158 armed forces personnel killed since 2019 in JK: GoI

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New Delhi: The government of India on Wednesday said that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was “dynamic and ever-evolving” even as it declined to give a time frame for ending the militancy in the JK.

Responding to a question in the parliament, Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, said 158 armed forces personnel including those from CAPF were killed in counter-militancy operations in J&K from 2019 till the end of June this year.

He said while 80 forces personnel were killed in 2019, 60 in 2020, and 16 till June this year.

Responding to a question from ruling BJP MP from Churu parliamentary constituency in Rajasthan, Bhatt said that the situation in J&K is dynamic and ever-evolving.

“Though fragile, the security environment has witnessed significant improvement in past two years and steps are being taken in all domains to effect irreversible damages on (militant) tanzeems and eliminate the scourge of (militancy),” he said as per the written reply.

He said: “However, laying down a time limit for the elimination of the last (militant) may not be feasible as Pakistan continues to provide ideological, diplomatic and financial support to the proxy war in JK by infiltrating (militants) into the Valley and smuggling weapons, ammunition and narcotics across the LC including use of drones and other measures.”

To a question regarding the action taken by the Government, Bhatt said that the militants “carry out violent actions to destabilize the situation in J&K”.

The armed forces, he said, are combating militant activities along the Line of Control by eliminating the infiltration bids and in the hinterland by carrying out Counter militancy Operations and responding to militant-initiated incidents.

The Army carries out periodical review and refinement of the operating procedures and security arrangements of all its camps, garrisons, and installations, based on threat assessment and analysis of past incidents, he said.

Based on these reviews, he said, suitable drills and procedures are adopted to counter such threats. “Some of the measures employed include appraisal and up-gradation of intelligence gathering capabilities; provision of suitable weapons and equipment to soldiers; drills to counter (militant) actions are refined and rehearsed; up-gradation of perimeter defence and surveillance capability and timely casualty evacuation and adequacy of medical facilities.” (GNS)

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