The year 2017 witnessed a surge in human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir as compared with last year; the year witnessed a total of 450 killings which included civilians, militants and armed forces, reads the annual human rights review prepared by Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS).
As many as 450 persons including 124 armed forces, 217 militants, 108 civilians and one pro-government gunman were killed in 2017.
“This year witnessed a spike in the killings of local militants. At least 84 militants belonging to different parts of the valley were killed in various encounters with government forces. Among the 217 militants killed in 2017, 28 were identified as foreigners and 104 militants were unidentified,” reads the report of the JKCCS.
The year witnessed the killing of 124 forces personnel, which makes the ratio of militant-armed forces killings as 2:1.
“The figures suggest that contrary to government claims that Kashmir’s insurgent movement is under control and that they have almost wiped out the remaining militants in Kashmir.”
“The fact remains that the graphs of police personnel’s killings have increased in the valley suggesting that militant assertion has grown,” the report of the JKCCS states.
“The comparison between militant and armed forces killings in last four years reveals that while 560 militants have been killed in the given period, the government forces have lost 364 personnel to militant violence. The ratio of militant–police personnel’s killings has been close to 2:1 for the last four years.
The killings of civilians at encounter sites this year has been the highest ever recorded, as at least 19 civilians have been shot dead by armed forces near different encounter sites in the valley, including five women shot dead by armed forces.”
“Pertinently, there was a spike in civilian killings at encounter sites after the provocative statement made by the Indian army chief Bipin Rawat, which was echoed by the state police chief regarding intolerance for civilian interference,” reads the report.
“Among the 108 civilian killings – 20 people died in cross LOC shelling, 19 were killed near encounter sites by armed forces, 22 were killed by unknown gunmen, 16 persons were killed by suspected militants, 9 were killed during parliamentary by-elections by armed forces and 4 died in pellet firing including one who was injured last year and succumbed to his wounds this year.”
“14 out of the 108 civilians killed this year were minors. As last year, the four districts of South Kashmir accounted for most of the civilian killings with Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian jointly recording 51 killings. Three districts of Jammu division namely Rajouri, Poonch and Jammu recorded 15 civilian killings. This year 9 non-local civilians lost their lives in violence in Jammu and Kashmir.”