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Jammu and Kashmir Timeline - 2017

January 2

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch District, but there were no casualties or damage on the Indian side. "There was firing by Pakistani troops from 9 am along LoC in Shahpur sub sector of Poonch district today," official sources said. The Indian troops retaliated and there was a brief exchange of firing, they said, adding there were no casualties. The firing took place in Shahpur sector of Poonch for about an hour. There was slight panic among the people during the firing but it subsided as bullets stopped within an hour. The 2003 India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement has virtually become redundant with a whopping over 300 incidents of firing and shelling along LoC and IB in J&K by Pakistani troops that resulted in death of 27 people, including 14 security personnel, since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in PoK on September 28-29 in which over 50 Pakistani militants and army personnel were killed.

January 3

A LeT militant identified as Abu Umar Khitab of Pakistan was killed in an encounter with SFs in Sopore area in Baramulla District. SFs had laid an ambush at Haritar in Sopore during the intervening night following information about movement of militants through the area, a Police official said. He said SFs on noticing suspicious movement in the wee hours challenged the persons who opened fire. "In the retaliatory firing, one terrorist was killed," the official said. The militant affiliated with LeT and was active for last four years. He was believed to part of the militant group, which escaped from the SFs cordon several times last month in Hajjan area of North Kashmir. Sources said that the militant was operating in Sopore, Hajin, Gunde Jehanghir and Shah Gund areas of North Kashmir and SFs were tracking his movement for long. They said one AK 47 rifle, one hand grenade, three magazines, 70 AK ammunition rounds, one I-com set, one compass, one bag and one torch was recovered from his possession.

A CRPF ASI was critically injured in a militant attack in Murran Chowk in Pulwama town in Pulwama District. The ASI identified as BN Thakur was hit by a bullet in his back and was shifted to army hospital for treatment. The firing caused panic in the township and senior Police and CRPF officers reached the spot immediately cordoned off the area and searches were conducted in the area but the militants managed to flee after carrying out the attack.

A search operation was launched by SFs in Kuta Satri forest area of Bandipora District, following an input about the presence of militants. The operation was, however, later called off due to heavy snowfall.

Investigating Officers of nine Police Stations of Kashmir valley are yet to recover, 63 rifles and 186 magazines looted by the militants and mob from 16 different locations, despite lapse of considerable period of time. According to the official data provided by the Home Department in the Legislative Assembly, 16 incidents of looting/snatching of rifles and magazines besides huge number of rounds took place under the jurisdiction of nine Police Stations in Kashmir valley during the period between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. Of these incidents, maximum four incidents took place under the jurisdiction of DH Pora Police Station followed by Pulwama (three) and Kulgam and Shopian (two each). The other incidents took place under the jurisdiction of Batamaloo, Anantnag, Dooru, Chadoora and Budgam Police Stations. Giving gist of the cases, the Home Department said that in some cases the militants fired upon the Police personnel deployed in the general areas and decamped with their service rifles after killing them while as in other cases they attached the Police deployed for the security of political workers and looted their service rifles after eliminating or injuring them. In some other cases the militants even entered the guarded places and snatched rifles, magazines and rounds from the Police. The incidents of militants forcibly snatching the weapons from the Police without harming them physically were also reported from some parts of Valley.

According to the official data, five incidents of mob attacking guard posts and decamping with the weapons and arms during the period of unrest in Kashmir valley were reported from five different places. In all these 16 incidents of weapon looting, FIR under different sections of RPC and Arms Act were registered but till date no major headway has been made by the concerned Police Stations as a result of which neither the accused could be arrested nor looted weapons recovered. AK-47s, SLRs, INSAS Rifles, Pistols and Carbines were among the weapons looted by the militants and mob, the Home Department said in reply to the question of independent MLA, Er Abdul Rashid. According to the data, a total of 2690 cases of stone pelting were also registered during the period between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. The maximum cases were registered in Sopore (492) followed by Srinagar (339) and Baramulla (318). The other stone pelting incidents were reported from Ganderbal (65), Budgam (163), Anantnag (271), Shopian (173), Pulwama (143), Kulgam (167), Awantipora (121), Bandipora (109), Kupwara (218) and Handwara (111).

In reply to question of Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, the Minister Incharge Home said that during the recent unrest 2632 FIRs were registered and almost all are still under investigation. “Besides, 463 persons were detained under Public Safety Act out of which 145 were released and presently 318 are under detention”, the Minister added.

Replying to question of NC MLA, Mubarak Gul, the Government said that a total of 59 youths joined militant ranks after the killing of HM militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with Security Forces on July 8 last year. “As reported by CID Headquarters, 59 youth have joined militant ranks after 8th July, 2016”, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said in a written reply, adding the Government has notified a Surrender Policy which was superseded by Rehabilitation Policy to encourage the misguided youths and militants to abjure violence and accept the integrity of India and the Constitution.

January 4

SFs arrested a LeT militant from Handwara area of North Kashmir in Kupwara District, who was planning to carry out attack on security convoys in the area. Police said that on specific information one LeT militant identified as Ashiq Ahmed alias Abu Haider was arrested by Handwara Police and 21 RR of army near Fruit Mandi crossing in Handwara in the District. “On sustained interrogation he disclosed that he was a close associate of Abu Bakar a LeT ‘commander’ killed in Sopore few days back. On further discloser the arrested militant said that in near future he was planning to attack security forces convoy in Handwara area”, Police said. Police said that huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from him. These include one AK-47 rifle, 3 Magazines with live cartridges, one Chinese Pistol with one Magazine, three Hand Grenades, one Magazine Pouch, one Map and one Haversack.

IG of CRPF, Zulfikar Hassan, said that militants take advantage of presence of common people on NH and at times escape after carrying out the attack. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function in South Kashmir, Hassan said that at times militants flee after carrying out an attack on the NH by taking advantage of common people and SFs avoid collateral damage. “The attacks on National Highway occur many times during a year. Many-a-times we are successful in killing those who attack. Sometimes due to presence of common people we don’t fire because that can result in collateral damage and we restrain ourselves. The militants sometimes take advantage of crowd and escape”, he said. Hassan said that at times militants manage to escape from the security but SFs make their efforts to prevent them from fleeing. “Sometimes the stone-pelting takes place so that militants manage to escape. But security forces, CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police try not to make it successful and sometimes we do manage to stop militants from escaping”, he said.

January 6

Al-Badr terrorist Muzzafar Ahmed, who had links with LeT, was gunned down by the SFs after heavy exchange of fire in Budgam District. Ahmed, who was wanted in several cases, was earlier associated with LeT. Also, a Policeman sustained critical injuries during the encounter.

The call traffic between hawala agents in India dropped almost by half post demonetisation, says a recent assessment by the central intelligence agencies. Payments to the end beneficiary of hawala deals are traditionally in cash, with INR 500 and INR 1,000 being the favoured denominations. The demonetisation of these high-value notes on November 9 severely affected hawala operators, and going solely by call traffic, their business may be down by 50%, said an intelligence source. Terror funds are mostly sourced in counterfeit currency, comprising high-quality fake notes that Indian agencies suspect are printed at the Pakistan government printing press in Quetta and its security press at Karachi. Given this fact and the drop in hawala transactions, demonetisation has dried up funds used for organised stone-pelting in J&K and paying overground terror supporters in the State. Intelligence officials claim that terrorism-related violence in J&K dipped by 60% post the cash ban, with only one major blast reported from the valley in December. An intelligence official claimed that apart from organised stone-pelting, a direct casualty of demonetisation in J&K was the overground network of terror facilitators. "The overground support base of terrorists depends on instant cash payments. A weakened OGW network due to demonetisation has resulted in several successful counterterrorist operations in the Valley over the past several weeks," said the officer.

January 7

Normal life in Jammu and Kashmir was affected due to shutdown called by separatists. Shops and commercial establishments remained closed across Srinagar and public transport was partially off the roads. The private vehicles were, however, plying normally. Street vendors had set-up their stalls at multiple places in the city’s civil line areas.

A complete shutdown was observed in Sopore town of Baramulla District, to mourn the killing of senior militant ‘commander’ associated with Al Badr Mujahideen, Muzzafar Ahmad Naiko alias Muz Molvi, who was killed on January 6 in an encounter. During the shutdown, hundreds of security men were deployed to prevent outbreak of protests across the Sopore town.

January 9

Three civilians working as labourers were killed in a pre-dawn terror attack by militants on a GREF camp near LoC in Akhnoor sector of Jammu District. Two or more militants attacked the GREF camp around 1 AM near LoC in Battal village, sources said. Militants likely infiltrated from across the border to carry out the terror attack, sources said. In the attack, three civilians were killed, they said, adding that the victims were working as labourers with GREF.

January 10

A top LeT militant was killed in a gun battle in Bandipora District. SFs including 13-RR of army and SOG of JKP, Bandipora, cordoned off Parray Mohalla Hajan in the District. A LeT militant, who was hiding in a house opened fire on the troops, leading to a gun battle in which he was shot dead by the troops. After the gun battle during searches one AK 47, three AK Magazines, three hand grenades, one radio set, one pouch, one matrix sheet and 200 AK rounds were recovered from the encounter site. The militant was identified as Abu Maviya of LeT.

SFs including 55 RR and SOG Shopian cordoned off Heff Shermal in Shopian District. There are seven militants of LeT from the village and SFs had information about their movement in the village. However, the operation was later called off and no one was arrested.

SFs including 50 RR, 183 Battalion of CRPF and SOG Kakapora cordon off Kandi Zal area of Pampore in Pulwama District. Sources said that the SFs had information about presence of Reyaz Dar of LeT and his associates in the village. However, the operation was later called off.

SFs including 55 RR and SOG Awantipora cordon off Khandaypora, Awantipora in Pulwama District. They had information about presence of Reyaz Naiku of HM and his associates in the village. However, the operation was later called off.

SFs including 42 RR and SOG Awantipora cordon off Batpora, Noorpora, Tral in Awantipora area of Pulwama District. They had information about presence of some militants in the area. The troops also cordoned off Ratsuna in Tral area of Awantipora. However, the operations at these places were later called off.

A soldier was injured in a mine explosion in forward area of Mankote sector in Poonch District. Official sources said that Naik Deepak Singh of 15 Mahar Regiment received serious injuries in his legs when a land mine exploded as he over stepped it while patrolling. The injured soldier was rushed to unit hospital and then shifted to Military Hospital, Rajouri.

January 11

Two militants were killed by the Army as it foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Poonch sector in Poonch District. An Army spokesman said the troops present along the LoC detected movement of two terrorists along the Betar Nala in the wee hours of January 10 and engaged them with heavy automatic fire. “While one terrorist was eliminated by afternoon of January 10 the second was eliminated today (January 11),” he said. He said the bodies of the slain terrorists and their weapons lie on the LoC.

CM Mehbooba Mufti said that 4088 missing persons and terrorists belonging to J&K, who had crossed the borders, are still in Pakistan and PoK. She was responding to the question of BJP MLA from Jammu East, Rajesh Gupta, in the Legislative Assembly. “As per the figures of the Home Department, 4088 missing persons and terrorists are still camping/residing in Pakistan and PoK”, she said. It is pertinent to mention here that during peak of militancy in this State huge number of misguided youth had crossed over the borders to get arms training in the camps established in different parts of Pakistan and PoK by the outfits of terrorists and ISI, Pakistan's external intelligence agency.

January 12

Intelligence agencies have identified 12 active terror launch pads with 300 terrorists in Pakistan. The launch pads were identified as Balakot, Garhi Habibullah, Batrasi, Mashar-e-Akshah, Abdullah bin Mausam, Dalai, Chela Bandi, Kotli, Dungi, Gulpar, Barali and Mandakuli. According to an intelligence report there are "reception" areas within Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, where these terrorists would be received. The reception areas where the terrorists meet their handlers, who provide them logistics and money, are Lojab Valley, Rajwar forest, Bandipora, Kazikund, Rafiabad and Naugam.

January 13

The BSF foiled major infiltration attempt by a group of four to six militants, trying to infiltrate into the Indian Territory, along the IB in Samba sector in Samba District by killing one of them and forcing others to retreat to Pakistan. Official sources said the BSF troops observed the movement of four to six militants, who were moving towards the Indian Territory along Tarnah Nullah between Samba and Hiranagar sectors on the IB. As the alert BSF troops challenged the militants, after heavy exchange of firing one of the militants was killed on spot while others were reported to have retreated to Pakistan taking cover of darkness in the area. The BSF didn’t suffer any casualties in the encounter.

SFs busted a militant hideout and recovered cache of arms and ammunition in Charmar area of Surankote in Poonch District. Acting on tip off, police and army launched joint operation in Charmar area of Surankote and recovered the cache of arms and ammunition from an underground dump, which included two AK 56, two Chinese pistols, two RPG guns, four HE 36 grenades, 10 AK magazines, 302 AK ammunition, LMG ammunition 88, sniper ammunition 12, one wireless set damaged, one bayonet cover, three pistol magazines, two pistols ammunition, three M 16 Rocket and one 51 motor ammunition.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat made it clear that more surgical strikes cannot be ruled out as India has the “right to retaliate” if Pakistan does not react positively to offers of peace. General Rawat also said India needs to “wait and watch” the Pakistani response in Jammu and Kashmir. He accepted that challenges of proxy war, insurgency and terrorism will keep India embroiled for “years to come”. The General said the DGMOs of both sides have spoken to each other and want peace and tranquillity along the LoC. The two officers spoke on November 23, 2016 and since then there has been relative peace along the LoC, he said. Asked if surgical strikes conducted along the LoC, and operations conducted in Myanmar, would now be part of the doctrine, the Army chief said, “We have told the adversary to accept peace and in case that offer is not reciprocated this method of operations (surgical strikes) shall continue”. He also said the aim is to ensure peace and tranquillity and it (surgical strike) shall not be needed if there is peace.

January 14

The separatists in J&K have further scaled down their ongoing agitation by restricting the strike call to every Friday and have asked people to observe a 'black day' on Republic Day. In a fresh protest programme issued late last night (January 14), the separatists - hardline APHC-G chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate APHC-M chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik - asked the people to observe strike only on Fridays. In view of Republic Day, the separatists have called for a shutdown on Thursday (January 19) as well this week. They have also called for joint protest on Monday (January 16) after the afternoon prayer.

January 16

Three LeT militants were killed in an encounter with SFs at Awoora village in Pahalgam area of Anantnag District. Acting on specific intelligence input about the presence of three LeT militants, ‘commander’ Adil, Masood and Abid, hiding in the village, Army’s 3rd RR and SOG launched a search operation in the area on January 15. An army official said as the SFs were conducting the search operation, the hiding militants fired upon them and the SFs retaliated. The exchange of fire went on till late in the evening after which it was halted for the night, the official said, adding it was resumed in the wee hours today and the three militants were killed in the gunfight. Three AK-47 rifles have been recovered from the encounter site, the official said adding the operation has been called off.

January 17

The three militants killed in the overnight gun battle with SFs in Anantnag District of J&K on January 16, were affiliated with HM and were identified as Abid Sheikh, son of Farooq Sheikh, resident of Satkipora Srigufwara, Maqsood Ahmad Sheikh alias Masoom, son of Ghulam Nabi, resident of Bewoora Srigufwara, and Adil Reshi, son of Mushtaq Ahmad, resident of Iqbal Mohalla in Bijbehara. Three AK-47 rifles, 9 magazines, 80 rounds and 3 pouches were recovered from the encounter site. Police said that Adil Reshi was involved in number of incidents. Adil along with Amir Nabi alias Ibn Qasim was involved in attack on SDPO Bijbehara and his PSO on 24th of December 2015. The 1-Sector Commander of RR Brigadier R Chakraborty stated, "It is a major success as their moving freely and preparing a video, in which they were playing with snow, appeared that they were challenging us." The Commander urged the rest of the militants of the group to join mainstream. "I urge rest of the three militants to surrender and join mainstream", he said. He further said that they were all A category militants with one each being A++ and A+. "They are part of a six member militant group that recently appeared in a video playing in snow. We ensured that there is no collateral damage during the encounter", he added.

A man allegedly trying to sneak into the Nagrota Army camp in Jammu District was shot and injured before being arrested. "During last night, an unidentified man was found moving suspiciously near the fence of the Nagrota Army camp along the banks of river Tawi," a Defence spokesman said.

JKP has turned into an important force in fighting militancy and modernization of the force has become imperative to enhance capacity of the force, stated DGP, Dr. S. P. Vaid in the meeting of the 16th CCTNS Empowered Committee for implementation of CCTNS Project held at PHQ in Jammu District. In order to make the department high-tech, we are focussing on high security capacity building in future. Special focus is given on technical up-gradation to enhance the capabilities of the force in order to commensurate with the modern requirements, he added.

January 18

SFs arrested Arzoo Bashir, a militant of HM, from Tral area in Pulwama District. Sources said that the SFs conducted an operation in Tral area during which they arrested the HM militant who was active in the area and one pistol and 15 rounds of ammunition were recovered from his possession.

January 19

A LeT militant was killed in an encounter with SFs in Bandipora District. Acting on specific intelligence inputs that there might be militants hiding in Parray Mohalla in the Hajin area, SFs launched a search operation in the village. As the forces were conducting the search operation, the hiding militant opened fire on them. In the ensuing encounter, the LeT militant Abu Musaib was killed and a SOG soldier was also injured in the brief encounter, Police said.

January 20

Militants hurled a grenade on a Police party in Narbal area in Budgam District. The grenade exploded on the road causing minor damage to a Police vehicle. Police and Army launched an operation and laid a naka at Narbal crossing on National Highway against the militants responsible for the grenade blast.

The security agencies defused an old live shell which was recovered from a pond at Kharote village in Kathua District. A Police spokesman said that a villager noticed a shell lying in the marshy pond and informed Police and the Army and it was defused by the security agencies.

January 21

Life was affected in several parts of Srinagar, as authorities imposed restrictions amid shutdown to thwart protests called by separatists on the 27th anniversary of Gaw Kadal killings. Over 50 persons were killed on this day of 1990 when security forces opened fire at Gaw Kadal on a procession. To mark the anniversary, the separatists had called for a shutdown and protests. In view of the separatists call, a complete shutdown was observed in Lal Chowk, Budshah Chowk, Gaw Kadal, Maisuma, Amira Kadal, Jehangir Chowk, Basant Bagh and Habba Kadal markets.

January 22

SFs cordoned off Fatehgarh Sheeri area in Baramulla District, after inputs about presence of militants in the area. Reports said that around 30 people were detained for questioning and majority of them have been let off. However, a Police official said that few of them who are OGWs are being questioned.

January 23

The Army in a joint operation with JKP busted a suspected militant hideout and seized a huge cache of arms, ammunition and war-like stores in the Hilnar area of Chhatru tehsil in Kishtwar District. The team came upon a suspicious natural cave, whereupon, on further probing and digging, forces recovered one AK-47, one Pistol with Magazine (Chinese), one UBGL, seven Grenades of UBGL, two Chinese Hand Grenades, three AK-47 Magazines, 428 rounds of 7.62mm AK-47 and two Kenwood Radio Sets (Transistor TH 28A 144MH).

January 24

SFs launched a search operation against a group of militants in Ganderbal District. They said 5 RR and SOG of J&K launched a joint operation at Handoora village in Ganderbal following a tip-off about the presence of militants.

Two top militants of the LeT outfit were killed in a gun battle on the outskirts of Srinagar in Ganderbal District. Following a tip off about the presence of militants in Hadoora, Shuhama area in Ganderbal District, Police from Srinagar and Ganderbal along with 5-RR and CRPF cordoned off the area and launched the search operation. “The hiding militants opened fire on joint search party which was retaliated, triggering an encounter during which two militants of LeT were killed. Two AK-47 rifles, one grenade, six magazines and 180 rounds of AK ammunition were recovered from the encounter site”, SSP, Ganderbal, Imtiaz Ismail Parray, said. The two LeT militants have been identified as Qari Hanzullah and Anas Bilal and both of them were residents of Pakistan. They were associates of top LeT ‘commander’ Abu Hurraira who is operating from Dachigam area in the outskirts of Srinagar for last several years. They were operating in Srinagar and Ganderbal districts since January 22, 2013 and had recently started coordinating with HM.

SFs averted a major tragedy after they detected and defused an IED on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad National Highway in Baramulla District. Sources said that on receiving specific input of planting of IED at Srinagar- Muzaffarabad national highway a joint operation by 53 Bn of the CRPF, SOG Baramulla, was launched and an IED of around 10 kilograms was recovered.

A Policeman was injured as militants hurled a grenade at a Police party at Haal Pulwama and fired at them. Police had established a naka at Haal when militants attacked them. Massive operations have been launched in the area against the militants.

Army and BSF foiled two major infiltration attempts, along the LoC and IB killing a top Pakistani militant and arrested another while three other infiltrators managed to escape back to PoK following effective retaliatory firing brought down by the troops. Official sources stated that the troops observed movement of a group of four militants along LoC in Dadal Maneka area of Sunderbani sector in Rajouri District when they were trying to infiltrate into the Indian Territory along with a consignment of heavy arms, ammunition and explosive material. Immediately after the gunfight, troops conducted searches along LoC in Sunderbani sector and recovered the body of the slain militant who was believed to be a top Pakistani militant.

The BSF thwarted another infiltration attempt along the IB in Suchetgarh sector of RS Pura tehsil in Jammu District when they captured a Pakistani national alive soon after he entered into the Indian Territory. The captured person reportedly disclosed his identity as Mohammad Ahmad (35), son of Mohammad Aneef, a resident of Kot Din Dhan in Sialkot District of Pakistan. He was carrying some currency with him when he was captured.

January 25

Unidentified militants opened fire at a Police picket at Gofabal in Kulgam District. Police returned the fire, forcing the militants to flee from the place. No casualties were reported in the incident.

SFs detected an IED planted by militants at Batamaloo area in Srinagar District. The IED was later safely defused.

January 26

A cordon and search operation was launched by the SFs in Pulwama town in Pulwama District, after an explosion, believed to be grenade thrown by militants, occurred near local Police Station without causing any damage. However, no one was arrested during the search operation.

SFs conducted search and cordon operations at Hassanwadi and Badibagh villages in Pulwama, after receiving inputs about the presence of militants.  During the searches, locals came out of their houses and pelted stones on forces and hampered the search operations. Police fired teargas shells and chased away the stone-pelting mobs. The search operations were later called off.

January 30

SFs busted a hideout of unidentified militant and recovered large cache of arms and ammunition at Tranz area in Shopian District. SFs recovered one SLR, which was snatched by militants from guard at Samnoo Kulgam in October last year (2016), two magazines of SLR, 37 SLR rounds, two RPG, one grenade, 503 AK rounds, one AK magazine, one ammunition pouch, one solar charger, one charger pin and a small black pouch containing medicines from the militant hideout.

Over 200 persons were killed in unrests in 2008, 2010 and 2016 in Jammu and Kashmir, the State Government told Legislative Assembly. CM Mehbooba Mufti, in a written reply, told the House that 76 civilians and two Police personnel were killed in “law and order disturbances” in the Valley in 2016. In 2010, 101 persons were killed and 4,288 others, including SFs, injured, she said. Mehbooba said 46 persons were killed and 1,265 others, including SFs, were injured in 2008. In 2016, as many as 8,587 persons were arrested, out of which 8,473 have been released till January 21, the Chief Minister informed. In addition, 522 persons were booked under the J&K PSA, and 265 persons among 1,978 booked in the recent unrest, were still under detention as on January 21, she stated. Further, Mehbooba said as many as 133 buildings, including Police Stations and schools, were damaged or set ablaze during the “law and order disturbances” in the Valley last year and 213 persons were arrested in this connection. She said 2,655 cases have been registered in various police stations across Kashmir since July 8 last year.

January 31

Four persons were injured after SFs fired to disperse protesters in Samboora village of Pampore area in Pulwama District. An Army party conducted a search operation in the Samboora village of Pampore area and people started stone pelting on them and they fired injuring four persons.

SFs cordoned off Heff Shermal area of Shopian District and launched searches. However, as the searches were underway, locals came out of their houses pelted stones on SFs. Police fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the locals hampering the operation. Later the search operation was called off.

Pakistan army again resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on forward Indian posts and villages in Shahpur sector of Poonch District. Official sources said Pakistani troops started shelling forward areas in Shahpur at 9 pm, prompting the Indian side to retaliate. Heavy exchange of shelling and firing continued, however, there were no reports of any casualties or damage on the Indian side. Sources said Pakistan army was trying to push a group of militants into the Indian side from the LoC. The shelling was aimed at facilitating the infiltration attempt, they added.

February 1

Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, stressed for high level of alertness and vigil along the LoC and to foil the nefarious designs of militants and their masters across. While interacting with the troops and the Commanders at 19 Division headquarters in Baramulla and 28 Mountain Division in Kupwara, General Rawat stressed for alertness along the LoC to foil the infiltration attempts from across. He stressed for terminating infiltration attempts right on the LoC so that peace is restored in Jammu and Kashmir.

February 2

SFs detected and defused an IED on the Srinagar-Jammu NH in Pampore area in Pulwama District. A patrol party of Police detected the IED planted by terrorists between Kadlabal and Chursoo section of the NH and later the bomb disposal squad destroyed the explosive.

The BSF foiled a major infiltration attempt by the militants on the IB in Samba sector of Samba District, in which the SF personnel had a very narrow escape in three UBG thrown by the militants on them in a bid to enter into this side. According to the sources, the grenade attacks and firing by the militants was to be followed by the infiltration attempt. However, finding the BSF troops on very high alert on the IB, the militants retreated to Pakistan.

Pakistan army resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on forward Indian posts and villages in Baba Khori area of Nowshera sector along the LoC in Rajouri District. Sources said Pakistani troops started shelling forward areas in Baba Khori area of Nowshera at 6.20 pm, prompting the Indian side to retaliate. Heavy exchange of shelling and firing continued for about half an hour. However, there were no reports of any casualties or damage on the Indian side so far.

February 3

Police and paramilitary CRPF recovered a cache of arms and ammunition during a search operation in Ganderbal District. A joint party of Police and 118 BN (Battalion) CRPF busted a militant hideout in Fraw area of Gund tehsil of the District. SFs recovered two AK 47 magazines, 32 rounds, a 5-kilograms gas cylinder and few biscuit packets were recovered during the operation.

