Security Situation Worsens In J&K; Security Forces Toll Up 82% Over 2015, Worst In 4 Years
Armed force personnel in action during an encounter with terrorists at 46 Rashtriya Rifles camp in Baramulla, Kashmir on October 3, 2016. The number of security personnel killed in Jammu & Kashmir has increased 82% since 2015 while injuries among security personnel doubled since last year.
As many as 71 Indian security forces personnel have been killed this year by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), as of November 27, 2016, up 34% since 2013, when 53 were killed, and the the worst in four years, according to data tabled by the home ministry in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Parliament).
In the northeast, security personnel killed by terrorists halved over four years, from 18 in 2013 to nine this year (as of November 15, 2016), an 80% decline since 2015.
The death toll of security forces killed by left-wing terrorists, mainly Maoists, declined 45% from 115 in 2013 to 64 this year (as of November 15, 2016).
The data indicate that while the security situation deteriorated in J&K over 2016, it improved in the north-east and in parts of India plagued by left-wing terrorists.
Source: Lok Sabha
The number of security personnel killed has increased 82% since 2015, when 39 soldiers were killed. Injuries among security personnel doubled since last year to 208.
Terrorist incidents in J&K increased 47% to 305 in 2016, from 208 in 2015.
Civilian deaths in terrorist strikes declined 18%, while injuries are down 13% from 2015.
As many as 140 terrorists were killed by security forces in 2016, more than the total killed over three years, as the Economic Times reported on December 6, 2016.
This does not include the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist killed in an encounter with security forces in Bijbehara, Anantnag (J&K) on December 14, 2016.
The increase in deaths of security forces and terrorists since 2015 indicates that terrorist activities have increased this year in J&K, IndiaSpend reported on November 25, 2016.
Terrorists are increasingly targeting security forces and their infrastructure, while keeping civilian casualties low.
This possible strategy by terrorists could be an effort not to antagonise local Kashmiris but rather capitalise on the wider discord among them against security forces in a year that has witnessed over 100 days of curfew in J&K and an overall deteriorating security situation.
Violent protests erupted after security forces gunned down terrorist leader Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016. More than 90 people died in protests and hundreds were blinded by pellet guns used by police and paramilitary forces.
42% increase in Pak ceasefire violations along Line of Control
As many as 216 ceasefire violations by Pakistan were reported along the portion of the de facto border, the Line of Control (LoC), overseen by the Army in J&K until November 26, 2016--a 42% increase from 152 incidents recorded last year--according to data released by the home ministry in the Lok Sabha.
Ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Border Security Force (BSF)-controlled International Border in J&K declined 13%--from 253 in 2015 to 221 in 2016 (as of November 30).
Source: Lok Sabha *As of November 26, 2016; **As of November 30, 2016
Pakistan’s ceasefire violations have killed 18 Army personnel from 2013 to November 26, 2016, and injured 117 in J&K.
Another 13 BSF personnel have been killed from 2013 to November 30, 2016, and 69 have been injured.
Ceasefire violations by Pakistan have killed 12 civilians and injured 80 in J&K in 2016 (till November 21). As many as 355 houses and structures have been damaged by ceasefire violations in the past four years.
Source: Lok Sabha
Violence in the northeast declines
Terror-related violence in the northeast declined 25%--from 574 incidents in 2015 to 429 in 2016 (as of November 15).
The number of security personnel killed due to terrorist attacks decreased by 80%--to nine in 2016 from 46 in 2015.
Source: Lok Sabha
The number of terrorists killed by security forces has nearly halved during this period. As many as 1,105 terrorists were arrested in 2016, a 42% decline from 1,900 in 2015. However, 84% more terrorists surrendered in 2016 (263) compared to 143 in 2015.
Left-wing extremist deaths decline over four years
The number of violent incidents involving left-wing terrorists declined 13%, from 1,088 in 2015 to 949 in 2016 (as of November 15).
As many as 63 Indian security personnel were killed in attacks by terrorists--a 7% increase since 2015 when 59 were killed.
Source: Lok Sabha
Security forces have killed twice as many extremists (193) in 2016 as compared to last year (89). Nearly 13% more civilians were killed by extremists in 2016 (192) compared to 2015 (171).
Security personnel deaths are down 52% since 2013 while civilian deaths are down 32%. Around 16% more extremists were arrested in 2016 (1,626) compared to 2013 (1,397). Security forces killed nearly twice as many terrorists in 2016 (193) than 2013 (100).
(Sethi is a Mumbai-based freelance writer and defence analyst.)
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