SRINAGAR — Probably for the first time since the eruption of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, the number of militants killed is equal to the number of casualties suffered by government forces in a single month of any year.
The current month of May that is going to culminate today witnessed nine encounters between militants and government forces while militants launched four successful attacks on the forces, resulting in casualties of men in uniform.
The data available with us reveals that this month, there were 36 casualties including 15 from men in uniform, 15 militants and three civilians. Three more civilians died post Srinagar encounter who came under a concrete wall of a house damaged in the fierce encounter.
Among 15 men in uniform killed this month include 7 Army soldiers, 3 policemen, 3 CRPF personnel, and 2 BSF jawans.
Hizb commander Riyaz Naikoo was the top target of government forces this month. Naikoo was killed along with his associate on May 06 in his native Beighpora village of Awantipora. Other prized militants killed by the forces this month were Junaid Sehrai, the son of Hurriyat Chairman Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and Burhan Koka of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.
Among the 7 soldiers killed this month include 2 soldiers – Havaldar Gokharan and Nayak Shankar Kumar who died in Pakistani shelling at Choranda area of Uri along Line of Control in Baramulla.
This month paramilitary troopers killed two civilians including the nephew of a police officer. These two civilians were Mehrajuddin Shah of Makhama Beerwah who was gunned down by troopers when he allegedly didn’t stop at a barricade in Kawoosa Narbal area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district and Hamzah Shafi Bhat of Khaipora Handwara who got killed when militants attacked troopers in Wangam Qaziabad Handwara.
This month, two top Army officers including Colonel Ashutosh of 21 RR and Major Anuj Sood were also killed in a gunfight with militants.
In the first five months of the current year, 129 persons have been killed in militancy related incidents. The data available with us reveals that the highest number of casualties, 48 was reported in the month of April, followed by 36 in May, 23 in January, 13 in February and 9 in March.
In the first five months of this year, 32 personnel from combined forces and 76 militants have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir.
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