SFs arrested a LeT militant from Nowpora Payeen village of Lassipora in Pulwama District. Police said that based upon specific input, SFs including Police and Army’s 55 RR launched a cordon and search operation at Nowpora area of the District, during which a local militant identified as Manzoor Ahmad was arrested, along with one pistol, two pistol rounds, 36 AK rounds, one Chinese grenade, two pistol magazines, one pouch and first aid kit, from the possession of the arrested militant. During the cordon and search operation, locals came out of their houses and pelted stone on Police and Army. Police fired several teargas shells on protesters and also resorted to aerial firing to break up the stone pelting protest. However, no protester was injured in the clashes and later the cordon was lifted by forces.

February 4

Police and SFs thwarted a major terrorist action by killing two HM militants in an encounter in Sopore area in Baramulla District. SFs launched an operation in Amargarh area in Sopore following information about presence of militants in the area. When challenged, the militants lobbed a grenade and fired upon the Police party in which SP operation Baramulla, Shafqat Hussain and SI, Mohammad Murtaza were injured. Two AK series rifles, one pistol, four hand grenades and other arms and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site. The two militants have been identified as Azhar Khan of Kupwara and Sajjad Ahmed Lone, a resident of Eidipora Bomai in Sopore. Sajjad had gone to Pakistan in March 2016 via Wagah border.

February 5

A Pakistani infiltrator was arrested by the BSF personnel from the IB in Ramgarh sector of Samba District. Official sources said Jawans on duty observed suspicious movement across the IB near Balhad Post along Basantar River in Ramgarh sector this afternoon. They rushed and challenged the suspect, who had intruded deep inside the Indian Territory and arrested Mansheer (25), a resident of Kingra Morh in Sabekote area of Pakistan.

February 6

The BSF thwarted an intrusion bid at IB, which originated from Pakistan side, in Samba sector in Samba District, followed by heavy mortar shelling and firing in the forward areas. Official sources said a group of heavily armed militants reached close to the IB on Pakistan side taking advantage of undulating ground in Samba sector and opened heavy firing on the BSF personnel deployed on duty mound in forward areas with automatic weapons. The BSF personnel swiftly organized coordinated effected fire over the militants and forced them to retreat to Pakistan.

February 7

Police said it have arrested miscreants who pelted stones on vehicles at Baramulla town last week. "In the evening of February 4 (Saturday) a group of miscreants boarding three vehicles appeared in Baramulla market near Karripa Park and started pelting stones on vehicles and created law and order problem," a Police spokesman said. He said all these miscreants were detained and a case was registered in Baramulla Police Station.

Sub-Judge/Judicial Magistrate first Class, Rajesh Kumar ID Abrol of Chadoora in Budgam District, denied bail to two militants of HM outfit. According to the prosecution case, the militants identified as Younis Bashir of Checkpora and Adil Ahmed of Lasjan were arrested under Sections 419, 506, 387, 511 and 120B RPC at Nowgam Police Station on the basis of the complaint filed by Mohammad Amin Bhat of Checkpora. These militants were demanding INR 500,000 from the complainant for HM outfit with the warning that he and his family will face the consequences of death if the complainant failed to follow their directive.

The J&K Police has prepared a report, warning about the possibility of a 'more dangerous repetition of 2016' after March and highlighted the 'lack of the preparedness to handle such crisis on part of the civil administration and Police'. DG of the J&K Police SP Vaid confirmed that there were reports of 'possible unrest after March' but maintained that Police was ready to handle any 'law and order' situation, adding that APHC leaders who lead such agitations were to be 'squarely blamed' for the consequences. The report submitted to the chief minister's office in January sees joint APHC leadership of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer and Yasin Malik as a 'threat to peace' and their 'unification on Pakistan's insistence a trouble'. "The mass contact programme of Hurriyat leaders and their meetings with their small constituents are a matter of concern. And by reaching out to victims of the 2016 unrest, they are reaching out to the common man and thus preparing the ground for another unrest," the report said.

February 8

Sunderbani Police arrested nine persons along with two weapons (.12 bore guns), in Rajouri District and busted a racket involved in making fake gun licenses and recovered 13 such licenses from their possession.

February 10

During a joint operation by the Army and the Police, a major terrorist hideout was busted at Mislai Bonjwah area in Kishtwar District of J&K. SFs recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition from the location, which included one AK-47 rifle with 450 rounds, 224 Pika ammunitions, one UBGL, two UBGL ammunitions and one binocular.

CRPF and SOG arrested a militant from Janbazpora area in Baramulla District. Police said that a local militant, Irshad Ahmad Khwaja, a resident of Seelo village, was arrested after specific information by a team of SOG of J&K Police and 53 BN CRPF. One pistol, two magazines and a hand grenade were recovered from his possession.

February 12

Eight persons including four militants, two Army personnel and equal number of civilians were killed and around 24 civilians were injured in an encounter followed by clashes in Kulgam District. Acting on specific information about the presence of militants in Nagbal, Frisal area of the District, Kulgam Police along with 1-RR and 18th Battalion of CRPF cordoned off the suspected house and started the search operation, Police said. The four militants killed in the encounter were identified as Farooq Ahmad Bhat of Checki Dessand, Mohammad Younis Lone of Hawoora, both were HM militants and Mudisir Ahmad Tantary alias Assim of Redwani Kulgam and Wakeel Ahmad Thoker of Hadigam, both were LeT militants. Two AK rifles, two pistols, one INSAS rifle and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site. Further, people in the area came out in street as the encounter was in progress and pelted stones on SFs near the encounter site. The SFs fired teargas and pellets in which around two dozen persons were injured, out of which one Mushtaq Ibrahim Itoo succumbed to his injuries.

February 13

Pakistan army violated ceasefire along the LoC in Sunderbani sector of Rajouri District, targeting forward Indian posts with small and automatic weapons and mortars. "The Indian side effectively retaliated, leading to heavy exchanges that continued for some time," sources said, adding that there were no casualties or damage on the Indian side in Pakistan shelling and firing. Casualties or damages, if any, on the other side were not known.

Normal life was affected in Jammu and Kashmir, due to a shutdown called by the separatists against the killing of two civilians and four militants in an encounter in Kulgam District of South Kashmir while curfew like restrictions were imposed in parts of South Kashmir. Shops and commercial establishments remained closed in Srinagar and Public transport was mostly off the roads. However, some vehicles were plying.

February 14

Two top LeT 'commanders' were among four militants and four soldiers including an Army Major killed while six soldiers and a civilian were injured in two separate gun battles in North Kashmir. Sources said that on a tip-off, Army, SOG of JKP and CRPF launched a joint search operation at Parray Mohalla Hajan in Bandipora District. They said that as the SFs were sealing the area, militants hiding in the village opened fire on troops and hurled hand grenades. The SFS returned the fire killing one militant who has been identified as Abu Haris, a top 'commander' of LeT. Srinagar based Defence Ministry spokesman, Lt Col Rajesh Kalia identified the Army men killed in the gun battle as Dharmendera Kumar of Pataliya, Uttarakhand; Rifleman Ravi Kumar of Meen Sarkar Tabela of Samba and Gunner Astosh Kumar of Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Three militants were killed and an Army Major was injured in Handwara area in Kupwara District. SFs received information about presence of three-four militants in Khan Mohalla Hajin Kralgund area of Handwara's Kupwara District. Major S Dhaiya, who was leading the operation, succumbed to his injuries. One of the killed militants has been identified as Abu Darda, a top 'commander' of LeT and the identity of other two is being ascertained.

Three Pakistan army personnel were killed in heavy exchange of firing between Indo-Pak troops in Thoob area of Bhimber sector opposite Sunderbani in Rajouri District along the LoC. Pakistan army has confirmed the killing of their three personnel.

Army and Police averted two major terror attacks by timely detecting and defusing an IED, planted by the militants near Bhimber Gali on Jammu-Poonch road and recovering huge quantity of weaponry in Mendhar sector of Poonch District. A Bomb Disposal Squad later defused the IED.

A joint team of Army and Police busted a hideout of the militants in Chajla forest area of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch District and recovered large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives. Recoveries included one Pika Machine Gun with 90 belted rounds, one AK-74 rifle, one AK-47 rifle, two UBGL launchers, 22 UBGL grenades, two Chinese grenades, one I Com radio set and antenna and 500 rounds of AK-47. Later, SFs also undertook search operations in Chajla forest area but the militants remained untraced.

The BSF pre-empted a major terror strike by detecting a tunnel originating from Pakistan and opening up just about 20 meters ahead of border fencing inside the Indian Territory in Ramgarh sector of Samba District. The tunnels had been dug beneath the border fencing to facilitate infiltration by the militants. "The tunnel was under construction when the BSF detected it during major anti-tunneling measures taken along the International Border following very specific inputs that the militants were being trained for infiltration at Rattu training camp in PoK," official sources said.

February 15

Police and para-military forces heavily deployed in Kulgam District foiled separatists' March in the District. Separatist leaders had called for protest March to Kulgam against the civilian killings during an encounter at Frisal in the District on February 12. Four militants, two civilians and two Army men were killed in the encounter. All entry routes towards Kulgam were sealed off and curfew like restrictions were imposed in the District. The situation remained peaceful and under control, and no protest March or clashes were reported from anywhere in the town. There were clashes in Pulwama as protesters pelted stones on Police and CRPF, who, in retaliation, fired tear smoke to disperse them. And in Srinagar city, there was a complete shutdown and most of shops and business establishments also remained closed. The areas like Old City and Maisuma witnessed shutdown.

JKLF chairman Yasin Malik was arrested to prevent him from marching towards Kulgam. APHC-M chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed house arrest to prevent him venturing out to take part in protest march towards Kulgam.

The BSF seized a wireless set from the IB in Londi area of Hiranagar sector in Kathua District. "The wireless set resembled to the one that was seized by police from near the border in Kathua few days after the terror attack on Nagrota Army camp on November 30,2016,'' official sources said. Sources added that a civilian Ashwani Kumar of Londi was spraying his field when he spotted the wireless set and informed the BSF officials, who rushed to the spot and seized the set.

Police identified the militants who were killed in the encounter at Parray Mohalla Hajan in Bandipora District on February 14, as LeT 'commander' Abu Darda alias Shafiq, operating in North Kashmir between 2008 and 2010 and later he ex-filtrated to Pakistan and again infiltrated in 2016 and was operating in Handwara and Kupwara areas of North Kashmir, while the other two militants have been identified as Abu Maviya and Abu Saad.

Police detained three persons during separate raids in North Kashmir. Sources said that Showkat Ahmad Lone, Mohammad Azam Dar, both residents of Kachloo Kralgund and Tanveer Ahmad Bhat of Trichoo Rafiabad were picked up in separate raids by Police for questioning regarding the encounter at Parray Mohalla Hajan in Bandipora District on February 14.

Army chief Bipin Rawat, warned those attacking SFs during anti-militancy operations of "tough action", as the hostile conduct of locals was causing higher casualties in the Kashmir valley. The stern message from Rawat came a day after three soldiers faced heavy stone-pelting at Parray Mohalla of Bandipora when they were about to launch an operation against militants holed up there. Alerted by the stone-pelters, the militants got an opportunity to fire hand grenades and empty a few magazines from AK-rifles into the advancing troopers, leaving three jawans dead and some others, including a Commanding Officer of CRPF, injured. One terrorist managed to flee the area. General Rawat said SFs in J&K were facing higher casualties due to the manner in which the local population was preventing them from conducting the operations and "at times even supporting the terrorists to escape". "We would now request the local population that people who have picked up arms, and they are the local boys, if they want to continue with the acts of terrorism, displaying flags of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and Pakistan, then we will treat them as anti-national elements and go helter-skelter for them. They may survive today but we will get them tomorrow. Our relentless operations will continue," the Army chief said, sending out a stern message to those who support militants.

February 16

Militants fired gunshots and forcibly entered into Jammu and Kashmir Bank's Turkawangam Branch in Shopian District and decamped with INR 304,000 from the bank. Police said four militants were involved in the robbery. Police said that two out of four militants involved in the bank robbery have been identified as Tariq Ahmad Bhat of Barburgh, Shopian and Zeenat-ul-Islam of Sugan, Zainapora Shopian. Tariq was identified by the INSAS he was carrying. Tariq was kept as guard outside while the other three went inside.

Militants fired gunshots and forcibly entered into Jammu and Kashmir Bank's Turkawangam Branch in Shopian District and decamped with INR 304,000 from the bank. Police said four militants were involved in the robbery. Police said that two out of four militants involved in the bank robbery have been identified as Tariq Ahmad Bhat of Barburgh, Shopian and Zeenat-ul-Islam of Sugan, Zainapora Shopian. Tariq was identified by the INSAS he was carrying. Tariq was kept as guard outside while the other three went inside.

Authorities asked the public in Kashmir to stay away from the places of encounters between SFs and militants and decided to impose prohibitory orders in the radius of three kilometres from such sites in three Districts. The decision came a day after Army Chief General Bipin Rawat warned of tough action against those hampering counter- insurgency operations. "District Administrations of Srinagar, Budgam and Shopian advised people not to move towards or assemble near the places where encounters take place between security forces and militants to avoid loss and injuries to precious human lives," an official spokesman said. "Prohibitory restrictions have been imposed within the radius of three kilometers from the site of any counter- insurgency operation in these districts," the spokesman added.

February 17

Two Police personnel were injured when Militants hurled a grenade on a Police party in Nowgam area of Srinagar. Police said that militants hurled grenade on the Police party and ran away under the cover of darkness.

A militant was arrested in a joint operation by Police, Army and CRPF in Srinagar. The militant was identified as Irshad Ahmad Bhat of Wailoo, Pattan in North Kashmir. "The accused offender Irshad has been an active militant of HM terrorist outfit who had joined militant ranks after killing of his militant father Fayaz Ahmad Bhat in inter gang rivalry in year 2015", SSP Baramulla, Imtiaz Hussain, said. One AK series rifle, 2 AK magazines, one Chinese pistol, one pistol magazine, four hand grenades and other ammunition were recovered from the possession of the militant.

Protesters clashed with SFs in Srinagar and Sopore, after youth pelted stones on them post Friday prayers. After the culmination of congregational Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of the city, locals took to the streets to protest against the civilian killings in Kashmir. They pelted stones on the SFs, who were deployed there. Police and CRPF intercepted the protesters, triggering clashes. SFs fired several rounds of tear-gas canisters to disperse the protesters.

February 19

Two persons were injured in a low intensity blast in a house at village Sungri in Mahore in Reasi District. According to SSP Reasi, Tahir Sajjad Bhat, the blast took place around 11.30 AM in the house of Shabir Ahmad, when he was cleaning the junk on the roof top. In the blast, Shabir Ahmed received injuries in hand while his brother-in-law Bashir Ahmed, resident of Sar Mahore, who was also present at the scene, sustained injuries in his leg.

A militant was arrested after he fired at the CRPF camp in Nawdal village of Tral in Pulwama District. A Police official said that Mohammad Maqbool Ganaie of Lam Tral fired at the 180 Battalion of CRPF camp at Nawdal before attempting to lob a grenade. The official said that a pistol and a grenade were recovered from his possession and no casualties were reported in the firing. Ganaie had joined militancy in 2007 and later surrendered before SFs in the same year after remaining active for seven months. He was jailed for three years after his surrender but was released in 2010. Sources said that he had become active again and was arrested by the SFs.

February 20

A militant was killed by the BSF during an infiltration bid along the LoC in Rajouri District. Officials said the incident occurred around midnight when BSF troops deployed along the LoC fence in Keri sector of Rajouri detected some suspicious movement and a heavy exchange of fire ensued in which the militant was killed. During search the BSF party recovered the body of the militant along with an AK-47 rifle, six loaded magazines and a monocular night vision device from the Pakistan side. A black bag containing another loaded AK magazine, dry fruits and juice was also recovered. The identity of the militant is yet to be ascertained.

February 21

Three Kashmiri youth from Sopore in Baramulla District were arrested by Special Cell of Delhi. Three youth were identified as Yawar Muzaffar, Waseem Dar and Danish Dar of Batpora Sopore, who were wanted by Sopore Police in stone pelting cases, were evading arrest and had fled to Delhi. Jammu and Kashmir Police in Sopore after getting information about the presence of the trio in Delhi informed the Police who arrested them in a raid. A Police officer said that they were on the run and were instrumental in stone pelting incidents and protests in Sopore area.

February 22

At least three militants including 'district commander' of HM, fled from the cordon after stone pelting by locals on SFs during the operation in Kulgam District. Massive stone-pelting clashes erupted in two villages of the District as SFs launched search and cordon operations against a group of militants including HM 'commander', Altaf Ahmad Kachru. Sources said that Army's 1-RR, SOG of JKP and CRPF cordoned off Tarigam village of Kulgam District after receiving an input about the presence of three militants. Sources said that as the searches were started, the locals including women came out of their houses and held protests. The locals pelted stones on SFs involved in operations and tried to break the cordon to give safe passage to militants who were believed to be trapped inside.

Police fired teargas and fired gun shots in air to disperse the protesters. Clashes between the two sides continued for several hours and few persons were reported to be injured. Following the clashes, the cordon and search operation in the Tarigam village was called off and sources said that militants managed to flee from the cordon. Clashes also erupted at Qoimoh area of the District after SFs launched a cordon and search operation following information that the militants who fled Tarigam have taken shelter in nearby Makhdoom Mohalla locality of Qoimoh. SFs called off the operation at Qoimoh following clashes. Minor stone-pelting clashes were also reported from Kakpora area of Pulwama District. However, the situation there was brought under control by Police.

February 23

Three jawans and a woman were killed after terrorists attacked a patrolling party at Mulu Chitragam in Shopian District of J&K. Four other army personnel were injured in the ambush. The woman was killed in the cross-firing. The army personnel, who belonged to 44th RR, were returning from an operation at Kungnoo Shopian when the militants opened fire. The Police said one woman, identified as Taja, "was hit by a stray bullet inside her house during the cross fire". "She also succumbed to her injuries," said Police spokesman.

February 24

Stone-throwing clashes broke out in parts of summer capital Srinagar and in Sopore town of North Kashmir, after Friday prayers during which Police used teargas against stone-throwers. Witnesses said soon after the culmination of Friday congregational prayers, dozens of masked youth came out of Jama Masjid in Nowhatta and started sloganeering. Amid sloganeering, the masked youth pelted stones on SFs deployed in the area and clashed with them for nearly an hour. Later, the clashes spilled over to nearby neighbourhoods and Police used dozens of teargas shells against the stone-throwers at Saraf Kadal and Rajouri Kadal localities. The clashes continued for several hours.

Similar clashes raged soon after Friday prayers culminated at Jama Masjid in northern Sopore town of Baramulla District. Masked youth resorted to heavy stone-pelting on SF personnel in Jama Masjid area and the forces retaliated by lobbing teargas canisters. Police said no one was injured during post-Friday clashes.

February 25

SFs arrested 12 persons on stone pelting charges during which 15 persons were injured in Pulwama town in Pulwama District. A shutdown was observed in Pulwama town amid stone-throwing clashes against arrest of a shopkeeper. A Police official said the arrested shopkeeper, Bilal Ahmad Mir, is a stone-pelter and was held on charges of stone-throwing in the town. Protesters came out of their houses and pelted stones on SFs in the town. The clashes continued throughout the day and security men lobbed dozens of teargas shells to disperse the rock-hurlers. The protesters were seeking release of the arrested shopkeeper. Eight SF personnel were among 15 persons who were injured in these clashes. Police later detained 12 persons on charges of stone pelting during the clashes in Pulwama.

February 26

Army and Police laid an ambush in Ahmadpora-Tantraypora area of Magam in Budgam District in Central Kashmir. A joint party of 2 RR Gagarpora and SOG Magam laid the ambush late last night. One person was detained during the operation and shifted to Budgam. His identification couldn't be established. SFs also fired some gun shots in air as they had information about militant movement.

Shutdown was observed in twin Districts of Pulwama and Shopian to protest against the arrests of youth on February 25. Over 12 persons were arrested in Pulwama on charges of stone pelting from Pulwama on February 25.

February 27

CRPF DG K Durga Prasad said the paramilitary force had taken the decision of modifying the pellet guns to minimise injuries. The modified version of pellet guns will have a "deflector", an attachment on the muzzle end to prevent the pellets from going up. The force has tasked a special BSF workshop to deploy metal 'deflectors' on the muzzle of these guns so that shrapnels in the pellets do not hit above the abdomen region. CRPF troops deployed in Kashmir Valley have been asked to fire the pellets aiming at the feet of the protesters now as against laid down procedure of hitting the abdomen area.

The CRPF is moving back to its 'old mandate' in J&K, when it was sent there in 1989 for carrying out counter-insurgency operations aggressively, said CRPF DG K Durga Prasad. He said that "we (CRPF) are now not just doing normal law and order duty in Kashmir. We are engaged actively in intelligence based counter-terror operations where our men hunt down the militants in their den." Prasad said that CRPF was originally sent to J&K two decades back for counter-insurgency operations only. However, this role had been reduced to normal law and order duty in disturbed areas in last several years.

March 1

According to Intelligence agencies, stone-throwing protests in Kashmir, which picked up after militant leader Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with SFs July 2016, have now spread to rural regions. Report said that authorities are worried as they say the crowds in the countryside are more belligerent. Boys as young as four and five are participating in the stone-pelting, said an officer. After being caught, many of these kids reveal that they have no idea what they are involved in.

The Central Government has given a major push to equip the Army and central paramilitary forces with advanced weapons and equipment in anticipation of increased militant activity in Kashmir valley in summer. Intelligence agencies have hinted that militant activity may reach an all-time high this summer, people familiar with the matter said. This was the first time in over a decade that any Government has overhauled the entire weapon system of SFs deployed in the Valley, the people said.

SFs arrested a HM militant, identified as Hilal Ahmad Bhat from Dahwatoo in Awantipora area in Pulwama District. Two Chinese grenades, one camouflage uniform, one knife and some other incriminating material were also recovered from Bhat's possession, said Police. Bhat had joined the HM ranks recently, the official said adding a case under relevant sections of the RPC have been registered against him.

March 3

Two OGWs of JeM were arrested by the Police in Baramulla District. The Police also recovered two Chinese pistols from their possession. The arrest comes a month after the Police busted an OGW network of the JeM in Handwara and arrested three persons. The OGW network, which was operating since April 2015, was involved in various subversive activities and determined to target political workers, SFs installations and Police establishments. The operators were providing logistic support to the JeM militants and were close associates of a top commander of JeM.

One civilian was killed and four others, including one CRPF personnel were injured in a grenade attack on a CRPF party in Murran Chowk in Pulwama District. According to sources, militants lobbed a grenade at a CRPF party in Murran Chowk, resulting in injuries to four civilians and one CRPF personnel. One of the injured civilians, identified as Mohammad Ayub Wani succumbed to injuries at a hospital. However, militants fled after carrying out the attack.

Protesters clashed with Police and SFs at Ratnipora and Kakapora in Pulwama District after Friday prayers. Protesters pelted stones on SFs who responded by firing tear smoke.

Stone-throwing clashes and protests also erupted in parts of Srinagar and in North Kashmir's Sopore Town of Baramulla District after Friday congregational prayers. After culmination of Friday prayers, large number of youths came out of Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area here and started sloganeering.

Stone-throwing clashes and protests also erupted in parts of Srinagar and in North Kashmir's Sopore Town of Baramulla District after Friday congregational prayers. After culmination of Friday prayers, large number of youths came out of Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area here and started sloganeering.

Several separatist JKLF activists were held by Police after they held a sit-in protest at Budshah Chowk in Lal Chowk in Srinagar District post-Friday prayers. The held leaders were shifted to Central Jail Srinagar.

March 3-4

A joint operation between the Army and the SOG of J&K Police was launched against militants on March 3 evening and the encounter is still (March 4) underway in Chilli Pora village in Shopian District. Officials said that troops of 55 RR and SOG of J&K Police launched the operation after SFs received specific input about the militant presence in the village. Officials said they had input that two to three militants had been hiding in the village.

March 4

SFs had to call off anti-militancy operation in Shopian District of South Kashmir after militants holed up in a house managed to escape following intense protests and stone pelting from locals.

In an incident of terror, as many as 12 terrorists carried out a raid at a Policeman's house and proceeded to ransack it thoroughly, virtually trashing the establishment in Shopian District. The people affected had been too terror-stricken to take the complaint to authorities initially as they feared being attacked again. Militants have been targeting Policemen in Kashmir as they have been maintaining law and order despite repeated protests welling-up in the region. Militants have warned cops to not obey orders from their superiors and to let the situation deteriorate.

March 4-5

At least two militants, identified as Aqib Molvi of Tral and Umar of Pakistan and one J&K Police constable, identified as Manzoor Ahmad Naik of Uri were killed while an Army major and four CRPF personnel were injured during an encounter between SFs and militants which started on March 4 evening in Shikargah in Tral in Pulwama District. According to reports, the house where the militants were hiding has been demolished by the SFs. The identity of the militants hasn't been revealed yet. However, at least two HM terrorists, including the right hand man of slain Hizbul 'commander' Burhan Wani, Sabzar Bhat, were believed to be trapped in the encounter, sources said.

As the news about the encounter spread in the area, a law and order problem erupted, with civilians pelting stone at the SFs. One assailant hit an ASI and snatched his AK-47 rifle before disappearing into the crowd. A separate operation is on to recover the weapon. A top officer said, "Security forces were stopped by civilians. Resistance was shown. We had to rush in reinforcement. An ASI of CRPF was injured his weapon snatched by (the) belligerent crowd."

March 5

J&K saw a three-fold increase in cases of rioting and a substantial rise in arson cases in 2016 which also witnessed five-month-long unrest after killing of terrorist Burhan Wani, official data of Crime Branch of State Police showed. According to data, J&K has witnessed as many as 3,404 cases of rioting in 2016 as compared to 1,157 such cases in 2015, an increase of 2,247. Similarly, Police registered as many as 267 cases of arson in 2016 as compared to 147 such cases in 2015, thereby showing an increase of 120 during the period, it said.

Officials of the Crime Branch point towards this increase because of the 2016 unrest in Kashmir Valley for five months following killing of HM 'militant commander' Burhan Wani in July 2016. There has also been an increase of 143 cases of attempt to murder from 2015 to 2016. As many as 573 cases of attempt to murder have been registered in 2016 as compared to 430 such cases in 2015. There has also been an increase in murder cases. As many as 140 cases of murder were registered in 2016 as compared to 133 such cases in 2015, it said. The statistics reveal there has been no custodial death in 2016 and 2015.

