Kashmir unrest: Militants launch series of attacks on security forces

The attacks have come at a time when Pakistan is trying to push in more and more militants to foment trouble amid the unrest in the valley. In photo: Indian security forces clear road blockades on August 29, 2016. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Srinagar Sep 08, 2016, 03.59 PM (IST) Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

Worst fears of the Indian intelligence agencies have come true after the militants, reinvigorated by the current unrest, stepped up their offensive and launched three sensational attacks on the security forces in north and south Kashmir.

Militants carried out three attacks in the past one day in three districts of Kashmir Valley. The attacks started on Wednesday morning when militants first attacked the army convoy in Kralgund village of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Three soldiers were injured, one of them seriously, in the attack.

Later on Wednesday evening, a group of heavily armed militants barged into the house of political worker Abdul Rashid Khanday at Damhal Hanji Pora in Kulgam district and disarmed the policemen guarding his house before decamping with four rifles.

During the night intervening September 7 and 8 unknown militants entered into the duard room located at the residence of protected political worker Abdul Rashid Khanday and snatched the weapons from the police personnel,” a police spokesman said.

Police said the snatched weapons included one SLR, one 303 rifle and two INS rifles. “Police have taken cognizance and investigations are on,” said the spokesman.

Khanday, who was present in his residence at the time of the attack, said five militants entered into his kitchen when they were having dinner. “They slapped me and asked my son to accompany them and call the guards out. After five minutes my son came back and he was crying,” he said.

Hours later a group of four militants attacked a police station in Pulwama and fired indiscriminately on the cops. Police immediately retaliated forcing the militants to take a hasty retreat.

Militants fired on the police station Pulwama at 11.50 am. We immediately retaliated. There were no injuries... nothing because they could not come closer. It was a standoff fire,” said Rayees Mohammad Bhat, superintendent of police, Pulwama.

Police suspects the militants were from the same group which lobbed the grenade on the cops while mixing with the protesting mob some days before. “We believe they were four militants who fired at the police station. We believe it is the same group which lobed the grenade last time from the mob,” said Bhat

The attacks have come at a time when Pakistan is trying to push in more and more militants to foment trouble amid the unrest in the valley. Figures reveal that around 70 militants were successful in infiltrating through the line of control till July this year

Official figures reveal in 2015 around 118 infiltration attempts were made of which 33 were successful.

Seventy-eight militants were killed and 31 security personnel lost their lives in the first six months of this year. Police sources said due to active engagement of security forces and police, the first seven months of 2016 has registered an increase in the killing of militants by over 110 per cent and arrest of militants/suspects by 48 per cent. 

Official figures reveal that 106 militants were killed in 2015 by the security forces in different encounters. The number of slain militants stood at 110 in 2014. In 2015, around 39 security force personnel were killed. In 2014, 47 security force personnel were killed. Last year, 22 civilians were killed in terrorist violence compared to 35 in 2014.