Post abrogation of Article 370, anti-militancy operations have witnessed a significant dip with security forces finding it difficult to track down the movement of militants.Figures reveal while as 136 militants were killed from January this year up to August 5 but only 18 militants could be killed from August 5 to November 5 this year so far, which clearly indicates that anti-militancy operations were “badly hit” in the region post abrogation of Article 370.According to official figures accessed by the wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), only 18 militants have been killed in less than a dozen encounters post August 5.Before August 5, security forces had intensified the operation all out to avenge the killing of 40 CRPF men in a deadly attack at Lethpora, Pulwama on February 14. “Till August 5, from January this year, 136 militants were killed in various anti-militancy operations,” the data reveals. Figures reveal that 80 security personnel have been killed in Kashmir this year so far.Before August 5, security forces as part of their intensified operations had gone against Jaish-e-Muhammad and killed almost 50 of its men including operational chief of the outfit.However security forces also faced tough time as many of its senior officer sustained injuries. It was after the six months of the Lethpora attack that the Prime Minister Narendera Modi led government at Centre rolled back Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories (UTs).Post the abrogation of Article 370, security forces have been battling heightened tensions and to handle the situation, the Union Government inducted over 50,000 additional forces to ensure peace in the Valley.
While the security grid managed the law and order situation and was successful in containing the situation, the anti-militancy grid was hit because of little information about the militants.As the government snapped the entire communication network as one of its measures to ensure "calm" in Kashmir post abrogation of the special status of the state, it blocked information to security forces as a result “human and technical intelligence of security forces got hit badly resulting in less flow of information about the presence of militants and their locations.”As per KNO, in the month of October, security forces slowly started carrying out anti-militancy operations. A gunfight broke out in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on October 16, two days after the postpaid mobile phones were restored, leaving three Lashkar-e-Toiba militant dead.Days later, the forces killed the chief of radical Ansar-ul-Ghazwatul Hind, who had replaced Zakir Musa. Of the 18 militants killed post the scrapping of the state’s special status, 11 have been killed after the restoration of the mobile phones.There has, however, been very few gunfights along the Line of Control in the Valley this year, which is in contrast to the killing of over 60 militants who tried to infiltrate last year.A senior security expert told KNO that the communication breakdown affected the anti-militancy operations to some extent but militants too changed their strategy and preferred to remain low key and didn’t change their locations more often as they used to do before August 5.“Our inputs suggest that militants are preferring to remain silent at a particular location and want to ensure that they remain safe for some period. But we are increasing our efforts to track down the movement of militants,” the officer said. (KNO)