Officials of the Crime Branch point towards this increase because of the 2016 unrest in Kashmir Valley for five months following killing of HM 'militant commander' Burhan Wani in July 2016. There has also been an increase of 143 cases of attempt to murder from 2015 to 2016. As many as 573 cases of attempt to murder have been registered in 2016 as compared to 430 such cases in 2015. There has also been an increase in murder cases. As many as 140 cases of murder were registered in 2016 as compared to 133 such cases in 2015, it said. The statistics reveal there has been no custodial death in 2016 and 2015.

Of the total 2,690 incidents of stone pelting, North Kashmir accounts for the highest number of 1,248 incidents followed by 875 incidents in South Kashmir and 567 in Central Kashmir, according to official data of State Home Ministry. Sopore, which is part of Baramulla District, has recorded the highest number of 492 incidents of stone pelting during the unrest, while the total number of such incidents in the entire Baramulla District is 810, the data said. Baramulla is followed by Srinagar and Kupwara Districts with 339 such incidents each reported, it said adding 271 such incidents took place in Anantnag District, followed by 264 in Pulwama, 173 in Shopian, 167 in Kulgam, 163 in Budgam, 109 in Bandipora and only 65 in Ganderbal District.

A day after HM 'deputy chief' Sabzar Ahmad along with some of his associates escaped from an encounter site in Tral area in Pulwama District of South Kashmir, CRPF has admitted that stone pelting is hampering anti-militancy operations in the Valley and many militants have escaped from the encounter sites during the clashes. "The stone pelting is hampering our anti-militancy operations," said IG CRPF (Operations), Zulfikar Hassan. At least six CRPF personnel, including an officer, were injured on March 4 evening, in Hayena area of Tral in Pulwama District when locals pelted stones on Police, paramilitary and army men, who were laying siege around the village to conduct operation to flush out a group of militants hiding there. An INSAS assault rifle of a CRPF officer was snatched by the mob after injuring him. During the clashes between locals and security men, the HM 'deputy chief' Sabzar Ahmad along with some of his associates managed to escape from the area, Police sources said.

March 6

SFs faced protests at Pinjoora area in Pulwama District of South Kashmir, where they had gone to conduct search operations after receiving inputs about presence of the militants. Later, the operation was called off after no militant was found. Asked what measures have been taken to prevent protests and stone pelting at encounter sites, IG CRPF said, "The local administration is taking steps to prevent people from staging protests and pelting stones on security men during anti-militancy operations in the Valley."

However, despite these measures intense stone pelting takes place at some places during the encounters, Hassan said. According to him, most of the stone pelting incidents during anti-militancy operations have taken place in South Kashmir.

Pakistan-based terror groups finance terrorism in J&K by generating millions in donations through their charity organisations, said Atul Goel, SP, NIA. Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a charity run by terror outfits JuD and LeT, and Al Rehmat Trust, backed by another terrorists group JeM, have been supporting terrorists and funding terrorism in Kashmir, said Atul Goel, addressing a session at the 19th Asian Security Conference on 'Combating Terrorism: Evolving an Asian Response' in New Delhi. Goel said the NIA was looking into the activities of JuD, LeT and JeM and also the working of trusts associated with them in Pakistan. "These outfits collect donations from people in Pakistan and then pass on the money to finance terrorism in Kashmir through their overground workers," he said.

An operation against militants was called off in the Newa area in Pulwama District after people took to the streets and threw stones during the counter-insurgency operation. The Army's 55 RR, the Police's SOG and the CRPF's 183 Battalion cordoned off the area around 10 p.m. on March 6. A tip-off suggested movement of LeT militants in the area. Police sources said the operation was called off at night when mosques in the area started blaring pro-freedom songs and residents from many adjacent villages marched towards the operation site.

 

March 7

Growing public interference in anti-militancy operations forced the SFs to call off two anti-militancy operations in south Kashmir in the past 24 hours. A search-and-cordon team of the Army and the Police came under heavy stone throwing in Mohamadpora village in Kulgam District, thus delaying the operation. Police sources said the residents started throwing stones as the SFs were throwing a cordon after a tip-off about militants' presence. "Heavy teargas shelling was used to disperse protesters from the site," said a senior Police official. Several local people, including a woman, were injured in the process.

Mehmood Shah, an LeT spokesman, praised people for "ensuring the safety of the militants". "We won't let the people-militant bond to break. Till people are in the field, militants will continue to outsmart Indian troopers," said the LeT spokesman.

Mehmood Shah, an LeT spokesman, praised people for "ensuring the safety of the militants". "We won't let the people-militant bond to break. Till people are in the field, militants will continue to outsmart Indian troopers," said the LeT spokesman.

March 8

The J&K Police busted a HM module by arresting its three suspected members, identified as Reyaz Ahmad Wani, Ikhlaq Ahmad Khanday and Tawseeul-Nabi in Bemina area of Srinagar District. The Police recovered two pistols, two pistol Magazines, 20 rounds, four grenades, one wireless set and a packet of explosive substance from the militants. During preliminary investigation the trio said they were working with Jehangir, an active militant in Kishtwar, the Police said.

DGP of J&K, Shesh Paul Vaid, on March 8 warned terrorists to desist from attacking the families of Police personnel in Kashmir valley. DGP Vaid said: "Don't bring in families in this conflict, you too have families. If you harass our families we will do same to your families." The remarks came a day after some terrorists ransacked the house of a Police officer and asked the families to tell the officer to quit the job else face the consequences.

With the onset of spring and melting of snow, BSF warned of increased infiltration along the LoC but said it along with Army is alert to tackle it. IG, Subsidiary Training Centre (STC), BSF, Sushil Kumar Shinde, said in Srinagar that the infiltration of militants increases after melting of snow. "Definitely after melting of snow, infiltration increases because during snow accumulation, it is difficult for them (militants) to cross the LoC. But after melting of snow, the infiltration increases…," he said on the sidelines of a passing-out-parade at STC Humhama on city outskirts (Srinagar). However, the IG, BSF said that the infiltration could be prevented through alertness of Army and BSF. "Our alertness accordingly increases and (as a result) we are successful in securing our borders," he said and added that as far as preparation (to tackle infiltration) is considered, they are always ready (to curb militant infiltration).

March 9

Two militants were killed in a fierce gun battle broke out between SFs and LeT militants in Padgampora area of Pulwama District in the morning. "The slain militants have been identified as Jehangir Ganai and Mohammad Shafi alias Sher Gujri," a senior CRPF officer said, adding that Ganai was involved in the killing of a local Policeman last year (2016). SFs from the CRPF and SOG of J&K Police have started search operations and cordoned off the area where two-three militants of the group were holed up even. Army was deployed to carry out combing operations.

A fifteen year old teenager, identified as Amir Nazir was also killed by a bullet-hit when he was throwing stones to disrupt the anti-terror operations of SFs against two hiding LeT terrorists at Padgampora in Pulwama District, DGP of J&K, Shesh Paul Vaid said. Amir Nazir was part of a mob pelting stones when a bullet hit him in the neck. The incident happened despite Army chief Bipin Rawat's recent warning against those attacking SFs during anti-militancy operations of "tough action". The SFs came under intense attack from stone pelters, which forced them to open fire, leaving several injured.

Locals hit the streets and started pelting stones on SFs near the encounter site. Additional SFs have been rushed to the area, where locals are pelting stones to disrupt the operation. Sources said there could be two to three militants in the area. SFs have sealed all roads leading to the village, including from Awantipora to prevent people from moving towards the encounter site

A HM militant, identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Seergojri was killed and an Army major injured in a shootout near Police Station in Bandipora in Bandipora District in the evening. A joint team of Army and SOG of J&K Police had laid a naka following specific inputs about the movement of militants. A militant who was travelling in a vehicle opened fire on Army in which Army Major was injured. In the retaliatory fire, the militant was gunned down. One pistol and a grenade were recovered from his possession.

The authorities placed separatist Hurriyat Conference (G) leaders, including Shabir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Ayaz Akbar, Raja Mehrajudin, Mohd Ashraf Laaya and Umer Adil Dar under house arrest following a strike called by them against the killing of civilian. Security has also been intensified to prevent violence in Kashmir.

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has expressed deep anguish and grief over the killing of a 15 year old Amir Nazir in Padgampora village of Pulwama District. Extending her sympathies to the bereaved, the Chief Minister said it was highly unfortunate that youth are caught in the vicious cycle of violence in the State which has consumed so many precious lives and left behind a trail of death and destruction.

An Army jawan (trooper), identified as Deepak Jaganath was killed when Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in Poonch sector in Poonch District of Jammu region. Official sources said Pakistani troops opened fire at Indian posts around 2 pm at Gulpur area which was effectively retaliated by the Army. The sources said the jawan was injured in the firing from across the border and he was shifted to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries this evening.

March 10

A complete shutdown was observed in Kashmir, following a call by the Valley's joint separatist leadership against the killing of a civilian during an encounter March 9, disrupting normal life. Shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed and the streets remained deserted. Hardliner Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and chairman of the JKLF Yasin Malik had given call for a complete shutdown and after-prayer protests on Friday (March 10) in the wake of Pulwama encounter (March 9).

Two teenage boys from PoK, against whom the NIA dropped charges of conspiracy in the Uri terror strike (September 18, 2016), were reunited with their families at the Wagah border after spending nearly six months in detention. Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed had been handed over to the Jammu-based 16 Corps of the Army this week after the probe agency came to the conclusion that the two had strayed into the Indian side after a tiff with their parents due to the pressure of studies. The NIA had said that the evidence collected in the form of statements, technical analysis of their mobile phones, seized GPS devices and other circumstantial evidence collected by the NIA "did not reveal any linkage of the suspects with the Uri attackers". Earlier, the Army had detained the two on September 23, 2016 barely days after the terror strike, and claimed that the two had allegedly acted as guides of the four terrorists who carried out the attack on the Uri garrison in North Kashmir.

Junaid Qureshi, son of Kashmiri separatist leader Hashim Qureshi, said that Gilgit Baltistan is an integral part of J&K and Pakistan has no right to divide the state. "Gilgit Baltistan (region) is an integral part of (India's) Jammu and Kashmir State. Pakistan has no right to divide the state further and sell its resources under false rubric of infrastructure development," Junaid Qureshi said, adding that the "state is not for sale." Qureshi who also heads European Foundation for South Asian Studies, was speaking at the UN's Geneva convention. He also rejected the construction of CPEC along the line of control through Gilgit Baltistan region. "Construction of CPEC is illegal and a contravention of International law. It requires your (UN) urgent attention and intervention," he said.

March 11

Two persons were arrested by Railway Police at Mazhama railway station in Budgam District, along with old scrapped currency notes worth over INR 3.4 million. An official said that following a specific input, Railway Police officials intercepted two persons identified as Farooq Ahmad Labru and Mohammad Shafi Labru when they were about to board train at Mazhama railway station.

March 12

Pakistani troops had violated the ceasefire by resorting to firing and mortar shelling in Krishnagati sector along the LoC in Poonch District.

March 13

A former Sarpanch was killed by unidentified gunmen in Pulwama. Police said gunmen abducted former Sarpanch Fayaz Ahmad from his Kakoora residence in Pulwama, and his bullet riddled body has been recovered from Chewa Kalan village in the District.

A former Sarpanch was killed by unidentified gunmen in Pulwama. Police said gunmen abducted former Sarpanch Fayaz Ahmad from his Kakoora residence in Pulwama, and his bullet riddled body has been recovered from Chewa Kalan village in the District.

In another incident of ceasefire violation along LoC in border District Poonch of the Jammu region, the Pakistani troops targeted the forward Indian posts along the LoC for the third time in the last 24 hours, forcing the authorities to suspend the Poonch-Rawalkote bus service and postpone examinations.

March 15

Three LeT militants and a minor girl were killed while another minor boy and a SF person were injured in an encounter at Hyhama area of Kupwara District of North Kashmir. SSP Kupwara, Shamsher Hussain, said that three militants of LeT, identified as Abu Mala, Anas Bhai and Abu Mansoor (all of them were Pakistani nationals) were killed in gun battle at Jagityal Kulnard area of Kupwara this morning (March 15). A minor girl, identified as Kaneeza and a minor boy Faisal were injured when they were hit by bullets during the encounter. Girl Kaneeza succumbed to her injuries and boy was shifted to Srinagar for treatment. A Police constable identified as Danish Ahmad was also injured in the encounter. Three AK-47 rifles, six hand grenades, one GPS, one wireless set, six magazines and large quantity of ammunition was recovered from them.

The SSP said that these militants were active in Kralpora, Dardpora, Marhama, Awoora and its adjacent areas for last one year. He said that they had infiltrated last year (2016) and were part of reception party of LeT. He said that they were receiving infiltrated militants from Keran and Tangdhar sectors and providing them logistic support before launching them to Kashmir valley.

Cross LoC trade between India and Pakistan via Chakkan-da-Bagh trade point in Poonch in Poonch District has been suspended in view of the mounting tension along the LoC after ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops. The Pakistan Army has targeted Trade Centre complex during shelling on March 12 and March 13. A school building and another structure at Chakkan-da-Bagh have been affected with the shelling by Pakistan.

Militants hurled a grenade on District Police Lines Pulwama in Pulwama District in the night. However, no damage was done. Police and SFs immediately cordoned off the area and the searches are on for the militants responsible for the attack.

March 16

Police disallowed a joint press conference of separatist leaders, including the chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, and took them into custody. The separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yaseen Malik were scheduled to hold a joint press conference at Geelani's residence in Hyderpora in Srinagar District but Police did not allow Mirwaiz and Malik to enter into Geelani's residence. Police took the trio into custody and did not allow the press conference. Before being taken away, the Hurriyat leaders called for the boycott of the by-polls to two Lok Sabha constituencies of Srinagar and Anantnag which are going to polls on April 9 and 12 respectively.

India termed as "entirely unacceptable" any possible attempt by Pakistan to declare the Gilgit-Baltistan region, bordering disputed PoK, as the fifth Province. Reacting sharply to reports that a committee headed by Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz has proposed status of a Province to Gilgit-Baltistan, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Gopal Baglay said any such step would not be able to hide the illegality of Pakistan's occupation of parts of Jammu and Kashmir which it must vacate, forthwith. Noting that the issue pertains to the sovereignty of India, he said the Government's position is very well known on the matter.

"The entire State of J&K is an integral part, has been an integral part and will be an integral part of India. No attempt or unilateral attempt or step to change that would have any legal basis, whatsoever, and it will be entirely unacceptable. "Any such step would not be able to hide the illegality of Pakistan's occupation of parts of J&K which it must vacate, forthwith. It will also not be able to hide the tremendous, very concerning human rights violations and denial of freedom that has been going on in parts controlled by Pakistan for the last 70 years," the spokesperson said.

HM militant Zakir Rashid Bhat, who took over from Burhan Wani who was killed in an encounter July 2016, has urged Kashmiri Muslim youths to pelt stones at SFs in the name of Islam, rubbishing Hurriyat's claim that the militant movement was "secular" or for "freedom" and Kashmiri "nationalism". In a 12-minute video, circulated widely on social media, Zakir Rashid Bhat, alias Zakir Musa, is seen preaching violence in the name of Islam. The terror outfit also separately directed voters to boycott the upcoming by-polls for two parliamentary seats and panchayat polls in the Valley. "When you pelt stones, don't think you're helping just one Musa or one mujahideen. You must do it to help and protect Islam," Musa said. "We'll hoist Islam's flag in our Kashmir one day," he proclaimed. Wearing an Afghan cap, a beige coat over a brown sweater, Musa appeared to be imitating Wani's strategy of using Islamic State (IS)-style videos and social media propaganda to lure youth into militancy. Calling Kashmiri informers and J&K Police "kafir" (infidel), Musa said both deserve to be killed. "We're fighting for Islam. We want to be martyrs for our Islam."

March 17

An encounter broke out between SFs and militants in Pulwama District of J&K, according to Police. According to reports, the area has been cordoned off by defence personnel as the militants have fled from the spot. This comes two days after a clash between the militants and SFs in north Kashmir's Kupwara District had killed three LeT militants and a minor girl.

At least three militants managed to escape from cordon after a brief gun battle in Batnoor village of Pulwama District of South Kashmir. A Police official said that SFs cordoned off village Batnoor during the night. Police official said that SFs and SOG of J&K Police launched search operations at several places in Pulwama after HM posters appeared asking people to boycott bypoll in Anantnag Parliamentary constituency on April 12. However, the operation ended as the militants managed to escape and no arrests were made.

A day after HM posters put up in Pulwama in Kashmir provoked the youth in Kashmir to "fight for Islam, not Kashmir," posters have been put up by the LeT in the neighbouring District of Anantnag asking the people not to vote in the upcoming local polls. The posters have warned people to stay away from the election process and not to cast their vote. The J&K Police have taken cognizance of these threats and have launched a probe to check the veracity of these posters. "The terror outfits have trying their best to ensure terror in the valley through the posters but not much heed should be paid into it," Colonel (retired) VN Thapar said. "The government shouldn't bring its own guard down; rather it should ensure swift action."

There were 15 terror attacks on the Army last year (2016) as the force lost 68 soldiers, the Lok Sabha was informed. 2016 also recorded 449 instances of ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the J&K border. In a written response to a question in Lok Sabha, Subhash Bhamre, Minister of State for Defence, said 10 cases of terror attacks were recorded in 2014, followed by 11 in 2015, 15 in 2016 and three until March 15 this year (2017). 2015 and 2016 also saw a spike in the number of deaths of Army personnel, recording 67 and 68 casualties respectively in terror attacks and along the border. In 2014, 38 army personnel died in terror acts while 13 have lost their lives this year.

Bhamre said, in 2016 the area along the LoC, which is under operational control of the Army, saw 228 instances of ceasefire violations while the area along the IB in J&K, under the control of the BSF, recorded 221 instances of ceasefire violations. This accounts for more than one instance of ceasefire violation every day. In 2017, 30 instances of ceasefire violations were recorded along the LoC while six such instances along the international border were recorded until February 6 by the BSF.

March 18

A terror wave stares at SFs in Kashmir with a massive influx of Pakistani terrorists, and spiraling of local recruits pegging the number of armed radicals at 400 in the State, a three-fold increase following the killing of Burhan Wani in July 2016. A recent review done by the Army shows there are 250 local recruits and 150 Pakistani terrorists in Kashmir as of now. The increase from 91 locals and 60 Pakistanis respectively June (2016), a month before Wani, a local HM 'commander', was gunned down, has alarmed security agencies. Wani's killing triggered months of unrest in the State with frequent violent clashes between civilians and SFs. Pakistani terrorists have also increased to 150, whereas the number was only 60 before Wani was killed. "With increased numbers and infiltration bids scaling, the forces are preparing for challenges in the summer," said an Army officer.

A day after separatists asked voters to desist from participating in the bypolls to Srinagar and Anantnag parliamentary constituencies, JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik was arrested from his office in Srinagar. "A posse of Policemen raided Abi Guzar office of the JKLF in the heart of Srinagar and arrested Malik to desist him from spearheading the poll boycott campaign," a JKLF spokesman said.

March 19

Pakistan troops on March 19 violated ceasefire and resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing with automatic weapons in civilian areas and targeting forward posts of the Indian Army at Bhimber Gali (BG) and Balakote sectors along the LoC in Poonch District. Official sources said Pakistan Army started shelling with two inch mortars and firing with automatic and semi automatic weapons in several forward areas falling under BG and Balakote sectors in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch District at 6 am on March 19. "Troops from this side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchanges that continued for 45 minutes. The firing and shelling from Pakistan side stopped after befitting retaliation was given by the Indian side to silence the guns of enemy troops and prevent civilian casualties and loss of property," they said. There were no casualties of Army or civilians on the Indian side in Pakistani shelling and firing. Also, no major damage was reported as majority of mortar shells fired by Pakistan fell away from the civilian population and exploded harmlessly. However, Pakistan side claimed that a 60-year old woman was killed on their side at village Thandi in Kot Kehera sector opposite Bhimber Gali in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops.

Sources described ceasefire violation by Pakistan army as totally unprovoked. They didn't rule out the possibility of Pakistan army trying to push militants from other parts of the LoC after firing in one sector. The troops were already maintaining high alert along the LoC in anticipation of infiltration attempts by the militants under the garb of ceasefire violations by Pakistan army, which was trying to facilitate intrusions by the militants.

A Pakistani national, awaiting deportation after completing a jail term for illegally crossing the border, has been slapped with PSA provisions and sent to the Kotbalwal jail in the district, the Police said. The J&K Home Department issued a warrant under the PSA against Khalid Parvez alias Junaid, and it was executed by the Samba Police, a Police official said. Khalid has been lodged in the Central Jail, he said, adding that the detenue was awaiting deportation to Pakistan after completing his sentence.

March 21

A HM militant wanted for arson and looting last year, identified as Sabzar Ahmed Mantoo, was arrested from a house in Thakrakot area in Reasi District. According to Police, the captured militant was associated with HM outfit and had been involved in arson and looting incident under Police Station DH Pora in 2016.

Ahead of by-polls, Police have arrested at least 24 persons accused of stone-pelting in multiple raids at Pulwama and Kulgam Districts of South Kashmir. Police raided Murana and Kangan villages of Pulwama District during nocturnal hours and detained at least 21 persons, mostly youths. Police said all the detained persons were involved in stone-pelting. Three youths were also detained from Budroo and Chawalgam villages of neighbouring Kulgam District. The trio was detained over their alleged involvement in stoning recent election rally of ruling PDP that was held at Chawalgam in the District.

Deputy CM Nirmal Kumar Singh said terrorism has no religion and the people involved in carrying out heinous crimes against humanity need to be condemned by every section of the society. “We should all collectively synergize our efforts to beat the forces preaching secessionism and give befitting reply to the anti-national forces,” he said and added that such elements are hell bent to create disturbances in the country and are trying hard to disturb the social fabric of the nation.

DGP of J&K, Shesh Pal Vaid said that certain elements trying to radicalize young minds in the Kashmir valley wouldn’t succeed as the youth wouldn’t accept their ideology, which was also evident from thousands of youths turning up for the Army recruitment in Baramulla District, which was earlier a hub of stone pelters. Vaid said that some `Wahabi elements’ were trying to change mindset of the youth but they have out-rightly rejected them. “The youth of Kashmir are for peace. No one likes violence. Kashmir is the land of Sufis and Saints, which has been inhibited by them for centuries together. There has been no place for radicalization of the youth, who have themselves rejected this approach and want to grow with education and jobs,” he said.

A total of 88 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in 2016, the highest in last six years and the infiltration almost tripled last year as compared to 2015, said Central GovernmentIn written replies to two separate questions in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir shared data about Kashmiri youths taking up arms, infiltration attempts and law and order situation in the Valley. The data shows a steady increase in the number of youths taking up arms in the Valley from 2014 onwards as compared to ones between 2010 and 2013. It, however, said the situation in Jammu and Kashmir has “improved to a large extent” in the current year.

March 22

Terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir has declined in the aftermath of surgical strikes executed by the Army in September 2016, the Union Government said in Parliament. According to statistics furnished by the Government in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, terrorist incidents fell to 87 between October 1 and December 31, 2016, from 110 between July 1 and September 30, 2016. Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the House that 34 SFs were killed in the three months prior to the surgical strikes, while 19 died in the subsequent quarter. Civilian killings also fell from 7 to 6 in the corresponding period. According to sources, the fall in number of terrorist incidents is largely on account of weakening of violent protests that broke out after HM ‘commander’ Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter in July. Law and order disturbances peaked in the Valley state between July and September 2016, but violence witnessed a sharp decline thereafter as the protests died down and normalcy returned to the State.

March 23

Militants attacked the residence and official vehicle of Mohammad Yusuf Bhat, a MLA from Shopian in two separate incidents, in the Shopian District. Militants attacked the residence of MLA Bhat, at Memander in the District. Police said that militants fired several rounds at the residence of Bhat at Memander and the security guards deployed there retaliated. However, no one was injured in the attack. Earlier in the day, militants fired on his official bullet proof vehicle at Hajipora in Shopian. Several rounds of fire hit a Police bullet proof vehicles and his ambassador car. However, the MLA was not in his car at the time of attack. Police fired back but militants escaped.

SFs cordoned off Moshward village in Keller area of Shopian District, after inputs about the presence of three militants. However, the operation was later called off after no militants were found in the village.

March 26

Two militants of the HM were killed in an encounter with SFs in Awantipora area of Pulwama District, after they fired at the vehicle of a Police officer. A Police officer said that ASP Pulwama, Chandan Kohli, was on his way from Pulwama to Anantnag in a car along with two PSOs when a group of militants coming from opposite directions in another car fired at the bullet proof vehicle of the ASP near Padgampora village leading to an exchange of fire in which two militants were killed on the spot while two of the militants fled from the spot leaving behind the car. The slain militants have been identified as Shahbaz Shafi Wani alias Rayees Kachroo, resident of Beloo Rajpora of Pulwama and Farooq Ahmad Hurrah, resident of Nazneenpora of Shopian. “Both of them belonged to Hizb ul Mujahideen. The dead bodies have been handed over to the legal heirs for last rites”, the Police officer said. One AK rifle, one SLR, one AK magazine, 2 SLR Magazines, 2 pouches and a grenade was recovered from the spot. The car in which militants were travelling was also seized by the Police. IGP Kashmir, SMJ Gillani said, “An AK-47 rifle and one SLR were recovered from them. Interestingly, the SLR weapon was snatched from a minority picket in the month of October”.

Soon after the encounter clashes broke out between SFs and stone throwing protesters at Beloo, Padgampora, Awantipora and Pulwama. SFs fired tear smoke to disperse the protesters. And this morning (March 27) 1-RR of army and Kulgam Police launched a cordon and search operation at Gretbal Qaimoh area of Kulgam District. One SLR, three magazines and 132 rounds of SLR ammunition were recovered during the searches.

Militants snatched five SLRs from the security guards at the ancestral house of Minister of State, Syed Farooq Indrabi, in Dooru area of Anantnag District. A Police officer said that at least 13 militants including their OGWs attacked the ancestral residence of Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, Hajj and Auqaf and Power Development Department, Syed Farooq Indrabi, at Shestargam in Dooru area of Anantnag District. One of the security guards, Gulzar Ahmad, of the Minister was injured in the attack.

Police arrested two more suspects – one from Ban Toll Plaza at Nagrota and another from Shopian taking total number of arrests in AK-47 rifle snatching of Police constable to three, while the main accused remained at large along with the rifle. IGP, Jammu Zone, SD Singh Jamwal told that one of the suspects was arrested this morning when he was trying to flee to Kashmir while another one was captured from Shopian. “We are on the job to nab the main accused, who is absconding with AK-47 rifle of police constable,’’ Jamwal said, adding a high alert is being maintained throughout the region to nab the accused and recover the snatched weapon,’’ Jamwal, who was monitoring the search operation, said.

