeable decrease of 59.09% in encounters compared to the same period last year. However, incidents initiated by terrorists have increased by 2.5%.

According to official data obtained by the news agency KNO, in 2017, there were 55 civilian casualties, and 91 security forces personnel lost their lives. The same year recorded 189 encounters and 228 incidents initiated by terrorists.

"In 2019, there were 124 fatalities, comprising 44 civilians and 80 security forces personnel. Also, the year witnessed 102 encounters and 153 incidents initiated by terrorists," the data said.

Moreover, in 2020, there were 101 fatalities, involving 38 civilians and 63 security forces personnel. The year also saw 126 incidents initiated by terrorists and recorded 188 encounters. In 2021, there were 83 recorded fatalities, comprising 41 civilians and 42 security forces personnel. Also, the year saw 100 encounters and 129 incidents initiated by terrorists.

Likewise, in 2022, there were 63 recorded fatalities, involving 31 civilians and 32 security forces personnel. The same year witnessed 117 gunfights and 125 incidents initiated by terrorists.

Meanwhile, an off within MHA informed KNO that the Government maintains a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism. "The primary objective is to dismantle the terror ecosystem, with a focus on reinforcing security measures to ensure lasting peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir," he said. "The strategies implemented to curb acts of terror in Jammu and Kashmir encompass 24/7 checkpoints at strategic locations, group security in the form of static guards, and intensified Cordon and Search Operations (CASO) to effectively address challenges posed by terrorist organizations," the official stated.

Furthermore, he said there is a commitment to real-time sharing of intelligence inputs among all security forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir. "Day and night area domination is ensured through appropriate deployment, and preventive operations involve identifying strategic supporters of terrorism, launching investigations to expose their mechanisms, and identifying vulnerable spots to prevent terrorist attacks on civilians," the official said.

The official further said the importance of sensitizing ground personnel about the issue and implementing measures to counteract the machinations of terrorists and their supporters. The official also the introduction of an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based facial recognition system in Jammu and Kashmir. "This system aims to assist the police in tracing and monitoring terrorists, over ground workers, former terrorists, drug peddlers, and individuals wanted in other criminal activities," he said—(KNO)

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