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34 Civilians, 171 Militants, 28 Govt Forces Personnel Killed in Kashmir in 2021
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34 Civilians, 171 Militants, 28 Govt Forces Personnel Killed in Kashmir in 2021

“Earlier, they used to target policemen involved in anti-militancy operations. Now everyone is targeted.”


SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir police said that it has killed 171 militants in about 88 military operations in 2021 across the Kashmir valley. The slain militants include 151 local militants and 20 foreigners.

A police official said that 82 alleged militant associates have been arrested in the year, including 28 by the National Investigation Agency.

The official said that the government agencies have also arrested 594 overground workers of militants among whom 250 have been booked under the “draconian” Public Safety Act. Besides, 438 cases have been registered in various incidents in the valley.

In 2021, at least 34 civilians were killed in the valley including non-local workers. Many among them were killed in targeted attacks.

The police official said that they have killed or arrested all those behind the attacks. 

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Police Killings
The year 2021 also marked the killings of at least 28 government forces personnel. Out of 28 forces killed this year, 20 were policemen. The police officials have termed it as worrying. “Earlier, they used to target policemen involved in anti-militancy operations. Now everyone is targeted,” IGP Vijay Kumar told The Economic Times on December 27.

Hyderpora Military Operation
On November 15, the Jammu and Kashmir Police claimed to have killed two militants and two militant associates in a military operation in Hyderpora.

The slain include Altaf Ahmad Bhat, Dr Mudasir Gul, Amir and a foreigner Bilal Bhai.

The families of the three local slain rejected police claims and said that they were killed in cold blood.

Eyewitnesses said that Altaf and Mudasir were used as Human Shield by the Armed forces. All the four were buried in a faraway graveyard in Baramulla, but after sustained protests by the families of Bhat and Gul, the bodies of the two were returned to their families for burial.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani
2021 also marked the death of top resistance leader Syed Ali Geelani and his long time aide Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai.

91-year-old Syed Ali Shah Geelani passed away on the night of September 1st.

Police officials said that the most important challenge for the forces in the year was the funeral of Geelani. “There was apprehension that more than 100 people will get killed and lakhs will come out. But the management of his burial was exemplary. There was not a single incident of law and order. This is a major indicator of change on the ground.”

His family alleged that a team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police barged into their house and snatched away his body, effectively preventing them from carrying out his last rites. The J&K Police, however, rejected the family’s claims.

Geelani’s long-time aide, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, 77—the chairman of Tehreek e Hurriyat—died in custody, inside a hospital in Jammu on May 5. According to his son, Sehrai had called home 10 days ago and informed them about his illness. Sehrai’s body was handed over to his son Mujahid Ashraf in Jammu. Only 20-25 people were allowed to participate in his funeral prayers.

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Arrests for Celebrating Pakistan Team’s Victory
In October, Jammu and Kashmir Police booked Kashmiri students of two medical colleges in Srinagar under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for allegedly celebrating the victory of the Pakistani cricket team during the ICC T-20 cricket match between India and Pakistan in Dubai on October 24.

Timeline of Civilian Killings
In January, Nadif Hanief Khan, a resident of Soura was shot and injured by unknown gunmen at his residence.

On February 17, a 25-year-old Akash Mehra—a restauranteur—was shot by unknown gunmen inside his restaurant in Dalgate. The killing of Akash Mehra came at a time when foreign envoys were on a visit to Kashmir and were staying in a hotel barely a kilometre away from the site where the attack happened.

On March 29, two councillors, Riyaz Ahmad Peer and Shamsuddin Peer, were killed during a meeting of councillors in the Sopore area of Baramulla district. Riyaz and Shamsuddin were elected from Sopore wards, representing BJP.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar ordered the suspension of four cops who were deployed for the protection. An Overground Worker (OGW) was also arrested in connection with the incident.

On April 11, 35-year-old Nisar Ahmad of Magam Budgam was killed after he was attacked in his locality and shot five times by unknown gunmen.

On 29 May, a 20-year-old Sanjeed Ahmad Parray—a dental technician—and 35-year Shahnawaz Bhat—an autorickshaw driver—from Jabilpora Bijbehara of district Anantnag were killed in their locality by unknown gunmen. Sanjeed and Shahnawaz were standing outside a general store in Bijbehara, Anantnag. Two unknown gunmen emerged and fired indiscriminately at them.