Reliable sources told that Shahid Ahmad, a resident of Memander in Shopian was arrested by the Police from Ban Toll Plaza at Nagrota on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway this morning (March 26), when he was fleeing from Jammu in a Tavera taxi car to Kashmir. Another accused Mohammad Asif, resident of Shopian has been arrested by the Police from Shopian on a tip off given by Jammu Police to their counterparts in Shopian. The main accused Amir Hussain, resident of Hallpora, Ratnipora of Shopian is absconding along with AK-47 rifle and 30 rounds. Fourth accused Masrool Ahmed, resident of Ratnipora in Shopian was arrested from the spot yesterday (March 25). Two motor-cycles have also been seized from the accused.

March 27

Suspected militants opened fire on the house of two Policemen, who are brothers, in Shopian District. The militants opened fire on the houses of ASI, Dilbar Ahmad and Constable Reyaz Ahmad at Keegam in Shopian. A Police official said the militants broke some window panes of the house and vehicle of the Policemen before fleeing. However, no one was injured in the attack.

SFs busted a HM militant module in Kulgam District, and arrested eight of its members who were tasked to carry out attacks on SFs and snatch weapons. SP of Kulgam, Shridhar Patil, said that the District Police and Army received a specific intelligence input on March 21 that HM militant has constituted a module of about a dozen OGWs to carry out attacks on SFs, Police personnel and snatch weapons. Patil said that the module was formed by district 'commander' of the outfit Altaf Dar alias Al-Kachroo and Towseef Sheikh alias Mossad. "We registered a case on the basis of this information and during the investigations, it came to the fore that Zubar Ahmad Badar, a resident of Nai-Basti in Qoimoh area of the district was the main king-pin of this module and he was subsequently arrested along with one of his associates", he said. The SP said that during further course of questioning, it became evident that leader of this module and other members were having large quantity of arms/ammunition for conduct of subversive activities.

March 28

A HM militant was killed and a Para-commando was injured in a fierce gun battle in Chadoora area of Budgam District. A joint team of the Army, Police and CRPF surrounded a house at Zuin village in central Kashmir's Budgam in which the HM terrorist was hiding. Civilian protesters soon gathered at the spot and began pelting the forces with stones, injuring more than 60 Police and CRPF personnel along with four soldiers, Army spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said. The Army had to fire at the protesters, killing three of them, before the eight-hour-long operation ended with the terrorist, as Tauseef Ahmad Wagay of Kanjijulla village of Yaripora in Kulgam District, being gunned down. Sources said that one militant managed to escape during massive stone-pelting.

A HM militant was killed and a Para-commando was injured in a fierce gun battle in Chadoora area of Budgam District. A joint team of the Army, Police and CRPF surrounded a house at Zuin village in central Kashmir's Budgam in which the HM terrorist was hiding. Civilian protesters soon gathered at the spot and began pelting the forces with stones, injuring more than 60 Police and CRPF personnel along with four soldiers, Army spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said. The Army had to fire at the protesters, killing three of them, before the eight-hour-long operation ended with the terrorist, as Tauseef Ahmad Wagay of Kanjijulla village of Yaripora in Kulgam District, being gunned down. Sources said that one militant managed to escape during massive stone-pelting.

At least four militants ransacked the house of SP, Hazratbal in South Kashmir of Kulgam District. Sources said that four militants barged into the house of Mohammad Ayub Mattoo father of SP, Hazratbal, Dawood Mattoo, in Khudwani area of the District and ransacked the house. The militants also beat up father of the SP, and broke window of the house. Before fleeing, they fired in air.

Mohammad Amir, who along with his associates had snatched rifle from a Police man near Tawi Bridge in Jewel Chowk in Jammu, surrendered before SSP, Shopian, Tahir Saleem, along with AK-47 rifle and magazine. Three Kashmiri youth identified as Amir, Masood and Shahid, all residents of Shopian District, attacked Police constable Mohammad Hanief posted as PSO of Anjuman Minhaj-e-Rasool chairman Maulana Dehlavi, near the main Tawi bridge in Jammu, last week. They attacked the Policeman with a stick and also threw chilli powder in his eyes. They snatched the AK-47 rifle from him and fled. Masood was arrested in Jewel area in Jammu, and his bike was also seized, while Shahid was arrested near Toll Plaza in Nagrota.

March 29

Militants attacked Police parties in two separate incidents in South Kashmir. In the first incident, Militants attacked a Police party at Yaripora in Kulgam District. Militants opened fire upon the Police party outside the Police Station Yaripora. However, no one was injured in the attack. SFs launched searches in the area after the attack however, no one was arrested. In the second incident, Militants threw a grenade at a Police Party in Goriwan Chowk in Bijbehara area of Anantnag District. Police in retaliation fired several rounds in air and the militants fled under the cover of darkness. However, no damage was done. SFs conducted searches in the area. However, no one was arrested.

Strike was observed across Kashmir, against killing of three civilians who were killed at Chadoora in SFs firing during clashes amid a gun battle in the village of Budgam District on March 28. In Srinagar, a complete shutdown was observed.

Stone-pelting clashes broke out at Rawalpora, Bagh-e-Mehtab, Zampa Kadal, Batamaloo, Habba Kadal, Safa Kadal, HMT, Parimpora and other areas of the city. The clashes were also reported from several old city areas including Rainawari. Police used teargas shells to disperse the protesters. One civilian was injured during clashes at Rawalpora. Reports of shutdown were received from all parts of the Valley. Protests were also reported from parts of Budgam District while massive clashes raged at Baramulla Old Town and Palhallan hamlet. A protest was also reported from Ajas area of Bandipora District.

As many as 104 local youths of J&K have joined the militancy since 2016 and 65 of them are currently active there, Lok Sabha was informed. Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said among the 104 local youths in J&K who have joined the militancy in 2016-17, 12 were killed by SFs, 25 were arrested while two have surrendered. Ahir also said the State Government has reported that during the counter-insurgency operations, 18 incidents of stone pelting were reported during the last two years. He further said that there were 371 incidents of attempts to infiltrate in J&K from across the border in 2016 of which 119 were successful. While 217 militants have returned, 35 were killed and three were arrested last year, he added.

Replying to another question, the Minister said J&K has been affected by terror violence which is sponsored and supported from across the border. "The levels of terrorist violence in the hinterland of Jammu and Kashmir are linked to the infiltration from across the border. The activities of separatist and militant outfits also remain a challenge in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

March 30

The CRPF recovered arms and ammunition from Chardarie forest area of Baramulla District. 53rd Battalion of the Force recovered one pistol, three grenades, two pistol magazines, one AK rifle and SLR ammunition from Chardarie forest area of the District during searches that were launched on specific input.

Youths who storm the encounter sites in the Valley to hurl stones at security personnel are committing suicide, Jammu and Kashmir Police said, and appealed to them to refrain from such activity. "In the encounter, even SFs and Police take cover of a bullet-proof vehicle or a house. Youths coming to the encounter sites are committing suicide," DGP, S P Vaid said. He appealed to the youngsters not to rush to the encounter sites, saying they were being misled and misused by elements inimical to peace in the Valley for their short-term political gains. "A bullet does not know whom it will hit. My appeal to all the young boys is that they should remain in their homes and not come to encounter sites. The youth must understand that they are being used by people for their short-term political gains," he said.

March 31

An Army trooper was killed in gun fire at a post located closer to the LoC, in Mendhar sector of Poonch District. The incident took place during early morning when Sepoy Kulwant Singh of 49 RR, hailing from Punjab had been deployed at a forward post. He had sustained bullet injury in his abdomen.

A top HM 'commander', identified as Amir Nabi Wagay, surrendered before SFs in Anantnag District. A Police official said that Amir was suffering from kidney failure and doctors had advised him dialyses. He said that he was involved in the grenade throwing incidents in South Kashmir and various other militant activities. He had joined militancy on August 16, 2014 and was active since then. His surrender was facilitated by the CIK, Police said. However, sources said that in the official records he has been shown arrested by the SOG of JKP and 1-RR from whose operational area he was hailing from.

UHM Rajnath Singh, accused Pakistan of using the social media to incite youths in J&K to storm encounter sites to help holed-up militants, after some members in Lok Sabha raised the issue of death of three civilians in Budgam District in firing by SFs. He said the strife-torn region had seen a "new trend" of late in which youths from nearby villages gather at the sites of encounter between SFs and terrorists and pelt stones to help the militants holed-up there to flee. "I will appeal to youths not to be misled by Pakistan. Some social media applications like Whatsapp and Facebook are used to gather youths at places of encounters. These groups are based in Pakistan. "Security forces are dealing with terrorists exactly the way they should and will continue to do so. I want to say that we will definitely be successful," UHM Singh said, adding, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists are trying to destabilise not only J&K but entire India.

April 1

Three Army personnel were injured, as militants attacked an Army convoy heading towards Baramulla, on Srinagar-Bemina Bypass in Srinagar District. Terrorist group HM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

April 2

A Policeman, identified as Shamim Ahmad, was killed and 14 others were injured in a grenade attack in the Nowhatta area of Srinagar. Militants hurled a grenade on a patrol of SF personnel when they were withdrawing from security duty in Botagali area of Nowhatta at around 7 pm.

Police raided Baramulla sub-jail in Baramulla District. Police recovered 14 mobile phones, two of them belong to hardline separatist Masarat Alam Bhat, and incriminating material from Baramulla sub-jail during a search operation in North Kashmir. Police suspects that these phones were being used for creating trouble in Kashmir. SSP, Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain Mir, said that Police received a request from sub-jail authorities that they are suspecting use of mobile phones inside the prison."Thereafter police and jail authorities jointly launched a search operation there. During the search operation, we recovered 14 mobile phones along with some incriminating material. Mostly, these communication devices were recovered from those inmates who are involved in stone pelting, its instigation and militancy activities." Sources said that the incriminating material recovered include diaries and books.

Life was affected in the Kashmir Valley as separatist groups called a strike in protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the State for inaugurating the Chenani-Nashri tunnel on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. Asking people to observe a general strike, the chairmen of the two factions of the APHC, Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the APHC-G and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of the APHC-M, and JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik, in a joint statement on March 30, said "all rhetoric about development or construction of tunnels and roads are futile and will not succeed in luring us". They said the Prime Minister was visiting the State at a time when the situation was "extremely gloomy".

April 3

One CRPF trooper was killed and five others were injured after suspected militants opened fire at a CRPF convoy at Pantha Chowk area in the outskirts of Srinagar. Unidentified militants fired at a civilian passenger vehicle carrying CRPF personnel of 97 Battalion at Sempora in Pantha Chowk area. Two civilians, including a 10-year-old girl, were also injured in the crossfire. One of the injured personnel, Head Constable Basappa, later succumbed to his injuries. LeT claimed responsibility for the attack. The personnel were on their way to Srinagar for election duty for Lok Sabha by-polls scheduled to be held on April 9.

Pakistan army violated ceasefire and resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and firing along the LoC in Digwar and Balakote sectors of Poonch District. Official sources said Pakistan army started heavy firing in all forward villages and Army posts in Digwar sector of the District at 9.30 am and soon extended the ceasefire violation to Balakote sector of the same District. Pakistan army used mortars, automatic and semi-automatic weapons in shelling and firing, which was retaliated very effectively by the Indian side, leading to heavy exchanges that lasted till this afternoon. However, there were no reports of any casualties or major damage on the Indian side.

April 5

Pakistani troops resorted to mortar shelling and firing by automatic weapons along the LoC in Poonch District, prompting the Army to retaliate. "There was unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan Army in Digwar sector of Poonch today, using 82 mm mortars, automatic weapons," a defence spokesman said. Indian Army personnel took positions and responded befittingly to the Pakistani firing, the spokesman said, adding that intermittent firing was going on. However, till the time of reporting there is no casualty on either side. The defence spokesman said, on April 4, Pakistani troops had resorted to firing and shelling of mortar bombs on forward posts in Bhimbher Gali sector of Rajouri District from 1100 hours and it continued for some hours. Earlier, SATP had reported that Pakistan army, on April 3, violated ceasefire and resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling and firing along the LoC in Digwar and Balakote sectors of Poonch District.

Suspected militants ransacked house of a former PDP Sarpanch at Nagbal area in Shopian District. A Police officer said that unidentified assailants knocked door of the house of Abdul Qayoom Sheikh at Urpora village of Nagbal in the Shopian, the door was, however, not opened from inside and these persons broke window panes and glasses of the house, adding that no one was, however, injured. He further said that it was not immediately known whether the Sarpanch was present inside his house. The official said the identity of the attackers has not been ascertained so far but sources said that they were suspected militants.

Clashes erupted in Pulwama town in Pulwama District, against the arrest of nearly one dozen youth in Police raids. The clashes erupted in the main market Pulwama after some youths protested against the arrest of one Jehangir Ahmad of Dallipora and others during night raids at neighbouring Kakapora area. The protesting youth enforced shutdown in the main market of Pulwama and resorted to heavy stone-pelting on SFs. The SFs retaliated by lobbing teargas. The situation, however, returned to normal later.

Clashes erupted in Pulwama town in Pulwama District, against the arrest of nearly one dozen youth in Police raids. The clashes erupted in the main market Pulwama after some youths protested against the arrest of one Jehangir Ahmad of Dallipora and others during night raids at neighbouring Kakapora area. The protesting youth enforced shutdown in the main market of Pulwama and resorted to heavy stone-pelting on SFs. The SFs retaliated by lobbing teargas. The situation, however, returned to normal later.

Sources further said that these militants are still in the forests of North Kashmir after infiltration and are waiting for logistic support to get into Valley. However, SFs are keeping an eye on the possible routes which they can take for entering into Valley from the forests and want to engage them inside forests only. The infiltration of militants into Kashmir has started early this year as compared to last year. Last year, the first infiltration reports were received in May and as per MAC figures, 114 militants infiltrated into Kashmir last year which was highest since 2014. Sources said that over 150 militants are on launch pads mostly in Neelam Valley area of PoK. These militants have gathered in last two months and are waiting to infiltrate into Kashmir.

April 7

SFs arrested two new militant recruits of HM from Sopore area in Baramulla District. Acting on specific information about the presence of HM militants in an orchard near Achabal village of Sopore, the Police along with Army and CRPF cordoned off the orchard and launched search operation, a Police official said. The newly recruited militants were identified as Yawar Nabi Mir and Arsalan Rasool Teli - both hailing from Sheikh Sahib Locality of Chinkipora area of Sopore.

April 8

Militants opened fire on a Police team near an election meeting venue of the ruling PDP in poll-bound Anantnag District and fled from the scene. No one was injured in the firing, even as the meeting, chaired by Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Chowdhary Zulfikar Ali, remained unaffected and later concluded peacefully, a Police official said. The militants opened fire on a Police party patrolling the area around Magray Mohalla in Achabal, 65 kilometres from Srinagar, the official said. However, there was no report of any casualty on either side, the official stated. The meeting was being held in connection with the Lok Sabha by-poll to Anantnag parliamentary constituency scheduled for April 12.

Pakistan army resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. Reports said Pakistan army started shelling and firing in Jhanghar, Karali and surrounding areas targeting forward posts of the Indian troops and civilian areas. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchange of shelling and firing. Pakistan army used mortars, automatic and semi-automatic weapons in the firing, drawing matching response from this side. The shelling and firing continued till late night, reports said. Yesterday also, Pakistani troops had shelling forward army posts and civilian areas in Nowshera sector while prior to that, there had been exchange of shelling and firing at Digwar, Khari Karmara, Bhimber Gali and other sectors of Poonch District, the reports added. However, there had been no casualties or damage on the Indian side in shelling and firing, reports stated, adding that civilians confined themselves to their houses and didn't venture out.

April 9

Eight persons were killed and around 200 injured during Poll violence at Pakherpora in Chrar-e-Sharief area of Budgam District. An official said that hundreds of protestors stormed a polling station at Pakherpora in Chrar-e-Sharief area of Budgam district and ransacked a building housing a polling booth and SFs fired several warning rounds to disperse the rampaging mob, which did not relent. "Six persons were injured in the firing, of whom two, 20- year-old Mohammad Abbas and 15-year-old Faizaan Ahmad Rather, succumbed to bullet wounds", he said. Violence marred polling in some other parts of Srinagar Parliamentary seat as stone pelting incidents were reported from around 200 places across the three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal, which constitute the Srinagar constituency.

One Nissar Ahmed was killed as SFs opened fire to quell a stone-pelting mob in Ratsuna area of Beerwah in the Budgam District. At the Daulatpura in Chadoora Assembly segment of Budgam District, one person, identified as Shabir Ahmed, was killed in firing by SF personnel. Another youth, Adil Farooq, succumbed to multiple pellet injuries in the Kawoosa area of Beerwa constituency in Budgam District. One Aqib Wani was shot dead as Police opened fire on a crowd of protestors in the Beerwah area in the afternoon. Amir Bashir Malla, resident of Sogam, Chadoora in district Budgam, who was injured earlier in the day succumbed to injuries in the hospital. And Omar Farooq Gania, who was injured in SFs firing at Barsu in Ganderbal District, also succumbed to injuries at hospital.

A Police official said that three vehicles were also set on fire and 33 were damaged, 21 Electronic Voting Machines were damaged and re-poll will be held at those places, where polling could not be held. At several polling booths in Budgam, Police had to rescue the polling staff for safety as protesters attacked and ransacked the booths. Army was called out to help SFs quell a rampaging mob which pelted stones and hurled petrol bombs to set a polling booth ablaze in Ganderbal District of the Srinagar constituency. Chief Electoral Officer Shantmanu said that six people were killed and around 117 including Police and para-military forces were injured in 200 incidents of violence in Central Kashmir. He said that around 7.14 percent voter turnout was recorded in Srinagar Parliamentary constituency.

Militants attacked Yaripora Police Station in Kulgam District. However, there was no damage. Also, the assailants set on fire the Government High School Arihal in Pulwama where polling booth was set up for by polls in Anantnag constituency that goes to vote on March 12.

Separatists called for a two-day shutdown against the killing of protestors in SFs firing saying it was the only way for them to express solidarity with the families of those killed and the cause for which they laid down their lives. "We know hartal would not affect Government policy towards us but it is the only option to express our collective grief," the separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mohammad Yasin Malik said in a joint statement.

To strengthen Army's infantry and held it in operations in J&K, Army has started the process to procure around 1,500 anti-materiel lightweight rifles capable of damaging targets like battle tanks, low-flying helicopters and bunkers. Official sources said, a RFI for purchasing the rifles which should have a range of at least 1.8 kilometers with a caliber of 12.7 mm/0.50, has been issued. The light weight rifles will boost operational capabilities of the troops both along the borders as well as hinterland.

April 10

Army foiled infiltration bid on the LoC in Keran sector of Kupwara District. Army spokesman said, in the operation four terrorists were killed. "A group of militants attempting to infiltrate was intercepted Sunday night by alert troops deployed on the Line of Control. In the ensuing encounter four terrorists were gunned down," Police official said. However, no causalities were reported in the attack, the officer added.

April 11

Life across the Kashmir Valley, remained adversely affected due to the separatist called protest shutdown against the killing of eight civilians firing by SFs. Shops, public transport, other businesses and educational institutions remained closed for the second consecutive day. Tension in south Kashmir's Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian Districts reduced after the Election Commission announced deferment of April 12 poll in Anantnag. Voting for this Lok Sabha constituency by-election will be held on May 25.

Army recovered a large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives during a search operation in Tatta Pani Forests in Kalakote tehsil of Rajouri District. A team of RR battalion of Counter Insurgency Force of the Army busted a hideout of the militants in Tatta Pani Forests after developing specific input about a dump of arms and ammunition and carrying out searches in the area for past few days. Recoveries made from the hideout included one sniper rifle with telescopic sight (Chinese), one AK-47 rifle, one AK-74 rifle, one 7.62 mm pistol, one Chinese pistol (Mauser), one .32 revolver (Made in Pakistan), four hand held radio sets, one binocular and around 150 rounds of ammunition. After effecting recoveries, Army conducted searches in the area for suspected militants or their Over Ground Workers. No arrests were made.

SFs arrested a LeT militant in South Kashmir, as he was planning to carry out attack on SFs on a National Highway in Kulgam District. A Police officer said that based on intelligence input, Kulgam Police and RR of Army launched a manhunt and established a special Naka at Sangus-Kaharoot road, resultantly arrested one LeT militant, identified as Shakir Ahmad Itoo of Qoimoh, and recovered one Chinese grenade form his possession. According to Police, on March 26, a joint party of Kulgam Police, 9 RR and CRPF cordoned his house. "At the time of laying of cordon, Shakir Ahmad Itoo gave slip to security personnel. During the search, one SLR, 2 SLR magazines and 130 rounds which were dumped by him in collaboration with banned outfit of LeT were recovered from his residential house", he said. The recovered arms and ammunition were earlier looted from the Police guards at Dalwatch, Qazigund in Kulgam District.

As many as 33 terrorists were neutralised in J&K in the first three months of the current year, the Government told the Lok Sabha. In comparison, 149 terrorists were killed in the Valley State in 2016 and 102 in 2015, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the MPs in written reply to a starred question. As per data furnished with the reply, the total number of encounters in the Valley State stood at 25 until March 2017, as compared to 101 in whole of 2016. While 10 security personnel were martyred in counter-terror operations in J&K in the first three months of the year, last year's overall figure stood at 60. Terrorists/terror suspects arrested so far this year totalled 20, against 79 in all of 2016 and 67 in 2015.

The comparatively high terror indices of last year are largely on account of violent protests that broke out in the Valley following the killing of HM 'commander' Burhan Wani in July 2016. The protests had caused a sharp rise in stone-pelting incidents. Stone-pelting instances peaked at 837, 757 and 536 in July, August and September 2016 respectively. However, they have now come down significantly, with only 17, 46 and 60 stone-pelting incidents recorded in January, February and March 2017 respectively. In another question, Ahir informed the Lok Sabha that there were 43 infiltration attempts on the Indo-Pak border in J&K till February this year, as compared to 371 in 2016 and 121 in 2015. The number of infiltrating terrorists killed stood at 4 in first two months of the year, as against 35 killed in all of 2016 and 46 in 2015. As many as 30 terrorists were returned, against 217 in 2016 and 41 in 2015. Therefore, the estimated net infiltration cases works out to 9 till February this year, as compared to 119 in all of 2016 and 33 in 2015.

April 12 The NIA told a Delhi court that it has no objection to the applications of two persons pleading guilty of criminally conspiring to raise funds for the ISIS and recruiting people for the terror outfit. The accused, Azhar-ul-Islam (24) from Jammu and Kashmir and Mohammed Farhan Shaikh (25) from Maharashtra, took a U-turn more than a month after the court framed charges against them. The court in March had framed charges against both the accused and 36-year-old Adnan Hassan for allegedly hatching a criminal conspiracy to raise funds for the ISIS and recruiting people for the terror outfit. The NIA had registered a case against the three accused on January 28, 2016. They were arrested the next day on arrival to Delhi from Abu Dhabi. District judge Amar Nath posted the matter for further hearing on April 19.
April 13

The CRPF has identified the place where its personnel were heckled and kicked by unidentified youth and forced to raise 'Go India, Go back' slogans on April 9, when bypolls were held at the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, reports The Indian Express. Officials said the video was shot at Kralpora village in Chadoora Budgam District soon after polling had ended and the paramilitary personnel were returning to their camp. "We have collected all the details of the incident. This incident took place at Kralpora village in Chadoora. We will formally lodge a complaint at Chadoora Police Station against the protesters involved in this incident,'' a senior CRPF official told the newspaper. He said action will be taken against all the youths involved. "In this case, our personnel showed exemplary restraint. They could have easily opened fire as they had guns."

Repolling in the 38 polling booths of the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency located in Budgam District on April 13 registered only around 2% voter turnout, amid very tight security arrangements.

April 14

Clashes erupted at several places in Kashmir valley after Friday prayers against the civilian killings in SFs firing on March 9. One person was injured in these clashes outside Jama Masjid Sopore in north Kashmir's Baramulla District. In view of the sensitivity of the day, SFs were deployed in several areas of downtown and Budgam District to prevent post-Friday violence as separatists had called for protests against the killing of eight civilians. Clashes were also reported from Natipora area located in the outskirts of Srinagar city, in Narbal area of Budgam District and Tral and Tahab areas of Pulwama District.

SFs on April 14 foiled the separatists call to offer joint prayers for the eight civilians killed in Budgam District during the by-poll on April 9. A spokesman of the Hurriyat said SFs detained all senior separatists and other leaders were placed under house arrest. The authorities also sealed the offices of the Hurriyat Conference and the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat headquarters.

April 15

A civilian, identified as Bashir Ahmad Dar, was killed and another injured when unidentified gunmen opened fire in a place named Qasbayar of Pulwama District.

A civilian identified as, Sajad Hassan, was shot dead in a firing incident in Srinagar's Batamaloo area after an incident of stone pelting on a BSF patrol.

Unidentified militants barged into the houses of five serving Police personals at Hajipora, Chotgam and Landoora areas in Shopian District. Their families were threatened, houses ransacked and they were asked for resignation of the cops. The masked militants barged in residential houses of Constable Mehrajdin Shah and Constable Abdul Rashid of Hajipora Shopian. They thrashed Shah and broke the window panes of his house. They also directed Mehraj to announce from local Masjid loudspeaker that all policemen should resign immediately or face consequences. Another constable was targeted at Chotgam in Shopian when militants forced him to announce resignation publicly through Masjid loudspeaker.

April 16

Unidentified militants barged into the house of Advocate Imtiaz Ahmad Khan and killed him at Pinjoora area of Shopian District. He was former public prosecutor and affiliated with opposition National Conference. He was close relative of NC leader Shabir Kullay who contested Assembly elections from Shopian constituency in 2014. Advocate Imtiaz was campaigning for him during the elections.

Unidentified militants shot dead former counter-insurgent 'commander', Rashid Billa at Hajin area of Bandipora District. He was top 'commander' of Ikhwan and close associate of Imtiaz Ahmad Parray commonly known as Kuka Parray who was killed by militants in September 2003.

April 17

Eight Pakistani Army soldiers were reported killed when Indian troops retaliated to unprovoked heavy shelling and firing from across the LoC in several areas of Nowshera sector in Rajouri District. However, there was no official confirmation of the Pakistani casualties. Two Indian Army soldiers also sustained minor injuries during the incident.

