A year after alleged ‘Surgical Strike’, 31% rise in turmoil related deaths in Kashmir

Srinagar

There has been a 31% increase in deaths due to “terror-related” incidents in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) in one year since the Indian Army claimed it conducted “surgical strikes” in Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PoK), according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data from the South Asian Terrorism Portal (SATP) run by the New Delhi-based Institute for Conflict Management, a non-profit organisation.

The increase in “terrorist-related deaths” from 246 in 2015-16 to 323 in 2016-17 (till September 24, 2017) indicate that militant attacks and infiltration in J&K continue unabated a year after the surgical strikes, reported the Business Standard.

This comes even as Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat hinted that more “surgical strikes” could be mounted “if necessary”.

“The strike was a message we wanted to communicate to them, and they have understood what we mean,” Rawat was quoted as saying in Mint on September 25, 2017.

He said militants keep infiltrating into India because their camps remain operational in PaK.

“Even we are ready. We will keep receiving them (infiltrators) to dispatch them two-and-a-half feet below the ground,” Rawat said.

SATP compiles data on deaths due to “terrorism” from media reports. The data are provisional, and current as on September 24, 2017.

The number of militants killed by forces increased 24% from 157 in 2015-16 to 194 in 2016-17.

The number of forces killed by militants has declined 2.5% from 79 in 2015-16 to 77 the following year, according to an analysis of data compiled by SATP.

The number of civilian casualties increased almost five times to 52 in 2016-17 from 10 in 2015-16.

The increase in casualties compared to the marginal increase in deaths of forces can be seen as an indicator of the growing effectiveness of anti-militancy operations of the Indian armed forces in J&K.

The Indian Army killed three militants in Uri, J&K on September 25, 2017. The Army claimed it thwarted a major attack, similar to the one on an Army base in the same area that left 19 soldiers dead and 17 injured on September 18, 2016.

The alleged surgical strikes, or forays into Pakistan by forces, last year were touted as a revenge for the Uri attack.

On September 29, 2016, the Indian Army crossed the Line of Control (LoC) into PaK to carry out “surgical strikes” on alleged terror “launch pads,” Director General of Military Operations Lt General Ranbir Singh had announced.

“The operations were focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in endangering lives of citizens in our country. During the counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists,” Singh had said.

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