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During the past five months, at least 136 persons, including 27 civilians, have been killed in more than a 100 militancy-related incidents across Jammu and Kashmir, recording a steep increase in casualties than the previous year.

Official data accessed by Greater Kashmir reveals that since January 2017 till June 12, 136 persons have been killed across the state. Among these, 27 are civilians, 81 militants and 28 government forces personnel including that of army, police and paramilitary forces.

“Some civilians were killed during protests at encounter sites while a few of them died in cross-border shelling,” the data reads. 

It reveals that there were 20 militancy-related incidents in January, nine in February, 20 in March, 23 in April, 21 in May and 11 till June 12.  “Last year, there were only 65 militancy-related incidents till June 2016,” the data reveals.

The data maintains that first two months of the current year recorded 43 killings. “At least 43 persons, including seven civilians, 10 security forces personnel and 26 militants, were killed in militancy-related incidents during the first 64 days of the current year (January 1, 2017, and March 5, 2017),” it states.

“During the corresponding period of 2016, such fatalities stood at 31—one civilian, seven security forces personnel, and 23 militants),” it reveals.

“When you compare the figures of the current year with the previous year, it proves 2017 is recording more than a 100 percent increase in militancy-related incidents,” said a senior police officer.

He said militancy in Kashmir is “intrinsically linked with infiltration of militants from across the border, both via the International Border as well as Line of Control.” “Less infiltration eases out things for counter-insurgency forces in hinterland,” he said.

“There is a multi-pronged approach to contain militancy,” the officer said, adding that activities of people involved in militancy are being “monitored regularly.” “Efforts are underway for more synergy between different security forces to tackle militancy,” he said. “The forces have been asked to ensure that nobody disrupts peace.”

Pertinently, encounters in Kashmir like the initial years of militancy have become a routine now.  The residents at most of the encounter sites try to help the militants to manage their escape. Over 23 civilians have so far died in the firing of the government forces near the encounter sites.  Official records reveal that at least on 13 occasions militants have managed to escape with help of the locals.