Scores of protestors and a Police Officer were injured as thousands of protestors of various colleges across Kashmir valley protested on April 17 against last week's Police action in Pulwama Degree College in Pulwama District that left 54 students injured. A Police spokesman said: "Students of different colleges protested at some places in Kashmir valley today. While at most of the places the students protested inside their college premises, at few places in Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam the students assembled on the roads and indulged in stone pelting thus disrupting the movement of general people and traffic on busy roads.

The police at these places exhibited maximum restraint and dispersed the stone pelting mobs of students by using some teargas shells. At some places the College property was also damaged. In the resultant chaos some students received minor injuries and most of them were discharged after first aid. While tackling the stone pelting SHO Kothibagh and four policemen were injured at MA Road Srinagar. A lady constable had a fracture in her arm."

April 19

A youth, Muzaffar Ahmad Mir (22), injured in firing, allegedly by SFs, on the day of bypolls for Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, died. While locals alleged that BSF personnel had opened fire, BSF spokesperson Vishwa Bandu said there was no BSF deployment in Ganderbal on the day of by-election on Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency,

Police claimed to have foiled a bid to snatch away weapons of CRPF jawans by some students during a clash with them in Banihal District. The incident occurred on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway after an altercation between the students and the CRPF personnel when a vehicle carrying the former overtook the security force's convoy in which one of their vehicles was hit, they said.

The State Government ordered the extension of teaching work in colleges across Kashmir for two more days from April 20, as a precautionary measure following the April 17 Student protests. "According to the divisional commissioner, Kashmir, teaching work in all colleges of Kashmir division shall remain suspended on 20 and 21 April as a precautionary measure," an official spokesman said.

April 20

Scores of mainstream political workers have fled after militants broke into their homes, beat them with sticks and guns, ordered them to tender a public apology and dissociate from mainstream politics, before recording their 'dissociation' on mobile phones across South Kashmir's four Districts. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met dozens of her party workers from these four districts and assured them that the government would provide safety and security to all political workers, irrespective of their political ideology.

Dozens of videos had started surfacing on social media in which political workers, surrounded by gun-wielding militants, were seeking forgiveness from the general public, before the 3G and 4G services were snapped in the Valley. The gunmen had periodically released these videos to "teach (political workers) a lesson" and have, according to political workers in Pulwama and Shopian District, recorded many such video, but are yet to release them on the internet.

April 22

SFs killed two LeT militants, identified as 'commander', Abu Ali and his associate Younis Ganai in a brief gun battle in Chadoora area of the Budgam District. According to Police, acting on specific information, 53 RR of Army and SOG of J&K Police Budgam cordoned off Hayatpora village of in Chadoora area of Budgam District on April 22 evening. The troops zeroed in two militants who were hiding in an orchard and in a brief exchange of gunfire, both the militants were killed. Sources said that militants fired at the troops as they cordoned off the area leading to a gun battle in which both of them were killed. Two AK 47, four magazines, one pistol and Chinese hand grenade were recovered from the possession of the dead militants.

On specific information, the CRPF and J&K Police Awantipora raided a militant hideout in Charsu area of Awantipora in Pulwama District and recovered 54 AK rounds, two AK magazines, one round of AK ammunition, one pouch, one torch, two bundles of wires, two mobile charges and one gas regulator.

April 24

The ruling PDP District President for Pulwama, Advocate Abdul Gani Dar was killed by the militants in Pinglena area of Pulwama District when he was on way to Srinagar. No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the killing so far.

The ongoing students' protests spread to schools and colleges across Srinagar, with students staying away from classes and taking to the streets. Kashmiri students have been protesting against alleged Police excesses at Pulwama Degree College on April 15 where SFs and students clashed. At least 50 students were injured in the clash.

J&K, CM Mehbooba Mufti met PM Narendra Modi to discuss deteriorating law and order situation in the State. "We discussed the issue of less voting percentage in recent elections, and security situation in state (J&K) with the PM," Mehbooba said after the meeting with PM Narendra Modi.

April 27

In a fidayeen (suicide) attack by suspected JeM militants, three Indian Army troopers and two militants were killed at Panjgaon of Chowkibal in Kupwara District in the morning. Militants attacked the Army garrison in Kupwara's Panzgam area, around 90 km away from Srinagar. "Two terrorists were killed. Three soldiers, including an officer, were also martyred," said an Army spokesman adding, "The operation is in progress." Five soldiers were also injured in the incident.

Police arrested separatist leader Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DEM) 'chief' Asiya Andrabi under the PSA. She was arrested in the morning from her residence, sources said. She is alleged to be the main separatist leader who incites women in the valley to pelt stones at security forces and disrupt normal life.

Three major militant groups are operating together in Kashmir. A video, being circulated on social media, purportedly showed 30 militants of the HM, LeT and JeM together in south Kashmir. The armed militants of the three outfits were reportedly marching in front of the camera in the 45-second video shot in a forested area. "Militants from HM, LeT and JeM… are operating jointly. This trend started last year after the July unrest. Before that, they had different areas of operation," an unnamed senior security officer from Kashmir said.

A civilian, identified as Mohammad Yusuf (55), was killed and three others were injured after Army opened fire on protesters seeking bodies of two slain militants who attacked an Army camp in Panzgam village of Kupwara District. In a fidayeen (suicide) attack by suspected JeM militants, three Indian Army troopers and two militants were killed at Panjgaon of Chowkibal in Kupwara District on the same day.

April 28

A CRPF jawan, Koshal Kumar of 20 Battalion, was injured after militants opened fire at him outside a Jammu and Kashmir Bank branch at Tehsil premises in Anantnag town in Anantnag District. CRPF personnel managed to nab one of the militant identified as Muneeb Malla. It is being investigated whether the motive of militants was snatching the rifle of CRPF personal only or bank robbery as well.

The Army launched a fresh search operation around the garrison that was attacked in Kupwara's Panzgam area on April 27. A militant had escaped from the scene following a firefight that left three Army troopers and two militants dead. The Army had recovered three weapons from the two, indicating that one more militant was involved. It said the militant who escaped could be hiding in the nearby villages or forest area. Residents said the Army was looking for the militant and questioned many civilians.

April 29

According to sources in the Army, there have been 60 instances of ceasefire violations until mid-April in the 16 Corps Zone, the area that falls south of Pir Panjal mountain Range. There were two ceasefire violations during the same period last year. Two-thirds of these ceasefire violations this year have occurred in the Naushera sector, the area where there are reports of militants congregating at launch-pads on the Pakistani side of LoC. The Army, sources said, has been proactive in taking pre-emptive action to prevent attempts at infiltration. This has led to an increase in the number of ceasefire violations this year. Four bids at infiltration have been foiled by the army on the LoC so far this year, leading to the death of eight militants.

A total of 40 militants have already been killed by the Army in the state during the same period. As per Army sources, 371 militants had attempted infiltration from across the LoC last year, of which 119 had been successful. The comparative figures for 2015 were 121 and 33 respectively. The rise in ceasefire violations in the 16 Corps Zone started after the surgical strikes last year when Special Forces of the Army targeted terror launch pads along the LoC. Of 226 ceasefire violations last year, only 45 occurred before the surgical strikes. The number of ceasefire violations have shown a rise since 2014, when they shot to 153 from 99 in 2013. There were 152 ceasefire violations on the LoC, south of the Pir Panjal range, in 2015.

April 30

A civilian was killed and five persons, including four Policemen and a civilian, injured in a grenade attack outside Khanyar Police Station in Srinagar District in the evening. Militants hurled the grenade at a Police bunker and it fell on the road injuring four Policemen and two civilians. One of the injured civilians, identified as Ghulam Mohammad Khan (65) was declared dead on arrival at the Gousia hospital adjacent to the Police Station.

Militants shot at and critically injured a man in Pulwama District of South Kashmir on April 30 night, reports Daily Excelsior. According to sources, militants barged into the house of Nisar Ahmad Mir at Prachu in Pulwama district but he was not present in the house. As the militants were coming out of the house, he was heading home and militants fired at him. He was critically injured and shifted to Pulwama hospital where from he was referred to Srinagar for treatment. Mir is plumber by profession.

Normal life in Kashmir was affected due to a shutdown called by separatists against killing of a civilian in Kupwara District in Army firing three days ago on April 27. Most of the shops, commercial establishments and fuel stations in summer capital Srinagar were closed.

April 30

Data released by the UMHA revealed that over 40,961 people have been killed in different parts of J&K from 1990 to March 31, 2017. In an RTI reply, Chief Public Information Officer of the UMHA said 13,491 civilians and 5,055 SFs personnel were killed in different terror attacks. Around 21,965 terrorists have also been neutralized by the SFs in the last 27 years. Nearly 13,502 soldiers have also been injured while fighting with the terrorists. The 2001 was the bloodiest year in the history of turmoil. Nearly 3,552 people were killed which included 996 civilians, 536 SF personnel and 2,020 terrorists. Around 1,587 SF personals were injured in the year.

The 1996 witnessed maximum number of civilian deaths in the last 27 years. Nearly 1,341 civilians were killed in 1996 followed by 1,031 civilians in 1995. "After 2006, there has been a steep decline in the terror-related causalities till 2012. In year 2012, there were only 102 causalities that included 15 civilians, 15 SF personnel and 72 terrorists, Nearly, 65 security men received injuries while fighting terrorists", said Raman Sharma, RTI activist who had filed the application. However, from 2013 onward there is a rise in the killings and in the terror related cases in the State.

According to SATP data, a total of 44,059 persons, including 14,635 civilians, 6,265 SF personnel and 2,3159 militants were killed in various terrorism related incidents in J&K from 1990 to March 31, 2017.

May 1

Five Policemen including an ASI and two Bank security guards were killed when militants attacked a J&K Bank van in Kulgam District. According to reports, the J&K Bank mobile van carrying cash in the Kulgam District was attacked by militants near Bombay village of the District. Terrorists decamped with four INSAS and one AK 47 rifle.

HM claimed the responsibility for the attack. However, it said that they killed five Policemen and not bank guards. "They were killed by CRPF men," it claimed and said that the attack was not aimed at looting cash.

Pakistani Special Forces, BATs carried out an attack after sneaking about 400 to 500 meters inside the Indian territory across the border fencing along LoC in Nangi Tekri area of Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch District and killed two soldiers of Army and BSF. Two Indian soldiers, identified as Prem Sagar and Naib Subedar Paramjeet Singh were beheaded and another soldier, Rajinder Singh injured by a Pakistani forces that sneaked into Indian Territory under the cover of heavy shelling in the Krishna Ghati sector.

May 2

Suspected militants barged into a Police post of District Court complex in Shopian District and decamped with five rifles including an AK-47. The militants attacked the guard room of the court complex around 9 pm and snatched five rifles from the Policemen posted there.

As many as 55 camps of Pakistan- backed militant groups have come up across the LoC in PoK in the last four months where terrorists are being trained to be pushed into J&K, officials said. Quoting intelligence reports, Government officials said at least 20 new terrorist camps have come up this year (2017) taking the total number to 55 from earlier 35.

When the surgical strike was carried out by the Indian Army on terror launch pads across the LoC in September 2016, there were around 35 training camps of the militant groups and many of them were dismantled and shifted deep inside PoK. However, the officials said, all these camps have resurfaced since January and at least 20 new camps too have come into existence. All these 55 camps are "actively operating", an official said. In the first four months of 2017, there were 60 infiltration attempts along the LoC in which 15 terrorists managed to enter into J&K.

Unidentified gunmen had barged into the Yaripora branch of Ellaquai Dehati Bank at Kadder in neighbouring Kulgam District and taken away INR 65,000.

Blood samples collected by Indian investigators confirmed that Pakistan army personnel killed the two Indian soldiers and mutilated their bodies in the Krishna Ghati sector along the LoC.
May 3

In third incident of its kind during preceding 24 hours in South Kashmir, militants in broad daylight raided two banks in Pulwama District and decamped with cash worth lakhs of rupees. Following these twin incidents, Police claimed that LeT is involved in these robberies and said they have identified three of its militants behind today's (May 3) bank raids on whom heads it also announced cash reward.

A group of five militants entered Ellaquai Dehati Bank Wahibugh, which is some 8-10 kilometers away from Pulwama town. SP Rayees Bhat said that the militants fled with INR 4.92 lakh from Ellaquai Dehati Bank at Wahibugh and they concluded the raid in around 3-4 minutes. The militants, before the arrival of SFs, managed to escape from the village in the same car they had arrived.

The SP said that after some two-and-a-half hours, another bank, a local unit of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, was looted at Nehama village of Kakapora area in Pulwama District. "Five militants were also involved in it. Four militants barged into the bank and another was with the car. From there, they decamped around Rs. 1.49 lakh rupees," he said.

Following series of attacks on Police personnel, snatching of their rifles and looting of banks, UHM Rajnath Singh is said to have directed J&K Police and Para-military forces operating in the Valley to be "pro-active" and hit the militants before giving them a chance to strike.

CM Mehbooba Mufti appealed youth of Kashmir to help in progress and development of the State to save the place from destruction. Mehbooba urged for ending the destruction, loot and murder in Kashmir.

The moderate faction of APHC pressed the Central Government to initiate a "meaningful dialogue" to find a lasting solution to the "explosive" Kashmir issue, which it said had become a "nuclear flash point". The conglomerate of various separatist groups, headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, held a meeting in Srinagar to discuss the prevailing situation and the way forward.

May 4

A civilian was killed and two Army personnel were injured as militants ambushed an Army patrol party in Imam Saheb area of Shopian District while SFs conducted a massive operation against militants in the area. A civilian driver, identified as Nazir Ahmad Sheikh, who was driving the cab in which Army was returning after search and cordon operation, was killed in the ambush and two Army men were injured. HM claimed the responsibility of the attack on Army.

Army conducted massive search and cordon operation in several villages in Shopian District after militants intensified their attacks on Police and SFs in South Kashmir and looted banks and weapons. However, no one was arrested during the operation.

Recently, videos showing large groups of terrorists moving freely in the area - in some cases as many as 30 - have surfaced on social media, despite the ban imposed by authorities on 22 such sites and applications.

At Maldoora, Turkawangam and Trenz village, groups of protesters pelted stones on the SFs.

SFs also laid a cordon in Khudwani of Kulgam District after a tip-off about the presence of LeT terrorists, but they escaped with public support, Police said

J&K Police announced a cash reward of INR 10 lakh on the head of Umer Majid, a suspected HM militant responsible for killing seven persons including five Policemen at Kulgam earlier this week.

At least 45 persons including 25 SFs personnel and 19 students were injured during stone-throwing clashes between students and SFs in northern Baramulla District while similar clash erupted in Gogji Bagh area of Srinagar.

May 5

Army along with SoG of J&K Police busted a HM module of three of its OGWs, who were involved in number of militancy activities and planning to snatch weapon from SFs and luring youth into militancy. The members of the module, Akeel Ahmad Malla, Asif Abdullah Wagay and Amir Hussain Ganie were arrested from Shopian District.

A video showing two youths being tortured and their hair being shaved by HM terrorists went viral across Kashmir valley. The two youths were tortured and humiliated by HM terrorists after being branded as Police informers in the video.

In the wake of surge in armed robberies, the banks in sensitive areas of two Districts of Pulwama and Shopian in South Kashmir stopped cash dealings following a Police advisory to evade further raids for cash by militants while as Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu chaired a bankers meeting in Srinagar to discuss the security scenario of banks.

May 6

A 12-year-old boy from PoK was arrested by the Army after he crossed over into the Indian territory along the LoC in Rajouri District, an Army official said. Army strongly suspects that he was sent by the Pakistan Army along with terrorists to conduct probe of infiltration routes and patrol track of the Army.

Five persons including three civilians, a Policeman and a militant were killed in a militant attack in Kulgam District. Militants, travelling in a car, opened fire on a police party which had gone to Mir Bazaar area to investigate a road accident. Police also retaliated killing one of militants and injuring another who has, however, escaped. A grenade and ammunition rounds were recovered during frisking of one of the dead persons who is a militant.

At least one incident of ceasefire violation by Pakistan took place daily along the LoC in J&K in 2015 and 2016 in which 23 SFs personnel lost their lives, the UMHA said in an RTI reply. As many as 1,142 terror incidents were reported in the State between 2012 and 2016 in which 236 SFs personnel and 90 civilians were killed, it said in reply to an RTI query filed by a Press Trust of India Bhasha correspondent. In the same period, 507 terrorists were killed in encounters, it said.

According to the reply, Pakistan breached the truce along the LoC 449 times in 2016 as compared to 405 violations in 2015. 23 SFs personnel were killed in the two-year period. Compared to 220 terror incidents in J&K in 2012, there were 322 incidents in 2016 in which 82 SFs personnel and 15 civilians were killed, the Ministry said. It said in 2015, 39 SFs personnel and 17 civilians were killed in 208 terror incidents, while 108 terrorists were killed in encounters.

While 47 SFs personnel and 28 civilians were killed in the State, 110 terrorists were killed in encounters in 2014, the reply said. In 2013, 53 SFs personnel and 15 civilians were killed in 170 terror incidents in J&K. SFs killed 67 terrorists in encounters that year, as per the Ministry. In 2012, 15 SFs personnel and as many civilians were killed in 220 terror incidents, and 72 terrorists were killed in encounters, it said.

Security agencies are not ruling out the possibility of the banned Islamic State (ISIS) trying to create a base in the Kashmir valley, noting that internet chats and establishing of contacts with possible handlers in Syria and Iraq by some youths have grown in the last six months. Officials in the security establishment, who are not authorised to speak to the media, said on condition of anonymity that there have been small pockets in the Valley from where some youths are trying to get in touch with one or more handlers in Syria and Iraq.

May 7

The militant who was killed on May 6 night by Police during an attack on them at NH in Kulgam was wanted by NIA for his role in 2015 Fidayeen attack on a BSF convoy at Udhampur. The HM militant, identified as Fayaz Ahmad Ishwar alias Setha was killed in retaliatory fire by police after a group of militants attacked them on May 6. Police said that the killed militant was active from last two years and was involved in many subversive activities.

The militant who was killed on May 6 night by Police during an attack on them at NH in Kulgam was wanted by NIA for his role in 2015 Fidayeen attack on a BSF convoy at Udhampur. The HM militant, identified as Fayaz Ahmad Ishwar alias Setha was killed in retaliatory fire by police after a group of militants attacked them on May 6. Police said that the killed militant was active from last two years and was involved in many subversive activities.

May 8

The Karvan-e-Aman bus service, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, was cancelled after an attack on Army on the LoC near Chokas post overlooking Aman Setu in Uri in Baramulla District. Sources said that Army repulsed an attack on the LoC in Chokas and one Army jawan was injured in the firing.

The student protests in Kashmir entered fourth week and hundreds of students clashed with Police in several areas including in summer capital Srinagar during which several of them were injured while seven have been detained.

Exactly a week after the mutilation of two Indian soldiers, Indian Army has hit back targeting Pakistani forward posts and bunkers with `Anti Guided Tank Missiles’ across Nowshera sector along the LoC inflicting heavy damages on the Pakistani troops. At least four Pakistani posts and three bunkers have been destroyed in massive retaliatory attack undertaken by the Indian Army in Rajouri-Poonch sector.

While exact casualties suffered by Pakistan in the attack were not known, sources said that four to six Pakistani jawans appeared to have perished in the attack. However, sources said, the attack was just a tip of iceberg and Pakistan could face much bigger offence from the Indian side in the days to come for mutilation of two Indian soldiers at Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch District on May 1.

Sources said the troops targeted forward Pakistan Army posts and bunkers, which had been resorting to unprovoked shelling and firing on the Indian side apart from giving shelter to terrorists to push them into this side. Troops were reported to have used ‘Anti Guided Tank Missiles’ to hit Pakistani posts and bunkers.

IGP, Kashmir, Syed Javid Mujtaba Gillani said that by releasing their videos online, militants in Kashmir are indulging in psychological warfare. The IGP said in a press conference in Srinagar that as of now, there are about 200 militants which is roughly the same number that has been there last year as well. “95 new recruits were there last year, now there are about 200 militants, among them nearly 110 are local militants,” he said.

May 9

A SPO, identified as Mohammad Younis (35) who was injured in the firing by unidentified gunmen at a STF post in Tanta area of Gandoh tehsil in Doda District during the intervening night of May 7 and 8, succumbed to his injuries at GMCH. Another SPO Kikar Singh (35), injured in the firing has been referred to PGI Chandigarh for advanced treatment. IGP Jammu Zone Dr SD Singh Jamwal has ruled out the firing incident as militants’ attack, while investigation in the incident is going on after registering a case under relevant Sections at Gandoh Police Station.

Militants attacked a Police party at Kumdalan village of Shopian District in the evening. Sources said that the militants attacked a cavalcade of senior officers including SSP, DySP and SHO at Shopian but they escaped unhurt. They said that the Police officers were returning from an Army camp and as they reached Kumdalan village militants fired at them from the orchard. However, no one was hurt.

Police have sounded alert in parts of Pulwama and Budgam after militants hijacked a car. A police officer said that one Mohammad Rafiq Dar of Samboora village of Pampore reported in Police Station Pulwama that a group of militants hijacked his Alto Car at Gudoora village. All the Police stations, control rooms and security agencies have been alerted following the hijacking of the car by suspected militants. “We have alerted security forces along National Highway”, a Police officer said.

Police restored to tear gas shelling when a group of farmers allegedly started stone pelting in which several persons including three Police personals received minor injuries in Kishtwar District.

May 9-10

A young army officer was abducted in South Kashmir by suspected militants from a wedding last night (May 9) and his bullet-riddled body was found early morning today (May 10) in Herman area of Shopian District. According to J& Police, Umar Fayyaz, a Lieutenant rank Army officer, was kidnapped around 10 pm by terrorists when he went to attend his cousin's wedding at south Kashmir's Kulgam District. Later, on May 10, his body was found in Shopian District with bullets in his head and abdomen.

May 10

A woman was killed and another man was injured in Pakistani firing along the LoC in Nowshera sector in Rajouri District in the night. Pakistani Army initiated indiscriminate firing from small arms and mortars along the LoC in Nowshera sector around 10.30 pm. Indian Army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively, Army sources said.

May 11

A dozen SF personal and six students were injured when students from Government Degree College and Government Higher Secondary School in Sopore town of Baramulla District pelted stones on security personnel.

At least four students were injured in clashes at Magam in Budgam District. The students of higher secondary schools alleged that Army soldiers beat some of their peers and boycotted classes. Witnesses said the students pelted stones on security forces who retaliated by firing teargas canisters.

Two shopkeepers were injured following clashes between them and SFs at Main Town of Pulwama District.

Shopkeepers downed their shutters after clashes between students and SFs in Dooru town of Anantnag District.

SFs have identified three militants of HM, who, they believed, abducted and killed the Indian Army officer in Kulgam District. The HM trio was identified as Abbas Bhat of Materbugh, Gayasul Islam of Chekchalun and Ashfaq Ahmad Thokar of Paderpora.

CM, Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the death of woman and injuries to her husband in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District due to cross LoC firing on May 10. The ACM has directed the Rajouri District administration to provide all assistance and help to the injured in the incident.

May 12

A BSF soldier was injured as Pakistan yet again violated the ceasefire along the international border (IB) in Arnia sector in Samba District. The ceasefire violation took place between 7-7:30 AM today and the BSF promptly retaliated.

Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling during ceasefire violation along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District, drawing sharp retaliation from the Indian Army. "Pakistani Army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars from 0715 hours along the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector", PRO, MoD Jammu, Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said. The Indian Army posts are retaliating strongly and effectively, he said, adding that the firing is currently going on.

J&K Police released posters of three HM terrorists wanted for the killing of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz and pasted these at several places in Shopian town of south Kashmir, offering a reward to anyone who could provide information about them. The Police identified the three as Ishfaq Ahmad Thoker (24) and Gayas-ul-Islam, residents of Padderpora, and Abass Ahmad Bhat (26) of Mantribugh.

An audio slideshow in which HM militant ‘commander’ Zakir Moosa is purportedly speaking about establishing an Islamic caliphate in Kashmir has gone viral in the Valley. The 5.40-minute long clip also warns separatist leaders of Kashmir not to meddle in the move to set up a caliphate in Jammu and Kashmir along the lines of the rule established by the Islamic State (ISIS) in parts of Syria and Iraq.

May 13

Two persons were killed and three others were injured when Pakistani army fired mortar bombs and automatic weapons along the LoC in Rajouri District of J&K. The Indian Army retaliated “strongly and effectively”, PRO MoD, Jammu, Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said. “Two persons have been killed and three others injured in the firing and shelling by Pakistani Army along LoC in Nowshera belt,” DC of Rajouri Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.  “Pakistani Army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatic weapons, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars from 0715 hours along the LoC in Nowshera sector,” Mehta said. Over 100 more people have migrated to safer places from five hamlets near the LoC which have been targeted, the DC said. Pakistani troops are targeting Jangarh, Bhawani, Laam belts, officials said.

One person, identified as Azad Ahmad Rather (18), was injured reportedly in a mysterious blast at Pastuna Tral in Pulwama District. Police said that they are investigating the incident in which two more persons received minor injuries.

Police foiled a major attempt to revive militancy in Chenab Valley, which had been reduced to negligible during the past few years, by arresting seven militants, who had developed links in Pakistan as well as with LeT commanders in the Kashmir valley. The module was working to revive militancy in the Doda- Kishtwar-Ramban region of J&K. IGP of Jammu Zone S D S Jamwal said that the arrests were made by a SIT formed after the attack on a Police post in Doda on May 8, in which one SPO was killed and another injured. An AK-47 rifle and three magazines and ammunition have been recovered from them, the IGP added.

May 14

Pakistani troops heavily shelled areas along the LoC in Rajouri District for the second consecutive day, causing heavy damage to buildings and forcing evacuation of 1000 border dwellers. The Indian Army effectively retaliated. DC, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said fresh ceasefire violation has been reported in 'chitibakri' area of Chingus in Rajouri today (May 14). "Heavy shelling started in Manjakote area of Rajouri at O620 hours. More than seven villages have been affected", the DC said. Choudhary said there was massive damage to buildings. He said the number of migrants at relief camps swelled to 978 overnight. Till now 259 families have been evacuated from three villages, he added.

Two LeT militants who escaped from an Army base after carrying out Fidayeen attack on April 27 were killed in a gun battle in Handwara area of Kupwara District. The two militants were killed in a brief encounter in Warpora area of Handwara after 21 RR of Army and SoG of J&K Police Handwara carried out an operation on a specific information regarding the presence of militants in Warpora. We recovered large quantity of war like stores which includes two AK rifles, two pistols”, the Commanding Officer 21 RR, Colonel Kuldeep Singh said.

