New Delhi: As many as 139 militants have been neutralised by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir in the first eight months of this year, defence sources said on Saturday.
The number includes terrorists killed in skirmishes along the Line of Control (LoC), as well as in various encounters with the Army within the hinterland of the state. The figures provided by the Army were recorded from the period January 1 till August 29.
During the same period, the Army has lost as many as 26 personnel belonging to various ranks in terrorist-initiated incidents across the valley. The highest number of fatalities (8) suffered by the Army in any single month during the first eight months of the calendar year was in February.
“Five militants have been neutralized by the Army in the month of August while one was captured during an operation. The month of May was the most eventful as far as military engagements against terrorists is concerned,” said a senior Army official.
In the month of May alone, the Army had gunned down 27 militants which is the highest number for any calendar month in the year 2019. The highest number of terrorist-initiated incidents (22) had also been recorded in this month in Jammu and Kashmir.
The total number of terrorist-initiated incidents across Jammu and Kashmir from January to August have been recorded at 87. In the last week of July, an attempted Border Action Team (BAT) operation by the Special Services Group commandoes of Pakistan had also been successfully averted by the Indian Army. More than four BAT commandoes had been gunned down by Army personnel while they were attempting to infiltrate the LoC.
“Pakistan has upped its ante to infiltrate militants into India this year. There have been renewed attempts at infiltration by Pakistan particularly after abrogation of Article 370. This is evident from the number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan this year,” said the official.
As many as 222 ceasefire violations have been recorded along the LoC after August 5 when the Parliament withdrew special category status to Jammu and Kashmir by reading down Article 370 of the Constitution and further divided the state into two union territories.
The highest number of ceasefire violations (296) was recorded in the month of July this calendar year. It was also the month during which, incidentally, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan and US President Donald Trump had met in Washington DC.
The total number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the first eight months of this year alone have touched 1,889. In the entire calendar year in 2018, there had been 1,629 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC.