Srinagar: At least 238 militants, 86 forces personnel and 37 civilians were killed in militancy-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir this year (as on December 2), according to a report of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The MHA’s annual report said in the preceding year (2017), 213 militants were killed in Jammu and Kashmir, while 80 forces personnel and 40 civilians also lost their lives in 342 militancy-related incidents.
In 2016, 15 civilians and 82 forces personnel died in the state in 322 incidents of militancy, while 150 rebels were killed during the year, the report reads.
Asserting that it took a “major conciliatory initiative” this year by declaring suspension of anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir in view of the holy month of Ramadan, the report says that the “ceasefire plan wasn’t, however, extended beyond the Ramadan period, following which the forces launched concerted anti-militancy operations which resulted in significant gains”.
The MHA said that in June, it conveyed its approval for raising two women battalions for the Jammu and Kashmir police while the union home minister Rajnath Singh announced sanction of grant-in-aid amounting to Rs 14.30 crore for block-level sports activities in the state under the ‘Khelo India’ scheme of the union sports ministry.
The MHA has listed as “most significant” the “peaceful conduct of historic local body elections” in the state.
“Ahead of the landmark local body elections in the state, the union home minister again visited Srinagar on October 23 and reviewed the security situation. The local body elections helped to re-establish the long-overdue grassroots level democracy in J&K. The urban local body elections were held after 2005 and panchayat elections after 2011,” the report reads, adding that the ULB elections have paved the way for making available nearly Rs 4335 crore of the 14th Finance Commission central grants to the duly-constituted local bodies.
“Central government provided all possible support to the state government for smooth conduct of these elections including deployment of central forces in sufficient numbers,” it said.
For border management, the MHA has mentioned in its report that on September 17, the union home minister inaugurated two pilot projects of smart fencing along the India-Pakistan international border in Jammu.
The Leh and Kargil autonomous hill development councils, the report reads, have also been strengthened and “empowered to become the most autonomous councils in the country to address various issues being faced by people living in the remote areas of Ladakh region”.
“The LAHDC and KAHDC have been given more powers to levy and collect local taxes. Control has been given over functioning of various departments as well as the government employees working for the subjects that stand transferred to them,” the report reads.
‘HONORARIUM OF SPO’S ENHANCED’
“Considering the crucial role being played by the special police officers in anti-militancy operations in J&K, their honorarium was enhanced from Rs 6000 per-month to 9000 per-month on completion of five years and Rs 12000 per-month on completion of 15 years,” the report says, adding that the MHA also approved a scheme of Rs 5.5 lakh financial assistance to nearly 5,764 West Pakistan Refugees settled in J&K.