An AK rifle and three magazines were recovered during the demolition of an old Masjid Sharief in Rajwar area of Handwara in Kupwara District. Police said during the demolition of an old Masjid Sharief in Lashipora, Rajwar area of Handwara, locals found an AK rifle and three magazines. Later, the villagers informed Handwara Police and handed the rifle and magazines to them.

A civilian, identified as Mohammad Hussain Dar injured in the May 6 Kulgam firing incident died in the hospital on May 14 morning as the death toll in the incident has risen to six. Officials said Mohammad Hussain Dar was critically wounded when militants attacked a Police party at Mir Bazar on Srinagar-Jammu NH in Kulgam District on May 6. SATP earlier reported that five persons including three civilians, a Policeman and a militant were killed in the militant attack.

May 15

Three persons including a senior Police officer were injured as students clashed with Police in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir. Dozens of students of Sri Pratap College, Srinagar, at Maulana Azad Road boycotted their classes and staged protests. The students pelted stones on Police. Police retaliated to stone-pelting by lobbing tear and pepper gas shells on students, ensuing clashes between the both sides.

Army and Police recovered a consignment of arms and ammunition from a militant hideout at Nagseni in Kishtwar District. According to reports, a joint team of Army, Police and SOG Kishtwar conducted a joint search operation at Nagseni in Kishtwar District and destroyed a hideout of the militants at Horanmarg forest area. The hideout was detected and destroyed during two-day long search operation in the forests. Recoveries made from the hideout included one AK 56 rifle, two AK magazines, 60 rounds, four UBGL grenades, four hand grenades, one wireless set, one Radio set antenna, three RPG rounds, one binocular, cooking utensils and two blankets.

A BSF Assistant Commandant from J&K, who had topped the recruitment exam, wrote to the Government alleging that terrorists are threatening him and his sister. Nabeel Ahmed Wani, the topper of the All India Examination for BSF Assistant Commandant (Works) last year (2016), said his sister, a civil engineering student in Chandigarh, had been staying in a hostel but the college authorities now want her to move elsewhere. Wani wrote to women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on May 14 asking her to arrange for hostel facility for Nida Rafiq.

May 16

One person, identified as Raj Kumar was injured as a powerful car blast rocked Kishtwar town in Kishtwar District. Sources said that Raj Kumar had parked his car at Old Bus Stand in the town on May 15 night as he was living in a rented accommodation nearby. In the morning (on May 16), when he returned from the temple and opened the front door his car, there was an explosion inside the vehicle blowing off its gear box, both the front seats and smashing the window panes and windscreen of the vehicle.

Clashes between students and SFs continued for the second day in Kashmir during which scores of persons including policemen sustained injuries and affected routine class work in educational institutions. Clashes erupted at Pattan town in Baramulla District between hundreds of students and SFs in the morning. Confronted by SFs including police in Main Market of Pattan, the agitating students resorted to heavy stone-pelting after which Police responded by firing teargas shells, ensuing violent clashes between the two sides. The clashes rocked the Town throughout the day and during which 14 students and 11 SFs personnel were injured.

Dozens of students of Government Higher Secondary School Hajin in Bandipora District staged a massive protest and pelted stones on SFs against deployment of Army men near their educational institute. Police fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the students. During these clashes, four students sustained minor injuries.

Scores of students of Gandhi Memorial College and MP Higher Secondary School at Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan came out of their respective institutes and resorted to stone-pelting on Police. The Police retaliated by lobbing teargas and pepper shells. A boy was detained by Police on the occasion.

The students in Main Town of Pulwama District in Southern Kashmir attacked SFs with stones and bricks. The Police retaliated by firing teargas and situation was brought to normal.

The students of Dooru College in Anantnag district staged a protest against alleged thrashing of one of their counterparts by Army.

In Okay village in Kulgam District, women staged a protest against alleged thrashing of a civilian during a search and cordon operation. Some of the protesters also pelted stones on SFs and Army fired in air to disperse them. However, no one was injured.

Pakistan Army again heavily shelled forward villages along LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District in the night, leading to fresh migration from the people amidst panic even as the Indian side gave very effective retaliation at all the places. Official sources said Pakistani troops resumed heavy shelling targeting forward posts of Army and civilian population at Pukharni, Ban Morha, Rezwa and Siya Bagla at 6.35pm.

Sources said a total of 3044 families comprising 11,547 people from 10 villages falling on the LoC in Nowshera sector have migrated. While 1720 people from 477 families were putting up in the migrant camps, others were reported to have left for the houses of their relatives in safer areas.

Ten villages badly affected by the shelling included Khamba, Sarya, Bhawani, Kalsian, Manpur, Dhanaka, Khori, Ganiah, Pukharni and Anwas Bhandar. The migrants have been lodged in four Government schools, which have been converted into the migrant camps including Boys Higher Secondary School, Nowshera, Government Middle School Bawali, Government High School, Nonial and Government Middle School, Nonial.

Pakistani troops had targeted Pukharni and surrounding villages in Nowshera sector in Rajouri District by resorting to mortar shelling and firing for over two hours.

May 17

SFs conducted separate counter-insurgency operations in Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama Districts during which locals resorted to stone-pelting to hamper these operations against the militants, resulting in injuries to 12 persons. Police said: “in an effort to flush out the holed up militants”, the SFs including SOG, Army and CRPF conducted extensive searches in Heff and Shirmal villages of Shopian District. The locals in a bid to disrupt the operation pelted stones on SFs who retaliated by firing teargas and pellets, ensuing clashes. Locals alleged that SFs thrashed residents including family members of militants and vandalized properties. Residents said 11 persons sustained injuries in the clashes.

The SFs launched another search and cordon operation at Mahmudpora village of Kulgam District, after receiving an input about the militants’ presence.. However, the locals disrupted the operation by pelting stones on SFs involved in the anti-militancy operation. Police used teargas shells to disperse the stone-pelting crowds during which one lady identified as Zareefa was hit by a smoke canister.

SFs late in the afternoon launched an anti-militancy operation at Seer village of Tral in Pulwama District. Sources said that after receiving input about the presence of four local militants, the Seer village was cordoned off by the SFs. As the searches were ensued, locals started pelting stones on SFs, sparking off clashes. SFs suspected presence of militants in a hideout. As clashes continued, the SFs suspended the search operation due to darkness till dawn. However, the cordon was intact.

Students in Valley once again staged protests and clashed with SFs. The students of Gandhi Memorial College and MPML Higher Secondary School at Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan in Srinagar boycotted their classes and started protests against the detention of their peers. They pelted stones on Police deployed near Baba Demb Road. Police fired teargas shells and used pepper grenades to quell the stones.

The clashes between students and SFs also broke out at Pattan in Baramulla District and in Hajin town of Bandipora district. At these places, police used tear and pepper canisters against the students, who were protesting against the State and demanding release of their detained peers.

In another ceasefire violation, Pakistan army resorted to heavy shelling and firing in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil (revenue unit) in Poonch District in wee hours of this morning. Official sources said that since the migration from villages, located close to LoC in Nowshera sector in Rajouri District continued even though there was no major incident of Pakistani shelling and firing today, the administration has increased number of make shift migrant camps from four to five.

May 18

Three Policemen and a civilian were injured as militants hurled a grenade towards Police station in Safa Kadal in Srinagar. A constable, two SPOs and a civilian were injured in the grenade attack. “The injured were immediately rushed to the hospital. One SPO has received severe injuries in the attack and is currently being treated in the hospital,” a Police official said.

Fifteen persons including one media person were injured as students staged violent protests in Main Town of South Kashmir’s Kulgam District. Dozens of students of Kulgam Degree College boycotted their classes and staged protests. The students after being confronted by Police resorted to heavy stone-pelting while the latter fired teargas canisters and pellets in a bid to disperse them.

Massive clashes erupted in Main Town of Anantnag District after an altercation between shopkeepers and Police took an ugly turn. The shopkeepers alleged that Police thrashed a trader and after which they staged anti-Police protests. The shopkeepers were joined by locals and students. Police, in a bid to disperse protesters, fired teargas and the latter responded by pelting stones, ensuing clashes.

The Union Government ruled out any dialogue with separatists in J&K in near future, saying its priority was to improve the situation in the Valley first. “Our priority is to improve the situation first,” Union Minister for Defence and Finance Arun Jaitley said in Srinagar when asked if the Centre had any plans to hold talks with separatist groups like APHC. Jaitley, after reviewing the security situation in J&K, said it was not as bad as the impression was being given by some media outlets. The situation in the valley is improving, he said.

May 19

The Police recovered a bullet-riddled body of a 45-year-old man, identified as Mohammad Yousuf Lone who was reportedly working for both militants and SFs in Gadoora village of Pulwama District. The body had multiple bullet injuries, Police official said, adding that the Police was investigating the circumstances in which he was killed. Preliminary investigation has revealed that Lone was working as an OGW for militants as well as a source for SFs, the official said. Further details are awaited, he added.

Massive stone-pelting clashes and protests erupted in Kashmir after Friday prayers during which two persons were injured and one was detained. The call for protests was given by separatists against the detention of youth and Dukhtaran-e-Millat chairperson Asiya Andrabi. Soon after Friday prayers were over, APHC activists assembled outside Jama Masjid and staged a protest against the detentions. As the protest concluded, dozens of youth pelted stones on security forces deployed outside Jama Masjid premises in Nowhatta in Srinagar District.

Intense clashes erupted between youth and SFs at Main Town, Bellow and Tral areas of Pulwama District. Police fired scores of teargas shells to disperse the stone-throwers but they did not budge and continued pelting stones for several hours.

The clashes between youth and SFs erupted at Lal Chowk area of Anantnag District for the second consecutive day. Some of the students including girls also resorted to stone-pelting.

Police in a statement said: “Today morning some miscreants tried to enforce the shutdown in Lal Chowk of Anantnag town by pelting stones. Police reached the spot and chased the miscreants away with the help of the traders. Normalcy was restored and the market opened up.”

The Sopore town of North Kashmir’s Baramulla District also witnessed stone-throwing clashes between youth protesters and SFs after Friday prayers. Police used teargas shells to disperse the protesters.

Similar clashes broke out at Hajin town of Bandipora District.

The clashes also broke out at Kralpora and Trehgam areas of border Kupwara District. Police used teargas canisters against the stone-throwing demonstrators.

Dozens of JKLF also staged a protest after Friday prayers at Maisuma in Lal Chowk area but it ended on peaceful note.

Locals of Batapora village of Kanihama in central Kashmir’s Budgam District staged a protest against the detention of 10 youth on stone-pelting charges. They also clashed with Police. However the situation normalized instantly. In view of the situation, Police had placed many separatists including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani under house-detention.

The APHC reacted with anger and alarm to the Centre's announcement of the NIA's investigation into the source of its foreign funding. The NIA stepped in after allegations made by Hurriyat official Nayeem Khan of the Geelani faction that separatists, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, received funds from Pakistan-based terrorist organisation LeT to carry out terror activities in the Kashmir Valley. Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar, also of the Geelani faction, denied links to LeT, saying, "The agency has earlier harassed and questioned party officials, including Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and Syed Geelani's son-in-law, but could not find anything. These are fabricated charges to pressure us, as authorities are unable to control clashes in Kashmir."

JKLF chief Yasin Malik, who joined the Hurriyat in 2016, said, "They try to prove I'm receiving funds from Pakistan.

May 20

The rising dissonance between Kashmiri separatists and terrorists based in the Valley on the one hand and Pakistan-based terrorist commanders and cadres in Kashmir on the other has led Indian agencies to suspect that terror masterminds across the border may be covertly planning a new terrorist organisation in J&K, with focus on ex-HM ‘commander’ Zakir Musa.

According to intelligence sources, multiple statements over the past two weeks by Musa, the self-styled successor of slain HM leader Burhan Wani, LeT, Kashmiri separatists and United Jehad Council chief Syed Salahuddin, coupled with images, videos and audio clips circulated on social media, point to "a widening conflict between key stakeholders of violence in the Valley". Intelligence sources said Pakistan may be attempting a repeat of its Kashmir strategy of the 1990s, when the only terror organisation - the JKLF - was supplanted and eventually replaced by many new outfits by 1993-94.

May 20-21

Seven persons, including four militants and three SFs personnel were killed as Army operation in Nowgam sector along the LoC in Kupwara District against the infiltrating militants. The operation started on May 20, as two terrorists and two Army troopers were killed in the operation while militants attempting to infiltrate into the State from PoK in the Nowgam sector. Two militants and a soldier were killed as Army operation in Nowgam sector along the LoC in Kupwara District against the infiltrating militants continued on May 21 taking the number of militants killed in the operation so far to four and the number of Army men killed to three

Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that four infiltrating militants and three soldiers were killed in Nowgam sector in North Kashmir during the operation that was launched by army last evening (May 20). “Four weapons and war like stores were also recovered as Army sanitized the area today (May 21)”, he added. The soldiers who were killed in the operation have been identified as Havaldar Damar Bahadur, Havaldar Girish Gurung and Rifleman Robin Sharma.

May 21

Amy launched a massive operation in Macchil sector in Kupwara District after they received inputs that a group of highly trained militants has managed to infiltrate into the area. The troops are conducting searches in vast forest areas in the sector.

SFs launched a massive operation in Pulwama District of South Kashmir in vast forest area. SFs launched searches in forest areas of Banderpora, Reshipora, Malangpora, Puchal and Goripora. However, no one was arrested.

Troops along the LoC in North Kashmir have been put on high alert after Army received inputs that the small groups of Special Services Group (SSG) of Pakistan Army have been deployed along with its troops in forward areas.

The NIA questioned Kashmiri separatists for the second day in connection with its probe into the role of LeT ‘chief’ Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir. The NIA further questioned Farooq Ahmad Dar alias 'Bitta Karate', Javed Ahmed Baba alias Prince alias Gazi in Srinagar regarding their involvement in raising, collecting and transferring funds through hawala and other channels for terror funding in Kashmir. The NIA is probing all aspects of funding of separatist leaders and the use of these funds in fuelling the unrest in the Valley, the NIA spokesperson said in a statement.

Police arrested a civilian, identified as Gazanfar Hajam after a grenade was found in his possession at Bemina area in Srinagar. Police during routine checking along Bemina Crossing, stopped the man for frisking. "During frisking, a grenade was found from his possession. He was immediately taken into custody and is being questioned," the sources said.

May 22

Students of several educational institutes staged protests and pelted stones on SFs during which at least eight of them were arrested in J&K. The students of all-boys SPHSS, which re-opened after two weeks, at Maulana Azad Road in Srinagar city centre again boycotted their classes and staged protests against the State. There was brief standoff between the students and Police during which both sides pelted stones on each other. The police while chasing down the students detained three of them. They were detained in local Police station and are being questioned.

The students of Gandhi Memorial College and MPML Higher Secondary School at Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan in downtown city engaged Police in pitched battles after staging protests. The police fired several teargas canisters towards the students, who, however, refused to budge and continued pelting stones. Police detained at least five students during stone-pelting at Bagh-e-Dilawar Khan.

The massive Amy operation in Macchil sector in Kupwara District continued. The operation was launched after Army received inputs that a group of highly trained militants had managed to infiltrate into the area. The troops are conducting searches in vast forest areas in the sector for last two days. However, so far no traces of these infiltrated militants were found.

Four militants of LeT who were killed as Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Kupwara District on May 20-21 were highly trained Fidayeen (Suicide Squad), who were tasked to carry out major strike in Kashmir. Army sources said that four killed LeT militants were highly trained and were tasked to carry out a major Fidayeen strike in Kashmir. They said that the amount of arms and ammunition which was recovered from them indicated their plan of carrying out the major strike. The recoveries include four AK 47 rifles and AK 47 ammunition, UBGL grenades, hand grenades, GPS, wireless sets, Pakistan made medicine, dry fruits, binoculars, wire cutters and matrix sheets.

A Police constable, who took away four service rifles from a Police post in Budgam District of Kashmir, has reportedly joined terrorist outfit HM. Constable Syed Naveed Mushtaq had fled with four INSAS rifles from the guard post at a FCI godown in Chandpora in Budgam on May 20, a Police official said. He said there were intelligence inputs suggesting that Mushtaq had joined the terrorist group.

A video showing anthem of PoK being played before the start of a cricket match in South Kashmir's Pulwama District has gone viral on the social media, prompting Police to initiate a probe. The video shot at Pulwama District stadium on May 21, shows two teams - Shining Stars Pampore and Pulwama Tigers - lined up before the start of the final match of a cricket tournament and the anthem of PoK was being played. After it went viral on the social media, Police took cognisance and started a probe. "Police has taken cognisance of the video and started investigation," an official said. Posters of slain militants were also allegedly put up around the ground while post-match awards were named after some of the slain militants.

According to intelligence agencies, top leaders of the HM are trying a patch-up with their former 'Kashmir commander' Zakir Rashid Bhat who severed ties with the militant group a few days ago. Bhat, better known by his alias Musa, released audio messages 10 days ago announcing his exit after the leadership criticised him for threatening to behead Hurriyat leaders for saying the "separatist movement" in the Valley was political and not religious in nature. The Kashmiri militant group is yet to name his successor. Jammu and Kashmir's Intelligence agencies see the delay as a sign of his subordinates' reluctance to take Bhat's position, which would amount to picking sides in a feud between their former commander and senior leadership. Sources in intelligence say Bhat's departure was not because of ideological differences, as claimed by him. He and the Pakistan-based leadership didn't agree on the group's activities in the Valley.

May 23

Indian Army took major 'pro-active' and 'punitive action' against Pakistani troops and infiltrating militants along LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District decimating nearly dozen posts and bunkers of the enemy and eliminating about a dozen Pakistani troops and militants, present inside the posts. The big counter-terrorism strike was necessitated to neutralize the militants well in advance before they could enter into the Indian territory to launch terror attacks while the posts were destroyed for giving shelter to militants and trying to aid and abet their infiltration into this side.

Sources said that a total of six strikes were carried out targeting Pakistani army posts and bunkers across Nowshera sector of Rajouri District, which had witnessed massive exchange of mortar shelling and firing between two hostile neighbours last week, after developing "very reliable" and "specific inputs" about presence of four to six militants inside Pakistani army posts, from where they had to be launched into the Indian side.

A large group of militants swooped down on Naira village of Pulwama District and raided houses of political workers and drug peddlers. Sources said that the militants during night hours thrashed at least two dozen political workers and drug peddlers. The militants threatened these persons and asked them to mend their ways, sources added.

Students, who were seeking release of their peers, resorted to violence, beat a Policeman and set ablaze his motorcycle at Rajpora Chowk in Pulwama District. As the students were protesting, they intercepted a Policeman, identified as Constable Bilal on his motorcycle. Witnesses said after learning about the identity of the Policeman, they thrashed him ruthlessly and also set ablaze his motorcycle. While the students resorted to heavy stone-pelting on Police and also paramilitary personnel, the Police managed to rescue Constable Bilal who was left injured due to beating.

The students of Government Degree College Bemina in Srinagar also staged violent protests against what they termed 'disappearance' of a student by Police. The students while seeking whereabouts of missing student resorted to heavy stone-pelting on Police throughout the day while the latter resorted to teargas shelling.

The students of Kashmir University also staged a protest inside Hazratbal campus against the arrest of a media student, Tahir Ahmad, under PSA and sought his immediate release. The protest, however, concluded on peaceful note.

IGP Kashmir range, Muneer Ahmad Khan, said that 90 militants are active in North Kashmir and there are no reports of enhanced infiltration from across the LoC into Kashmir. Khan said whether a common man or a Policeman joins militancy they will be equally treated as per the law. "A few of them, who have been lured into this (militancy), whenever anyone - whether a policeman or a common man - goes that way, he becomes a criminal and treatment for either of them is simple and there would be no differentiation. If he is a militant, he is a militant and that is all" (sic), he said.

May 23-24

Search operation launched by the SFs on May 23 in south Kashmir ended early this morning (May 24) as militants managed to escape under the cover of darkness, official sources said in Srinagar. They said with the first light this morning, the SFs resumed search operation in village Hakripora Kakpora in Pulwama District. However, the operation was called off at 05.30 am as the militants managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

The operation was launched on May 23th night following a tip-off about the presence of three militants including top LeT 'commander' in the village. There was a brief encounter between the militants hiding in the village and SFs. However, the operation was stopped due to darkness to avoid any casualty, the sources said. SFs had sealed the entire area after reinforcement was rushed there from nearby camps. However, the militants managed to escape. No arrests were made, they added.

May 24

Army found a dead body of foreign militant near the LoC in Safawali in Kupwara District. The body was decomposed and one UBGL and three UBGL grenades were recovered from the spot.

In another incident, a block president of PDP, identified as Abdul Qayoom, was critically injured as militants fired at him in Barzulla area of Srinagar in the evening. Militants opened firing on Abdul Qayoom outside his residence at Old Barzulla at around 8.15 p.m. Qayoom was rushed to SMHS hospital where his condition is said to be critical. Sources said that two militants who appeared outside his residence shot him at point blank range

Militants hurled a grenade towards camp of SoG of J&K Police at Imam Sahib in Shopian District in which five civilians were injured. The grenade lobbed at the camp missed the target and fell on the road outside the camp. Five pedestrians, identified as Ghulam Nabi Bhat, Ishfaq Rashid Mir, Tariq Ahmad Bhat, Manzoor Ahmad Bhat and Rafiq Bhat were injured in the attack and they were shifted to nearby hospital.

Unidentified persons sprinkled chilli into eyes of a Jammu and Kashmir Bank guard in Imam Sahib area of Shopian District. Police said two unidentified persons sprinkled chilli powder into the eyes of bank guards at Imam Sahib and the motive of the attack was not clear. Police is investigating the matter and a manhunt to nab the culprits is going on.

Police continued massive searches along the IB route leading towards the NH in Hiranagar sector of Kathua District for second day after four suspected foot prints were observed on May 23 morning in a field, located close to Tarnah Nullah, falling between Dayala Chak and Chadwal. "There has been no let up in the operations. At the same time, no movement of suspects has been noticed," Police said.

May 25

LeT militants fired upon an Army patrol party in Rajwar forests of North Kashmir's Handwara area in Kupwara District in the night. A joint operation was launched by Army and SOG Handwara of Jammu and Kashmir Police in Rajwar forest area of Handwara in the morning. They had information about presence of around three to four militants in forest area. The entire area has been cordoned off and more troops have been rushed to the area so as to prevent militants from fleeing.

Army fired in air at Ganjipora Burran in Pattan area of Baramulla District in the evening. Army had cordoned off the area and they fired few gun shots in air.

An apex body of former militants, Ex-Militants Welfare Association pitched for peaceful solution of Kashmir issue while it strongly denounced killings of both combatants and civilians. Addressing a press conference in Barmulla town, Ex-Militants Welfare Association said they, after realizing importance of dialogue, left the path of militancy. The former militants said that they stand against terrorism and condemn the killings of security men as well as militants. "We also condemn the killings of commoners," they said.

The ex-militants said that they want to live a peaceful life and demanded an end to ongoing unrest in Kashmir. "Kashmir should be resolved through peaceful dialogue," they said, adding that they had picked up guns for the solution of Kashmir. The former militants also demanded that a sympathetic attention should be paid towards them and the orphans and widows of militants.

The Central Government said it is keeping a close watch on illegal flow of funds to fuel militancy in J&K and action is being taken by security agencies in such instances. "All terror related incidents, including terror funding, are being monitored by the agencies. Appropriate action is also being taken", spokesperson in the UMHA Ashok Prasad said. Prasad said the State police along with the Central paramilitary forces is trying to bring back normalcy in J&K, which has been hit by unrest. "All efforts are being made to bring back normalcy. The Central Government is providing all help to the State Government," he said.

According to an estimate of the NIA, Pakistan-based terror groups finance terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir by generating millions in donations through their charity organisations. Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF), a charity run by terror outfits Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and LeT, and Al Rehmat Trust, backed by another terrorists group JeM, have been supporting terrorists and funding terrorism in Kashmir. These outfits collect donations from people in Pakistan and then pass on the money to finance terrorism in Kashmir through their over ground workers, an NIA official has said.

J&K Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh said a comprehensive plan has been framed to deal with militancy and violence in Kashmir and assured its positive outcome. Dr Singh said in Srinagar that, "A comprehensive plan has been prepared to deal with militancy and violence. Its results should not be seen through one or two incidents. It is a comprehensive plan and it's results will be positive. I am sure there will be peace and law and order in Jammu and Kashmir." The Deputy Chief Minister also backed Major Gogoi for his action of tying a man to jeep in central Kashmir's Budgam District on April 9 and said the matter should not be politicised.

May 26

The infiltration of militants has increased this year and over 200 militants are waiting along the LoC for sneaking into Kashmir. Army is on heightened alert to prevent any further infiltration attempts. As per the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) figures, 19 militants have infiltrated into Kashmir till April this year (2017). These militants mostly infiltrated from Keran, Gurez, Machil and Nowgam sectors. Two groups of these militants managed to infiltrate in winter when the mountain passes were covered with snow.

Last year (2016) there were no reports of infiltration of militants into Kashmir till April and the official figure this year has already reached 19, while unofficially it is 29. In 2016, the first infiltration reports were received in May and as per MAC figures, 114 militants infiltrated into Kashmir last year, which was highest since 2014.

Sources said that around 200 militants are on launch pads mostly in Neelam Valley area of PoK. These militants had started gathering this year in winter only as there is more pressure on these groups to infiltrate into Kashmir in summer. Sources said that the militant groups are carrying out reconnaissance along the LoC regularly but the tight vigil along by the Army and regular patrols are preventing them from sneaking in.

Army foiled BAT strike along the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District by killing two militants and recovering war like stores. Army noticed suspicious movement at Khalanaji Nallah near Kaman Post at Gulotha along LoC in Uri sector at around 8.40 am. Pakistan's 31 Baloch Regiment is posted in the opposite side of the LoC near Kaman Post where the BAT action was foiled. On noticing the movement, Army opened fire and killed two militants whose bodies were later recovered by Army during searches of the area.

Sources said that there were 4-6 members of the team and they were wearing black Khan suits. Colonel Bhanwar Singh said that the combing operation in the area is going on as Army expects that more militants may be present in the area. "We expect some more terrorists in the vicinity if it was a BAT team. Since the combing operation is on and the forest is thick it will take us some time to sanitise the area", he said.

