Srinagar: The annual Human Rights Review of the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society has revealed that as many as 450 persons were killed in the year 2017.
Out of the 450, 124 were armed forces, 217 militants, 108 civilians and 1 Ikhwani (renegade).
The report also mentions that the civilians killings at gunfight sites in 2017 has been the highest ever with 19 people being shot dead by the forces across the valley during encounters.
“This year even the government graphs indicate that the bar of killings has risen in the state of Jammu and Kashmir as compared to the last few years. However, the government figures are not a true reflection of the ground reality. Data collected by JKCCS presents a grim state of affairs when it comes to killings in 2017,” the report says.
It further adds, “As many as 450 persons including 124 armed forces, 217 militants, 108 civilians and 1 Ikhwani were killed in the conflict. The much-hyped propaganda of peace by the Government falls apart when one looks at the scale of unabated violence and gross human rights violations in the form of killings, extrajudicial executions, torture, enforced disappearances, media gag, arrests, surveillance, use of excessive force etc.”
The report also points out that the year witnessed a spike in the killings of local militants as 84 militants belonging to different parts of the valley were killed in various encounters with armed forces. Among the 217 militants killed in 2017, 28 were identified as foreigners and 104 militants were unidentified.
The year witnessed the killing of 124 armed forces personnel, which makes the ratio of militant-armed forces killings to 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 graph of armed forces killings have increased in the valley which suggesting that militant assertion has grown. 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 armed forces have lost 364 personnel to militant violence. The ratio of militant-armed forces killings has been close to 2:1 for the last four years,” the report asserts.
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 at different encounters in the valley, including five women.
“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’,” the report mentioned.
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.
In 2017, 20 civilian women were killed in different instances of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, including 8 women Amarnath pilgrims who were killed when suspected militants attacked the bus of Yatris in Anantnag on 10 July 2017.
District-wise break up of Civilian killings:
Among the 20 killings of women, five women including a minor girl were killed near encounter sites at various places in the valley. While four women died due to cross LOC shelling, one woman in valley reportedly died due to suffocation caused by intense teargas shelling by armed forces in Pulwama.
One girl died due to injuries she suffered from a grenade blast in Tral town in September, while another woman was killed by unidentified gunmen at her home in Seer village of Tral in Pulwama district.