In the first week of June, Rakesh Pandita, a municipal councillor affiliated with the BJP, was killed in the Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Rakesh Pandita, who was the chairman of the Tral Municipal Committee, stayed at a government accommodation under security due to militant threats, and had been assigned two Personal Security Officers. Police said Pandita had left his security officials behind on his visit to Tral. In the same incident, a woman who he’d gone to meet was also critically injured.

On June 26, 25-year-old Mudasir Ahmad Bhat was killed in a grenade attack in the Barbarshah area of Srinagar.

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On June 27, SPO Fayaz Ahmad, along with his wife Raja Begam and daughter Rafiya Jan, were killed in the Hariparigam area of Awantipora in the Pulwama district. The incident happened close to midnight when unknown gunmen barged into their house and riddled them with bullets. 

On July 23, 35-year-old Javaid Ahmad Malik, a resident of Lurgam village in Tral was fired upon by unknown gunmen near his residence. He was rushed to the Sub District Hospital Tral for treatment, where doctors declared him dead. Javaid was an employee of the education department.

On July 27, 25-year-old Meeran Ali Pathan, a resident of Safa Kadal was shot dead by unknown gunmen in broad daylight in the Bulbul Lanker area near Nawa Kadal, Srinagar. Police claimed the killing was an act of ‘gang rivalry’. Pathan was a gym trainer and former Mr Kashmir runner-up.

On August 9, Ghulam Rasool Dar and his wife Jawahira Begum from Redwani Kulgam were killed at their rented residence in Lal Chowk, Srinagar. Dar was associated with BJP and also the district president of BJP’s Kisan Morcha for district Kulgam. IGP Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said the attack was carried out by two motorcycle-borne militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit.  

On 17 August, Javaid Dar, a political worker affiliated with BJP was killed near his residence in the Brazloo area of Kulgam district. Dar was the Party’s Constituency In-charge of the Homeshalibug assembly segment of Kulgam district. He was a contractor by profession, and according to the police, “Javaid was fired multiple times and died on the spot”. As per the district police, no one approached Javaid’s security, even though he wasn’t on the protected person list.  

On August 19, Ghulam Hassan Lone, affiliated with the Apni Party, was killed near his residence in the Devsar area of the Kulgam district. Lone was the senior party worker. He was shot several times, killing him on the spot.

On September 18, barely two hours after the killing of a policeman in Kulgam, in Nehama village, unknown gunmen shot dead a non-local labourer Shankar Kumar Choudhary, 34, a resident of Preet Nagar Kathiyar from the state of Bihar.

On October 2, Majid Ahmad Gojri, a resident of Chattabal Srinagar was shot in his chest, face, and abdomen at the Karanagar area near Madina Complex in Srinagar. He was shifted to a hospital where he was declared dead. On the same day, Mohammad Shafi Dar was shot dead at his residence in the SD colony of Batamaloo area in Srinagar.

Days later on October 5, unknown gunmen shot pharmacist Makhan Lal Bindroo from point-blank range—one of the bullets hit his eyebrow, leaving Bindroo in a pool of blood. Bindroo, 68, was rushed to the SMHS Hospital where doctors declared him dead.

After a few days, unknown gunmen fired from point-blank range at Mohammad Shafi, in Shah-Gund Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. Shafi was president of a taxi stand in Bandipora.

Two days later on October 7, unknown gunmen entered the government boys higher secondary school in the Eidgah area of district Srinagar and shot dead Supinder Kour, a Sikh woman who worked as the principal of the school. They also shot dead Deepak Chand, a Kashmiri Pandit who was a teacher. Eyewitnesses said three unknown gunmen separated the principal and the teacher from the rest of the staff and shot them dead. Director General of Police, Dilbag Singh, said that “The Resistance Front (TRF) was responsible for the attack”.

Five days later, the Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested four people namely Tariq Ahmad Dar alias Tariq Khoucha, Mohammad Shafi Dar, Mudasir Hassan Lone, and Bilal Dar alias Sahb Khoucha, who the police claimed to be the overground workers with the militant group. Police statement said Mohammad Shafi Lone was called by one of the OGWs. He was taken to Gundboon village and was killed by OGWs.

On December 22, Rauf Ahmad, a resident of Mirjanpora locality of downtown Srinagar was killed in his locality.

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