SFs in the night launched an operation in Tral area of Awantipora in Pulwama District after they received inputs about presence of militants in the area. As 42 RR of Army and SOG)Tral and Awantipora cordoned off Saimu village in Tral area militants opened fire on them. SFs strengthened the cordon and searches are going on.

Report said that as many as three terrorists were reportedly cornered in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, while they attempted to attack an Army patrol party. "Encounter started at Saimu Tral. Reportedly 3 terrorists trapped," tweeted J&K DGP Shesh Paul Vaid late.

After receiving intelligence input about fresh infiltration last night (May 25), the Army and BSF launched massive searches in Bohri Pathar areas of Keran in Kupwara District. However, no traces of militants have been found yet.

Clashes erupted in Srinagar and Sopore town of Baramulla District after Friday prayers during which two youth sustained pellet injuries.

Soon after Friday prayers concluded in Jama Masjid in Nowhatta area of Old City, youth staged protests and clashed with SFs deployed in the area. Police fired teargas canisters and pellets to disperse the stone-throwers who, however, continued pelting stones. Two youth sustained injuries due to pellet firing and were removed to hospital for treatment.

The clashes also raged in northern Sopore Town in Baramulla District after Friday prayers. The youth converged outside Sopore Jama Masjid and pelted stones on security personnel. The clashes in the area continued for several hours.

The separatist leaders and activists held protests against the awarding of Major Gogoi at Maisuma in City Centre in Srinagar.

May 27

The Indian Army killed six militants and foiled yet another infiltration bid along the LoC in the Rampur sector in Baramulla District in J&K. Troops noticed suspicious movement along the LoC in the early hours, an army official said. He added that a fire fight broke out between the infiltrators and the Army.

Infiltration attempts have increased in the past few weeks, no thanks to the onset of summer, which has led to snow-blocked mountain passes opening up making them easier to traverse, the Army said recently. "With the mercury rising and snow-melting in the valley, the chances of infiltration increase from the Pakistani side. The Army is all geared up to counter such threats," said Major General Ashok Narula earlier in the week.

SFs, in an encounter, killed HM 'commander', Sabzar Ahmad Bhat and his aide Faizan Muzaffar in Soimoh village of Tral in Pulwama District. One civilian was also killed in the cross firing. The militants were trapped in the village after SFs cordoned it off last evening (May 26). The militants during the cordon and searches tried to flee but SFs fired back and they were trapped in a house. The operation was put on hold during the night and the SFs launched massive assault in the morning killing both the militants. Two residential houses in which the two militants were trapped were damaged in the encounter. Arms and ammunition were also recovered from the encounter site. Police said a civilian, identified as Aqib Ahmad Dar died in cross firing near the encounter site. "During the cross firing one more person was injured. He was rushed to the Tral hospital where he succumbed to his injuries," Police said.

As the news about Sabzar's killing spread, clashes amid spontaneous shutdown occurred across Kashmir.

Clashes and protests broke out in Pulwama, Khanabal, Kulgam, Awantipora, Shopian, Ganderbal, Srinagar, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora and all other major townships.

In Srinagar, students of Amar Singh College, SP College, SP School, MP School and Gandhi Memorial protested and pelted stones on police and CRPF. Within no time, clashes and protests spread in downtown and uptown areas of the Srinagar. Police and paramilitary forces fired teargas and pellets. Scores of students took out a protest march in Kashmir university campus.

In Srinagar, students of Amar Singh College, SP College, SP School, MP School and Gandhi Memorial protested and pelted stones on police and CRPF. Within no time, clashes and protests spread in downtown and uptown areas of the Srinagar. Police and paramilitary forces fired teargas and pellets. Scores of students took out a protest march in Kashmir university campus.

Separatists called for shutdown on May 28 and against killings of HM 'commander' Sabzar Ahmad and other militants. They also called for Tral march on May 30.

One porter of Army was killed and another one injured when militants opened fire upon them from across the LoC in Keran sector of North Kashmir's Kupwara District in the afternoon. Sources said that a group of porters had gone ahead of forward posts in Janger Naar area in Keran sector in the afternoon. Militants, who were waiting along the LoC saw the movement near forward posts and opened fire on them. Two of the porters managed to flee safely while two others were hit by bullets and one died on the spot. The Army also fired back but the militants managed to escape. Army has launched searches in the area. However, no militant presence was observed inside Indian territory. The operation is going on.

May 28

Indian Army shot dead an intruder along the LoC in Poonch District of J&K. Troops along the LoC in Krishnagati sector of Poonch District shot dead the intruder in an ambush around 0230 hours, an Army officer said. According to reports, the intruder had reportedly been sent for conducting recce of the area to check troop preparedness before the militants could be formally launched into this side. Though the intruder was believed to be a Pakistani, his identity couldn't be established as he wasn't carrying any identity card with him. He was in possession of some Pakistani currency and Pakistan made toffees.

At least 30 persons were injured in violent clashes between protestors and SFs in various parts of the valley following the killing of the HM 'commander' Sabzar Bhat in an encounter on May 27.

The separatists have called for a two-day shutdown to protest the killing of the two terrorists. The authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in the valley, while the outgoing call facility on prepaid numbers has also been snapped as a precautionary measure. Authorities also imposed curfew-like restrictions in many parts of the valley to maintain law and order in view of the protests.

Clashes broke out in Meemander in Shopian and Warpora in Sopore, Trehgam in Kupwara as SFs fired teargas shells on protesters to disperse them, while the protesters pelted stones towards the forces, triggering clashes. A Police spokesman said in Srinagar that except for six incidents of stone pelting in Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Sopore, situation across the Valley remained peaceful and under control.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was arrested from his residence in Srinagar, the Police said. A Police official said Malik has been shifted to central jail in Srinagar. He was arrested from his residence in Maisuma near Lal Chowk on May 28-morning. The JKLF chairman had on May 27 visited the residences of slain HM terrorists

Malik and chairmen of both factions of Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, have called for a two-day shutdown in the Valley to protest the killing of the two militants and the use of "brute force" against the protestors. The separatist trio has also called for a march to Tral on May 30 to pay tributes to the two militants.

A day after the killing of Sabzar Ahmed Bhat, HM identified Riyaz Naikoo, at 29 the oldest surviving terrorist of the outfit, as its new 'commander' in Kashmir, sources said. Tech-savvy Naikoo is considered a moderate among the hardline HM terrorists, and speaks contrary to the deposed HM commander Zakir Musa. He favours a secular society in the valley. A few months ago, Naikoo had invited Kashmiri Pandits to return to the valley.

Intelligence sources said HM is likely to nominate Naikoo as its new chief to counter the narrative of deposed 'commander' Zakir Musa that terrorists in Kashmir were fighting for an Islamic Caliphate and imposition of Shariat. Pakistan-based HM leadership, according to intelligence agencies, is under tremendous pressure from ISI after deposed HM 'commander' Zakir Musa last week spoke about establishing a Caliphate in the Valley, besides threatening separatists against terming Kashmir's struggle as political fight. "By appointing moderate Naikoo as new chief, HM may overshadow Zakir, who gained prominence among hardliners in Kashmir due to ISIS ideology. Also, HM would prove to the world that it was not fighting for Islamic rule in Kashmir," an intelligence source said.

May 29

Special Forces of Army targeted Pakistani troops along the LoC in Uri sector in Baramulla District and killed two Pakistani troopers and injured to at least four of them. Sources said that Para-commandos of the Army took positions near the LoC on a hill overlooking Chakoti-Muzaffarabad road in PoK and targeted a Pakistani troop convoy early in the morning. Sources said that there were three vehicles in the convoy on Chakoti Muzaffarabad road and they were targeted by the Para commandos inflicting casualties on them. They said that the attack led to the killing of two Pakistani troops and injuries to at least four of them. They said that it was a pre-emptive move by the Army as Pakistani troops have been attempting BAT strikes in the area besides infiltrating militants.

Authorities said that curfew like restrictions will continue in parts of Kashmir valley and educational intuitions will remain closed on May 30 as separatists have called for march to Tral in Pulwama District. The curfew like restrictions continued in parts of Kashmir while in rest of the Valley normal life remained paralysed due to strike called by separatists against the killing of HM ‘commander’, Sabzar Bhat, his associate and a civilian on May 27 in Tral area of Pulwama District.

Minor clashes/stone pelting incidents were reported in few areas of Srinagar, Tahab in Pulwama, Batapora area of Sopore and Trehgam, Kupwara.

As per Police statement, situation remained peaceful and under control throughout Kashmir valley. “A stray stone pelting incident was reported from Tahab in Pulwama. No injury was reported till filing of this report. A group of miscreants pelted stones on 182 CRPF Camp at Tahab. Police and security forces used maximum restraint and chased them away. However, restrictions under Section 144 CrPC remained imposed in some vulnerable areas of the Valley to thwart any untoward incident,” it said.

Three Kashmiri separatists appeared before the NIA in New Delhi for questioning in connection with a case related to the funding of terror and subversive activities in J&K. Sources said Farooq Ahmad Dar alias ‘Bitta Karate’, Nayeem Khan and Javed Ahmed Baba alias ‘Gazi’ of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat have arrived in New Delhi for questioning by NIA sleuths. Dar, Ahmed and Khan were asked to bring certain bank and property documents, besides other papers, before the NIA team that had questioned them here for four consecutive days earlier this month.

A 21-year-old Kashmiri youth, who was allegedly trying to join the terror group Islamic State (ISIS), has been deported from Turkey to India after being picked up by Turkish authorities, official sources said in Srinagar. Srinagar resident Afshan Parvaiz was deported from the Turkish capital of Ankara on May 25 and whisked away to an undisclosed destination by security agencies in Delhi, the sources said. He was being assessed by various security agencies, they said.

Earlier in March, Mohammed Taha, a resident of Srinagar, was deported from Turkey and sent to India. He has been put in preventive custody, they said. Security agencies in India have viewed their alleged plans to join the ISIS with concern. They believe that some Kashmiri youths are getting radicalised by ‘jihadi’ propaganda material shared by the ISIS on the Internet. The agencies feel that if the growing influence of the ISIS is not checked, it can be detrimental to the situation in the Valley.

Despite the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir snowballing, UHM Rajnath Singh said that the problem would be solved soon without any compromise with Pakistan. Singh said certain forces were trying to misguide the Kashmiri youths but this would be checked. “Kashmir is ours and so are the Kashmiris,” he said at a programme to highlight achievements of the Modi government in the past three years.

May 30

The Army released a list of the 12 most dreaded terrorists in J&K. SFs are searching for these terrorists, army sources said. Among the most prominent names in the list are Reyaz Naikoo alias Zubair and Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Musa. Naikoo is a resident of Tokun, Awantipore, and is likely to be the next HM ‘commander’ in Kashmir after the death of Sabzar. He is known to be tech savvy and active on social media like his predecessor, Burhan Wani. On the other hand, Musa, was Wani's successor after the latter's killing by SFs on July 8, 2016. Earlier this month, Musa had released a video in which he threatened to behead the separatists if they created hurdles in establishing Sharia in Kashmir. For this the HM snubbed Musa, who later announced to part ways with the group.

It was not only Pakistan which pumped hawala money running into crores in Kashmir but the illegal funds were also reported to have been routed in the Valley from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Some cross-LoC traders were also reported to have funded the separatists and OGWs through the “extra money” sent to them from Pakistan under the garb of trade. This and some other sensational disclosures were reported to have figured during hawala investigations of separatists being conducted by the NIA, whose high-level team had camped in Srinagar for four days, and has now summoned three separatist leaders to its headquarters in New Delhi to join the probe.

Sources said that while LeT was using Pakistan soil to pump hawala money into the Kashmir valley, some other cadre of the LeT and other militant outfits had also used Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the two friendly neighbours of India, to pump money to the separatists using hawala channels in New Delhi, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Militants fired upon Abdul Rashid Lone, a PDP worker, when he was coming out from a Masjid after offering prayers in Khanpura area of Baramulla town in Baramulla District in the night. The incident took place at 10:30 pm outside the Khanpura shrine. Lone’s nephew also suffered injuries in the attack. They were shifted to hospital. Lone had retired after serving the Jammu and Kashmir Electricity department and is a PDP worker.

May 31

Four Policemen were injured as militants hurled a grenade at Police Station Sopore in Baramulla District. At around 4.20 pm, militants lobbed a grenade at Sopore Police Station which exploded outside it injuring four police personnel, identified as Head Constable Noor Mohammad, Head Constable Ghulam Hassan Bhat, Constable Abdul Rehman and Constable Bilal Ahmad. All the injured are undergoing treatment and condition of two of them is stated to be critical. No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack.

SF have issued list of top commanders of the militants operating in South Kashmir and have evolved a strategy to target them in order to prevent attacks in South Kashmir. These militants are brain behind the attacks and running of militancy in the area. Topping the list is Abu Hamas, who is divisional commander of JeM. He is resident of Pakistan and is active since 2016. He has been categorized as A++ militant carrying a cash reward of INR 12.50 lakh.

Normal life resumed in Kashmir after being paralyzed for three days due to curfew-like restrictions and shutdown following the killing of HM ‘commander’ Sabzar Ahmad Bhat and his aide in a gunfight at Tral area of Pulwama District on May 27. However, a spontaneous shutdown was observed in Pulwama district while all the colleges and senior secondary schools remained closed in Valley.

In Pulwama District, however, a shutdown was observed to mourn the killings of militants. Witnesses said most of the shops and commercial establishments were closed in Pulwama areas including in Tral – the hometown of Sabzar Bhat. During shutdown, youth clashed with SFs at Main Town and Tahab areas.

A chemist, identified as Ghulam Mohiuddin was injured after a teargas canister exploded in his hand at Pulwama town in Pulwama District. He was shifted to local hospital for treatment and his condition is stated to be stable.

Police said the situation across Kashmir remained peaceful and no major incident of law and order was reported. “Apart from two incidents of stone-pelting in Pulwama, one such incident was reported from Papchan in Bandipora district,” a police official said.

JKLF leader Muhammad Yasin Malik was released from Srinagar Central Jail.

June 1

Two militants were killed in an encounter that broke out between SFs and militants in Nathi Pora area of Sopore in Baramulla District in the early morning. The militants were suspected to be present in the area. With the killing of the two terrorists, the Army launched a search and combing operation. Army's Northern Command said that two weapons were recovered from the slain militants.

Pakistan again resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch District and Nowshera sector of Rajouri District in J&K, Army said. "Today Pakistan army carried out unprovoked ceasefire violation in Poonch's KG sector and Rajouri’s Nowshera sector. Befitting reply is being given," Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said.

In the morning, Pakistan army resorted to ceasefire violations at 7.20 am targeting forward Army posts and civilian areas in Krishna Ghati and Nowshera sectors on the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri Districts respectively in which a civilian GREF labourer was killed and four others were injured. A GREF vehicle, engaged in construction work at Balnoi Forward was directly hit by a mortar shell fired by the Pakistan army, leading to injuries to four workers including the driver, one of whom, identified as Mohammad Parwaiz later succumbed to his injuries. A BSF Havaldar, identified as Mohammad Nizam-ud-Din was also injured in the shelling.

Indian Army launched yet another major offensive against Pakistani troops at Bhimber and Battal sectors along LoC between twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri killing six Pakistani troopers and injuring five in the afternoon. This was third fierce retaliatory action undertaken by the Indian troops exactly during past one month. Some of the Pakistani posts and bunkers were also destroyed in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops, sources said, adding that mortar shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops stopped immediately after Indian forces undertook retaliatory action.

Pakistan also claimed that their one civilian was killed in retaliatory firing by the Indian Army. Sources also said that major counter attack against the Pakistan army, which was undertaken this afternoon from Bhimber and Battal sectors of Rajouri and Poonch districts, was necessitated to decimate Pakistani posts, which were raining mortars on Indian civilian areas and were also preparing to facilitate infiltration attempts into the Indian territory.

Pakistan summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh in Islamabad following Army’s killing. Pakistan alleged that at least one civilian was killed and four others were injured in the Indian firing in Battal sector in Rawalakot District on June 1st morning. However, India categorically denied Pakistan charge of resorting to ceasefire violation saying Pakistan started mortar shelling and firing prompting Indian retaliation.

Indian Army foiled a major infiltration bid in Macchil sector of LoC in Kupwara District during which one Army personnel was injured. Sources said that troops deployed at the LoC in Macchil sector of Kupwara noticed movement of at least a group of six militants trying to infiltrate into the sector during the wee hours on June 1. The troops deployed challenged the infiltrators leading to a gun battle. However, the group managed to escape back to PoK under the cover of darkness and thick foliage. One Army personnel was injured in the encounter.

Army has foiled several infiltration attempts along the LoC in Kashmir during last one month. So far, 19 militants, who were trying to infiltrate into Kashmir, have been killed but equal number of them managed to sneak in since winter this year. Army said that around 250 militants are waiting on the launch pads for infiltration but troops are alert to thwart their attempts.

UHM Rajnath Singh said infiltration by militants from Pakistan has come down to a large extent after India conducted surgical strikes on the terror hubs across the LoC. Addressing a gathering of Central police and paramilitary personnel during a BSF investiture ceremony in New Delhi, the Home Minister also asked security personnel to be cautious against using and forwarding unverified social media content. “There used to be infiltration by militants from Pakistan. But I can say after surgical strikes, incidents of infiltration have come down to a large extent. I compliment both the Army and the BSF for ensuring border security,” Singh said.

SFs busted an LeT OGW network by arresting five persons, that was supplying arms and ammunition to the militants in Bandipora District. Police said that an input was received that one Wagon-R vehicle is roaming between Chandergeer, Hajin, Shahgund and Gund-Jahangeer areas, carrying militants  and OGWs and arms and ammunition and were planning attacks. SFs laid a naka at Khusarpora Hajin axis, leading to recovery of huge cache of arms and ammunition, which was meant to be supplied to LeT group operating in the Shahgund and Gund-Jahangeer areas.

During the checking, one white color Wagon-R vehicle was intercepted and five boarding persons, identified as as driver Bashir Ahmad Mir, Mohammad Younis Bhat, Shabir Ahmad Dar, Hilal Ahmad Parray, and Sonaullah Dar, were questioned. “The extensive search of the vehicle and personal search of the people boarding the vehicle was conducted and 10 grenades, 2 AK-47 magazines and 27 rounds of AK rifle were recovered from the vehicle. All the five persons were arrested and vehicle was seized”, Police said

A HM militant, identified as Suhaib Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Chursoo Awantipora in Pulwama District, was arrested by SFs from Manigam area of Qazigund in Anantnag District. One pistol, one pistol magazine and eight pistol rounds were recovered from his possession.

Police arrested a youth, identified as Tufail Mir who appeared in a video holding an AK-47 rifle, after he returned to his home in Srinagar. Tufail Mir had appeared holding an assault rifle in a video, which went viral on social media, including Facebook and WhatsApp on May 24, about a week after his disappearance. “Mir is with his family at home,” DIG CKR Ghulam Hassan Bhat said. However, when asked whether the youth has surrendered or was caught, he didn’t give any further details about what led the youth to return home.

June 2

The central intelligence agencies and Police in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir are on their toes following an input that a highly trained handler of LeT from Pakistan, identified as Hanzia Anan, is present in India to direct attacks against civilian and military targets. According to alert shared with the SFs, Anan's plans could include parts of Srinagar, Vijaypur railway station in Jammu, industrial areas in Samba and Bari Brahmana, boys hostel at Jammu Dental College, areas along Gurdaspur-Brahmana Road to Tibri near the Indian Army camp and Gurdaspur and Dinanagar in Punjab.

Intelligence agencies have not been able to establish Anan's location yet but sources said that he may have sneaked into India recently and could be helped by local operatives to carry out the attacks. It is not known yet whether the LeT operative came to India alone or along with other cadres, but the input on his presence has seen security at all locations being increased and efforts are being made to trace him.

A Policeman and a woman were injured as stone-pelting clashes raged at various areas of Jammu and Kashmir on June 2 after Friday congregational prayers during which SFs were attacked with petrol bombs.

Clashes broke out between youths and SFs in Chota Bazar and Jamia market areas of Sopore town of Baramulla District after Friday prayers. The youth pelted stones on SFs and the latter fired teargas canisters. A Kupwara-bound Police vehicle was stoned by youth on Sopore outskirts in which a Policeman, identified as Fayaz Ahmad sustained grievous eye injury.

An elderly woman, identified as Sarwa Begum was injured after a stone hit her leg during clashes at Reshi Bazar area of Anantnag District in the afternoon. The woman was injured when dozens of youths after offering Friday prayers were clashing with SFs. Minor clashes also broke out at Vayilo village of Kokernag in Anantnag after Friday prayers.

A least five petrol bombs were hurled by masked youth towards SFs at Saraf Kadal in Srinagar during intense stone-pelting. However, no one was hurt in these petrol bomb attacks.

Hundreds of youth assembled in Nowhatta area in Srinagar after Friday prayers were over at historic Jama Masjid. Unlike past occasions, there was no deployment of SFs this Friday in Nowhatta and its adjoining areas. Youth, who assembled in main square of Nowhatta, shouted slogans. The youth later resorted to heavy stone-throwing on SFs near Gunj Baksh Park in Nowhatta. Although the security forces chased these stone-throwers multiple times but the latter repeatedly re-grouped and pelted stones heavily. During clashes, a youth was detained by Police. The clashes later spilled over to Saraf Kadal and Rajouri Kadal localities.

The situation in restive Pulwama District was by and large peaceful. However, incidents of stone-pelting were reported from couple of places. A police official said that some youth pelted stones on police station Pulwama after Friday prayers. He said that in another incident, some youths pelted stones on CRPF at Bellow in Rajpora area of the District. There were, however, no injuries.

A stone-pelting incident was also reported from Hyhama village of Kupwara District.

Police released moderate separatist and chairman of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from his house detention and was allowed to deliver sermon at Jama Masjid in Srinagar.

One civilian, identified as Akhtar was reportedly injured in yet another ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the LoC in Shahpur Kerni area of Poonch District of J&K in the night. This is the third case of ceasefire violation by the Pakistan Army in the preceding 36 hours. The Pakistan Army launched indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, 82 mm and 120 mm mortars at 11 pm on June 2 night. Heavy firing and shelling from Pakistan took place in Poonch, Shahpur, Kerni, Sauujian and Mendher Districts also.

The number of local Kashmiri youths recruited by terror groups in the Valley in the first five months this year (2017) alone has more than doubled as compared to the whole of 2016, intelligence agencies cautioned the UMHA. This comes a day after UHM Rajnath Singh said that infiltration of militants from Pakistan has dropped following the Army’s surgical strikes against terror launchpads in PoK in September last year.

According to a report by intelligence agencies, the security establishment has expressed concern over terror recruitments. While 128 locals joined militancy last year, “the figure could be between 260 and 300 till May this year alone.’’  Another important issue flagged by intelligence agencies and described as “alarming’’ was that the recruitment drive, particularly by HM, was not just limited to south Kashmir but extended to north as well as central Kashmir. One of the main reasons, sources said, for the sharp increase in locals joining the ranks of militant groups in the Valley was the sustained and aggressive campaign, including through social media, carried out by terror modules particularly after the killing of HM ‘commander’ Burhan Wani in July 2016.

Intelligence agencies have also alerted that terror outfits were facing a severe shortage of arms and ammunition as security agencies have been successful to a large extent in checking smuggling of weapons from across the border. This, the report adds, could lead to an increase in incidents of militants snatching weapons from security forces in the days ahead and that most local Kashmir youths recruited recently would be used for this purpose.

The report said, one of the main reasons for local youths getting lured by HM, as compared to LeT and JeM, the other two main terror outfits active in Kashmir, is that HM is largely a local group with most of its cadre and sympathisers from the Valley alone.

June 3

Pakistan resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling on forward posts and civilian areas along LoC in Poonch District, prompting Indian troops to retaliate. A defence spokesperson said that, “the Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively. The firing is presently on”.

NIA raided 14 locations in Kashmir and eight in Delhi in connection with the terror funding case. According to sources, the raids were in connection with alleged hawala operations between Pak-based terror groups and Kashmiri separatists. The NIA also raided separatist leaders’ house, office and commercial locations. According to reports, NIA has registered a case against hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in the matter. Earlier, the agency scrutinised five bank accounts allegedly linked to Geelani as part of its probe into suspected terror funding.

Two Army jawans were killed and four others injured as militants attacked an Army convoy near Toll Post Lower Munda on Srinagar-Jammu NH in Qazigund area of Anantnag District. The firing by militants left six jawans injured out of which two critically wounded soldiers succumbed to their injuries. They have been identified as Manivang and Deepak Methi. HM has claimed responsibility for the attack on Army convoy that left two jawans martyred. "A Hizb squad carried out the attack. We congratulate it for the successful attack," Hizb operational spokesman Burhan-ud-din was quoted as saying by a Kashmir-based news agency.

Pakistan resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling violating ceasefire on forward posts and civilian areas along LoC in Poonch District, prompting Indian troops to retaliate. "Pakistani army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, 82mm and 120mm mortars from 11:00pm yesterday along the LoC in Poonch sector", a defense spokesperson said.

June 4

Pakistani Rangers violated ceasefire by firing two rounds along IB near Patawal BOP in Ramgarh sector of Samba District. “Pakistani Rangers violated ceasefire by firing two rounds of small arm on BSF Patawal Border Outpost in Ramgarh Sector at 6.30 am today (June 4),” official sources said. They said that no casualty or damage was reported on the Indian side. The BSF did not retaliate to the firing. The Rangers reportedly targeted a BSF patrol party moving in the forward area but failed to hit the target.

Pakistani Rangers had resorted to similar kind of targeted firing in Arnia sector of the IB in Jammu District. The BSF was maintaining high alert all along the IB to thwart infiltration attempts by the militants.

For second consecutive day today, the NIA conducted simultaneous raids in Jammu and Srinagar to unearth the nexus of hawala funding to separatists, OGWs and others to fuel militancy and unrest in the Valley even as the raiding teams were reported to have recovered foreign currency apart from yesterday’s (June 3) seizure of cash, gold and other items including documents. The NIA has frozen bank accounts and lockers of some of the separatists and traders, whose houses and business premises have been searched in the biggest ever crackdown to unearth hawala and terror funding in the Kashmir valley from Pakistan and some other foreign nations during the past two days. Nearly 40 locations have been raided and searched since yesterday by large number of NIA personnel, assisted by the Enforcement Directorate sleuths with the protection of paramilitary and Police personnel.

