New Delhi: As many as 28 terrorists were killed in Jammu and Kashmir in the month of April this year — the highest since August 2019 when the Modi government scrapped Article 370 in J&K and divided the state into two union territories.
However, the cause of worry is that despite the lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and increased presence of security personnel, at least 35 local youths have joined terror groups in the first four months of this year, according to official figures of the armed forces.
As many as 64 terrorists were killed in Kashmir and along the Line of Control (LoC) this year so far, including the two killed Sunday in Handwara.
In 2019, 152 terrorists were killed in J&K as against 215 in 2018, official figures stated.
18 terrorists killed in January, 7 each in next 2 months
Figures show that the tempo of security operations had actually dropped from July last year with the focus being on deployment of a larger number of security personnel ahead of the revocation of Article 370.
While in June last year, a total of 22 terrorists were killed, the figure dropped to 8 in July and then 5 in August.
The months of September, October and November saw the killing of seven, eight and five terrorists, respectively. December saw zero killings.
However, the first month of this year saw 18 terrorists being killed, which dropped to 7 each in February and March.
Terror-related incidents, however, increased in April, following which security operations also intensified.
A total of 28 terrorists were killed, including five along the LoC in early April.
In the first three days of May, the security forces have killed four terrorists, including the two in Handwara.
Terror recruitment & ceasefire violations
The figures show concerning trends in terms of recruitment of local youths by terror groups.
As of 3 May, 35 local youths have joined various terror outfits. The local recruitment in 2019 was 119 — much less than 219 in 2018.
As far as the ceasefire violations are concerned, the Pakistan Army has violated it 1,547 times until 3 May from January — nearly half of the entire year’s figure in 2019 at 3,168.
Security sources told ThePrint the flow of intelligence has again started with the resumption of phone networks and the internet in the Valley.
They added that the forces have gone on the offensive, keeping the approaching summer in mind when infiltration attempts increase along the LoC and terrorists in the Valley become very active.
“The intelligence flow is good. With summer approaching, tactics change,” an officer involved in the operations said.