Sources said that Pakistan and its sponsored militant outfits, mainly LeT and HM had not only used New Delhi and Haryana based hawala operators to pump money to the separatists, OGWs and other influential persons to keep the pot boiling in the Valley but they had also used cross-LoC trade between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK through Poonch-Rawlakote and Uri-Muzaffarabad routes to generate the funding.

June 5

Four militants were killed in retaliatory fire by SFs as they attempted to attack a CRPF camp at Sumbal in Bandipora District of J&K early morning. According to report, the heavily armed militants tried to enter the camp of 45 Battalion CRPF at Sumbal in Bandipora at around 3.45am by opening fire at the sentry post. The gun battle between the SFs and militants went on till 6.15am. "Four militants were killed in the retaliatory firing and the suicide attack was foiled," the Police official said. Their bodies were recovered along with four AK rifles, one UBGL grenades and hand grenades.

After the killing of four militants in Sumbal area in Bandipora District early in the day as they tried to storm into CRPF camp, clashes erupted between protesters and SFs in the area as youth took to streets and pelted stones on Police Station Sumbal to protest the killing of four militants. The area observed shutdown against the killings. Authorities suspended all cellular networks and mobile internet, except the BSNL phones, in the area to prevent any flare up in the situation.

The DGP, Dr SP Vaid said that Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) is waging a major cyber war in Kashmir and Police and other security agencies are effectively dealing with it. “JuD has declared 2017 ‘year of Kashmir’ and they with their malicious intentions are misleading children of Pakistan by saying they have to fight Jihad in Kashmir and there is no need to go to Kashmir and instead wage cyber Jihad from Pakistan only. A cyber war has been launched and we are trying to effectively deal with it. Their maximum efforts would be to create mayhem and disturbance in Kashmir which security and people of Kashmir won’t let happen”, he added.

Police foiled a proposed meeting of three top separatist leaders to discuss raids by NIA during past two days in Kashmir as part of alleged hawala funding to them. The chairmen of moderate Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, JKLF Yasin Malik and hardline Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani were scheduled to meet at Hyderpora of Budgam District - the residence-cum-office of Geelani - at 11 am on June 5 and then address a press conference. However, Police did not allow the meeting to take place and placed Mirwaiz and Geelani under house detention while it detained Malik, who was lodged in Maisuma Police Station after being detained from his residence on June 5 morning. The Police also sealed off the lane leading to the house of Geelani at Hyderpora by erecting concertina wire. ‘

DGMO Lieutenant General AK Bhatt categorically told his Pakistani counterpart that the Army would give “appropriate and adequate’’ response to any attempt by Pakistani troops to “aid and abet’’ infiltration attempts on the LoC. The DGMOs of India and Pakistan spoke on hotline to discuss current situation along the LoC while BSF and Rangers also held Commandant-Wing Commander level flag meeting at the IB in Suchetgarh sector to discuss host of issues including yesterday’s ceasefire violation by the Rangers in Arnia sector and upcoming Baba Chamliyal Ji mela in Ramgarh sector of Samba District on June 22.

June 6

The militants, who tried to storm a CRPF camp in a pre-dawn suicide attack in J&K on June 5, intended a prolonged siege and extensive damage, UHM Rajnath Singh said. Giving the details of the attack in which four militants were killed while attacking CRPF’s Sumbal camp in Bandipora District, Singh said the heavily-armed “fidayeen” terrorists approached the paramilitary camp with the intent of breaching it.  “The terrorists were heavily armed with automatic rifles, grenades and incendiary material such as petrol, and were carrying dry rations which indicate they intended a prolonged siege and extensive damage,” he said in a statement.

A civilian, identified as Adil Farooq was killed during clashes in Shopian District after SFs trapped two militants of HM in the evening. SFs cordoned off Ganowpora village in Shopian District in the evening after reports of two militants of HM – Naveed and Zahid – were hiding in a house. As the SFs cordoned the village, SFs fired few probing shots. The residents of the area immediately came out and pelted stones on the SFs, who were conducting the operation. Adil Farooq was hit by a bullet and was removed to hospital for treatment. He, however, succumbed to injuries.

Several persons were injured during clash between the two groups and later Police lathi-charge and stone pelting by locals at Mendhar town in the Poonch District.

June 7

A HM militant, who was seen in a video taken during the funeral of outfit ‘commander’ Sabzar Bhat last week, surrendered before authorities in Kashmir, Police said. Investigations revealed that he was Danish Ahmed, a resident of Handwara in the Kupwara District studying at the Doon P G College of Agriculture Science and Technology, Dehradun. “A few days back, video clips of an unidentified terrorist wearing a battle pouch with a grenade were in circulation on social media. “These video clips were clicked in Tral area by local media persons during the funeral of self-style terrorist commander Sabzar Bhat,” a Police spokesperson said.

Four militants were killed in a gun battle in Machil sector along LoC in Kupwara District while Army foiled three infiltration bids along the LoC. Army’s 56 RR launched a massive cordon and search operation at Sardari Nad forest area after reports of infiltration of a group of militants in Tangri post general area was reported. Militants hiding in the area opened fire on the troops leading to gun fight in which one militant was killed. However, the militants fled away and additional troops including 4 Para-Commandos have been rushed to the area and massive manhunt has been launched against these militants. Three more militants were later gunned down. According to report, one or two militants are still hiding in the area. A Srinagar based Defence spokesman said that three militants were killed in the operation and three AK-47 rifles were recovered.

Troops of 4 JAK LI and 4 Para-Commandos launched massive operation after movement of 5-6 infiltrating militants was noticed in Doba Sardar area of Uri (Baramulla District) near the LoC in the afternoon. As a group of highly trained militants infiltrated into this area, Army launched the operation. Militants fired on the troops injuring two of them, identified as Vijay Sharma and Firasat Ali. Militants are hiding in the dense forest area near the LoC and Army have recovered 6 bags of militants so far.

Army foiled an infiltration bid by a group of highly trained militants in Kanzalwan area of Gurez in Bandipora District. Army noticed movement of a group of 5-6 militants infiltrating into the area and challenged them. The militants fired back but managed to escape back to PoK.

Army is on high alert along the LoC after reports of over 250 militants waiting on the launch pads in PoK for infiltration. They foiled several infiltration attempts recently killing 23 militants so far this year. However, few group of militants managed to sneak in this year and as per the MAC figures, 19 militants infiltrated this year till April.

At least 25 persons including Policemen and students were injured as clashes broke out in parts of South Kashmir against the killing of a student on June 6 during a counter-insurgency operation in Shopian District. A large number of people gathered at Ganawpora village of Shopian District to attend the funeral prayers of Adil Farooq Magray, a first year student killed in firing on June 6, and staged massive protests.

A spontaneous shutdown was observed in Shopian and Pulwama Districts against the student’s killing during which students of various institutes took to streets and clashed with Police. Intense clashes broke out at Pampore where secondary students including girls boycotted their classes and hit streets.

The students blocked the Srinagar-Jammu NH and resorted to heavy stone-pelting on SFs after being intercepted by Police. The Police fired back tear and pepper gas canisters but students did not disperse and engaged the security personnel in pitched battle. At least 17 students and two Policemen were injured in the clashes at Pampore where a shutdown was also observed against the killing at Shopian.

Scores of students at IUST Awantipora came out of their classes and staged protests against the killing of Shopian student. They marched towards Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and blocked the road. The students clashed with Police who fired teargas canisters in a bid to disperse them. A police spokesman with regard to clashes at Pampore and Awantipora said it exercised restraint and suffered injuries of its men.

Large number of police personnel received injuries due to heavy stone pelting by the students in Namblabal Pampore and University Road Awantipora. The situation was brought under control and the National Highway was kept through for vehicular movement. The students of Newa Higher Secondary School in Pulwama District also held similar protests and clashed with police. During clashes, three students sustained injuries.

The clashes between youth and security forces also broke out at Memandar, Kellar and Sofanaman villages of Shopian District against the killing student. Police fired teargas to disperse the stone-throwers. A spontaneous shutdown was observed in Shopian District. In Pulwama Town, three persons were injured after clashes broke out between youth and SFs against Shopian killing.

District Magistrate Shopian ordered a time-bound enquiry into the killing. According to the order, Assistant Commissioner Revenue, Shopian has been appointed Enquiry Officer to “ascertain the circumstances” which led to death of the student. The Enquiry Officer has been asked to submit the enquiry report within 25 days.

India accused Pakistan of using terror as an instrument of state policy and asked Islamabad to vacate its illegal occupation of PoK. Raising the issue of Pak-sponsored terrorism at the 35th session of UNHRC, India said "Pakistan must rein in its compulsive hostility towards us." "The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that Pakistan remains in illegal occupation of a part of our territory. Therefore, the neutrality of the phrase "Indian-administered Jammu & Kashmir" is artificial," Rajiv K Chander, India's Permanent Representative at the United Nations (UN), asserted during the session.

June 8

Three militants and one soldier were killed in Nowgam sector in Kupwara District today morning after Pakistan violated ceasefire in the area and sent a group of infiltrators under the cover of firing. This is fourth infiltration bid that was foiled by army along LoC since yesterday (June 7).

The CRPF is exploring technology that could track and disable weapons looted by Left Wing Extremists in Left Wing Extremism-affected districts and terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Automatic and semi-automatic rifles/guns like AK rifles, SLRs, INSAS rifles and revolvers used by the Security Forces in counter-insurgency and anti-Maoist operations are the ones used by the ultras in ambushes and attacks on the camps. CRPF Director General Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar confirmed that the force is looking at such technology. He, however, said that this is in planning stage.

June 9

Army foiled a major infiltration bid along the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District killing 5 infiltrating militants. Srinagar based Defence spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that Army foiled a major infiltration bid by militants in Uri sector killing 5 militants. Five militants were killed in the fierce gun battle that was going on since morning. Troops suspected presence of one more militant in the area.

SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police detained two youth, identified as Mir Showkat, who has done B.Tech and Danish Gulzar, who is pursuing MA in Dangerpora area of Pulwama District.

A shutdown against the killing of a student in Shopian District early this week paralyzed normal life across Kashmir during which authorities imposed restrictions in seven Police Station areas of Srinagar city while stone-throwing clashes left three persons injured.

Police detained separatist leader and JKLF chairman Yasin Malik at Sarai-e-Bala area in Srinagar. After offering Friday prayers, Malik along with dozens of JKLF supporters staged protests and tried to march towards Lal Chowk but Police deployed in the area did not allow the JKLF chief and his supporters to proceed ahead. The Police detained Malik and lodged him in nearby Police Station.

After Malik’s detention, clashes between stone-pelters and SFs broke out near Iqra Masjid at Sarai-e-Bala. The clashes also broke out at Sabzi Mandi in Soura, Chhattabal and at HMT in city areas. Police fired teargas canisters to disperse the stone-throwers. A youth was injured at Chattabal during clashes and he was shifted to SMHS Hospital where his condition is stated to be stable. Minor stone-pelting incidents erupted in downtown areas after lifting of restrictions.

After Friday prayers, clashes broke out at Memandar area of Shopian and in Tahab, Pampore, Main Town and Bellow areas of Pulwama District. Police fired teargas canisters to disperse the stone-throwers and at Pulwama town also resorted to aerial firing.

In Chewa Kalan village of Newa in Pulwama district, stone-throwers targeted Army vehicles after which soldiers opened fire in air. The clashes also erupted at Reshi Bazar area of Anantnag district during which one youth was injured. He was hit by pellets in his eye and was shifted to hospital for treatment.

The clashes also broke out at Ajas, Papchan and Hajin areas of North Kashmir’s Bandipora District. Similar clashes also raged at Sopore town of Baramulla district and in Main Town of Kupwara District. A Police Head Constable was injured in Kupwara clashes.

A police spokesman while detailing Friday’s situation said that barring the five stray incidents of stone pelting, situation across the Valley remained peaceful and under control till filing of this report. “After Friday prayers, these stone pelting incidents were reported from Memander, near Mini-Secretariat in Shopian, near Reshmoual Sahib Shrine in Anantnag, Near Jamia Masjid in Kupwara and at Main Chowk Sopore,” he said.

The UHM Rajnath Singh said that the country’s borders were “more secure” than before and would be further fortified to stop illegal infiltration. “India’s borders are more safe and secure as compared to the past and the Government has decided to make the borders highly protected in the years to come so that no citizen of a foreign country can enter into India without the permission of the Government of India,” Singh said. He was speaking at the inauguration of a ‘MODI-fest’ in Jaipur (Rajasthan) to mark the third anniversary of the Narendra Modi Government.

June 10

Army, foiled an infiltration bid along LoC in Gurez sector in Uri in Bandipora District killing one militant. Srinagar based Defense spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in Srinagar that Army foiled an infiltration bid in Gurez sector of the LoC in Bandipora District. He said that one militant was killed and an AK-47 rifle was recovered from him.

Pakistan army tonight, again resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing along LoC in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch District targeting forward defense locations and civilian population, prompting an effective retaliation from the troops. Official sources said Pakistani troops started shelling at Mankote, Balnoi, Nangi Tekri and surrounding areas of Krishna Ghati sector around 8.20 pm. Initially, Pakistan army violated ceasefire with small and heavy arms but later resorted to 82mm mortar shelling. The Indian side was responding effectively, leading to heavy exchanges.

June 11

Four Policemen were injured after militants hurled a grenade at their bunker in Saraf Kadal area of downtown Srinagar in the night. Police said that the attack took place at around 10: 25 pm on a bunker. The injured have been identified as Nazir Ahmad, Constable Tariq Ahmad and Selection Grade Constable Farooq Ahmad of Police Post Urdu Bazar and SI Vikas Panday of CRPF.

Militants fired at the camp of SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police at Imam Sahib area of Shopian District in the afternoon in which one SPO, identified as Khursheed Ahmad was injured.

India, launched another major offensive against Pakistan after latter’s Army targeted defence locations and civilian areas along LoC in three sectors in twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri and also activated IB in Ramgarh sector of Samba District. At least nine posts and bunkers of Pakistan Army were destroyed opposite Krishna Ghati and Nowshera sectors in retaliatory fire by the troops while Pakistan claimed civilian casualties on their side.

Official sources said that heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistan Army on the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch Districts, which began late June 10 night and continued till June 11 afternoon, was a clear indication that troops across the LoC were instructed to keep pot boiling on the LoC. However, they said, the Indian troops, who were anticipating misadventures by Pakistan following the visit of Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to the LoC, retaliated Pakistan shelling and firing very effectively. According to sources, at least nine posts and bunkers of Pakistan army have been razed to ground across Krishna Ghati and Nowshera sectors in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops. Pakistan claimed civilian casualties, both fatal and non-fatal, on their side. Sources didn’t rule out fatalities on part of Pakistan army in destruction of their posts but there were no exact numbers.

Pakistan Army activated three major sectors along LoC including Krishna Ghati, Bhimber Gali and Nowshera in Rajouri and Poonch Districts, just a day after General Bajwa visited Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK and some forward posts on the LoC, where he inter-acted with Field Commanders and jawans.

June 12 

Two CRPF troopers were injured as militants fired a grenade from UBGL towards 180th Battalion of CRPF camp at Tral in Pulwama District in the night. The grenade exploded near the gate of the camp injuring two CRPF men. Police and Army immediately reached the spot and joined CRPF to conduct searches in the nearby locality but militants had managed to flee under the cover of darkness. Later, HM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Army foiled a major infiltration attempt by Pakistan backed militants on the LoC in Poonch sector in wee hours in the morning forcing the infiltrators to retreat and effecting major recoveries while an Army Havildar, Danesh Kumar was injured as Pakistani troops continued heavy mortar shelling and firing at Krishna Ghati, Mankote and Lam sectors in twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri.

Official sources said alert Indian troops observed movement of infiltrators at 3.30 am on June 12 along LoC in Poonch sector, who were trying to sneak into the Indian side with active support of Pakistan army, On being fired upon by the Army, the militants retaliated but retreated as troops stepped-up firing to eliminate them.

In the morning, Army conducted searches in the area and recovered eight rucksacks carrying one combat jacket each, one UBGL, one binocular, one radio set with antenna, seven shawls, medicines, ready to eat meat, one mobile phone, battery cells, eatables and clothing. A major tragedy has been averted with thwarting of the infiltration attempt, sources said. Meanwhile, Havildar Danesh Kumar was injured in continued Pakistan shelling at Sagra in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch District in the evening.

SFs busted a HM module by arresting two militants and two OGWs and recovered huge quantity of arms and ammunition from their possession in Jammu and Kashmir. On specific information regarding movement of militants, a joint Naka of Handwara Police and RR was laid at Chogal, Handwara in Kupwara District during which two persons identified as Mehrajudin and Obaid Shafi Malla both residents of Awantipora were caught while moving in suspicious circumstances. On their checking a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered. During the investigation, they revealed that they had come to Handwara for receiving ammunition and other war like stores for their militant outfit in South Kashmir. Sources said that preliminary investigating revealed that these militants were members of an HM militant module, which would not only recruit youth into militancy by radicalizing them over social media but also coordinate their training and arranged arms/ammunition.

On the discloser of these two militants, two more members of the module working as OGWs were arrested from Awantipora in Pulwama District. They were identified as Shahid Ahmad Thoker and Irfan Ahmad, both residents of Awantipora.

The NIA has approached Pakistan to provide details of four fidayeen (suicide) attackers involved in Uri attack of September 18, 2017. The attack at Uri became one of the main reasons for strained Indo-Pak relations in the last one year. According to the sources in the anti-terror probe agency, a judicial request (letter rogatory) has been sent to Pakistan via diplomatic channels in which details of DNA samples, medicines, clothes, shoes, accessories and DNA of one of the four terrorists who was identified as Abu Anas by the agencies. NIA wants to know from Pakistan the identities of other three terrorists, their outfit and who sent them apart from other details. The agency probe points to the role of LeT in the terror strike. Earlier, the Army had claimed that JeM was behind the plot but later evidence suggested that the four fidayeen belonged to LeT.

June 13

At least 14 SF personnel were injured in seven separate militant attacks across J&K while militants attacked residence of retired Justice and decamped with four rifles. The CRPF, in the meantime, has sounded alert and asked its troops across Kashmir to remain alert and launch offensive against the militants.

At least 10 CRPF personnel were injured as militants hurled a grenade on their camp at Lariyar village of Tral in Pulwama District. Militants lobbed the grenade on 180 Battalion CRPF camp at Lariyar resulting in injuries to 10 CRPF men. The injured have been identified as Charanlal, Ganpat Singh, Santanu Gosh, Kundan Lal Chatry, Ramdulare, Meghnad Das, Itlish Kumar, Motilal Meena, Gnanave A, B Sanjay Sadahsio. HM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Militants in the night attacked Police Guard picket deployed at the residence of Retired Justice Mohammad Attar at Anchidora in Anantnag District and decamped with four SLRs. Reports said that a group of militants attacked security guards deployed at the residence of Justice Attar and decamped with four SLRs including magazines. They said that two Policemen including a SPO were injured in the attack.

Militants hurled a grenade on Police Station Pulwama in the night injuring two Policemen including an SPO. They also fired at the Police, which retaliated but militants managed to escape.

Militants in the night hurled a grenade on 42 RR camp of Army at Largam Tral in Pulwama District. The grenade exploded outside the camp and didn’t cause any damage.

Militants hurled a grenade on 130 battalion of CRPF at Padgampora Awantipora in Pulwama District in the night. However, no one was injured in the attack.

Militants hurled a grenade on 116 battalion of CRPF at Sarbal Pahalgam in Anantnag District. However, no one was injured in the attack.

Militants tonight also fired a rifle grenade on 22 RR Camp of Army at Sopore in Baramulla District. However, on one was injured.

June 14

Pakistan violated ceasefire along LoC in Bimber Gali sector in Rajouri District. Indian Army gave befitting reply to this unprovoked firing from Pakistan side, the report said. Pakistan Army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and 82 mm mortars from 0500 hours to 0545 hours, report added.

Army personnel, who have been maintaining strict surveillance all along the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch, targeted forward Pakistan army posts in Nowshera, Bhimber Gali and Balakote sectors, which were assisting the militants in re-establishing their launching pads on the LoC for making multiple intrusion bids in the next few days. “The Pakistan army and militants’ move was pre-empted by the Indian troops, who targeted Pakistani posts, which were helping militants to re-establish their launching pads along LoC. As the Pakistani posts came under intense shelling, they abandoned the plot to again set up the launch pads,” sources said, adding there were Intelligence inputs that the militants would make infiltration attempts together at various places to force their way.

Stone-throwing clashes erupted at Pulwama town of south Kashmir while a shutdown was observed by locals in Yaripora area of Kulgam District against the ransacking of their properties during night hours allegedly by SFs.

After June 13 night’s grenade attack and firing, the situation in Pulwama Town was tense. Witnesses said amid tense situation, dozens of youths including students assembled in the Town and pelted stones on SFs, resulting in chaos. Police chased away the stone-throwers and the situation normalized later.

A shutdown was observed in Frisal in Kulgam District against the alleged vandalisation by SFs of their properties during night hours. The residents staged a protest and sought action at highest level by authorities. Meanwhile, Police denied the allegation of locals.

DGP Dr, S P Vaid said that said that JeM carried out yesterday’s (June 13) serial attacks in South and North Kashmir. “Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) has large presence and it has been for quite some time and it is not today. These incidents have been carried out by the Jaish-e-Mohammed though Hizb-ul-Mujahideen claimed responsibility”, he added. The DGP, when asked about more attacks taking place in South Kashmir, said that the area has more local militants. “South Kashmir has more local terrorists and that is the reason. North Kashmir is in fact other way round and foreign element is more and that may be the reason”, he said.

After June 13 series of militant attacks in South Kashmir, security has been tightened and Army and other SFs have been asked to go for area domination to prevent such attacks.

June 15

At least two Pakistani soldiers were killed in fierce retaliation by Indian troops as Pakistan Army violated ceasefire thrice along the LoC in two sectors in Rajouri and Poonch Districts of J&K. The Pakistan Army resorted to shelling of mortar bombs and firing of small arms and automatic weapons on forwarding posts and civilians areas in the region.

Indian troops gave a strong retaliation in which two Pakistani soldiers were killed opposite to Bhimbher Gali sector in Rajouri District on June 15, defence sources said. “Pakistan Army initiated indiscriminate firing of mortars, small arms, automatics RPG, Recoilless Rifles from 1840 hours in Naushera sector along the LoC in Rajouri district today,” Defence Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said. Before this third ceasefire violation in the day, the Pakistan Army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics RPG, Recoilless Rifles from 0930 hours in Naushera sector along the LoC in Rajouri District today, he said.

A Policeman, identified as Shahzad Dilawar was killed and another injured in a militant attack in Hyderpora area of Srinagar city in Srinagar District in the night. Militants travelling in a car opened fire on a Police party deployed near J&K Bank in Hyderpora, resulting into injuries to two Policemen. Later, one of the critically injured succumbed. The Police and other SFs have been put on high alert and nakas were immediately established at many places on the NH and Bypass. However, militants had managed to escape.

Militants shot dead a Policeman, identified as Shabir Ahmad Dar in Bogund village of Kulgam District. Police said that he was shot at by militants near his home in Bogund village in Kulgam District in the afternoon. SFs reached the spot immediately and massive manhunt has been launched against his assailants.

Militants fired at a woman, identified as Suraya in Katrasoo in Kulgam District. She was removed to hospital for treatment and her condition is stated to be stable.

In Srinagar outskirts at Rangreth, some youth pelted stones at SFs. A youth was critically injured after SSB opened fire to disperse the protesters. He was removed to hospital and his condition is stated to be critical.

SFs launched a search operation in the border town of Samba (Samba District) along Jammu-Pathankot NH following reports of suspected movement of four persons in the wee hours. Some labourers informed Police about movement of four persons in civilian clothes from Samba Main Chowk on the Highway towards SIDCO industrial area close to Basantar river belt. Basantar river, which flows into Pakistan across the IB, is one of the main infiltration routes of militants into the State and in past many times militants have sneaked into Jammu through the river basin. “Search operation was launched in Samba town along the highway after some people reported about suspected movement of four persons in the wee hours today,” a Police officer said.

Pakistani troops started heavy mortar shelling and firing in forward areas of Nowshera sector in Rajouri District. The Indian side gave befitting response to the shelling and firing, leading to heavy exchanges that continued till late night. Baba Khori, Sher Makri, Number, Sher Shalak, Kharli and Jhanghar areas in Nowshera sector were the worst hit by Pakistan’s mortar shelling from 1.45 pm to 3.50 pm and from 5.30 pm onwards. However, no casualties or major damage had been reported on the Indian side.

June 16

A joint team of SFs, in an encounter,  killed three LeT militants, identified as Junaid Ahmad Mattoo alias 'Jana,  Adil Mushtaq Mir alias 'Nana' and Nisar Ahmad Wani in Arwani village of Kulgam District. After getting specific input about the presence of three LeT militants, SF surrounded two houses in Arwani village. When the SFs closed in on the hiding militants, they were fired upon by the militants, triggering an exchange. The encounter continued throughout the day and firing ended this evening. Bodies of the three slain militants were recovered on June 17 morning.

Report said that scores of people also received injuries during the clashes near the encounter site in Arwani village. Two youths, identified as Mohammad Ashraf (34) and Ahsan Mushtaq (15) were killed and 20 others injured during the clashes near the encounter site in Arwani. According to the Police, Mohammad Ashraf was caught in crossfire when the encounter started at 10 AM at Arwani village.

In one of the major militant attack against Police, six Police personnel including a SHO were killed in Achabal in Anantnag District. Two civilians were also injured in the attack. A group of at least 10 militants in the evening laid an ambush on a Police party at Thajwara village in Achabal in Anantnag District. They surrounded the Police party and opened fire from all directions at their vehicle killing SHO of Achabal Police Station, identified as Feroze Ahmed Dar and five others, identified as Constable Shariq Ahmad, Constable Tasveer Ahmad, Constable Shiraz Ahmad, SPO Mohammad Asif, SPO Sabzar Ahmad. Militants also snatched 5 AK-47 rifles and ammunition from the dead Policemen. Sources said that the SFs had inputs that the LeT are planning to carry out militant strike in Anantnag.  Later, LeT has claimed responsibility for attack. The militants disfigured the faces of the six Policemen in the attack before walking away with their weapons, Police said.

Another youth who had received severe bullet injuries in Rangreth area in Budgam District on June 15 evening during protests succumbed to his injuries on June 16. The deceased youth, identified as Naseer Ahmad, was a resident of Ashtengo village in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

Dozens of persons were injured in parts of Kashmir during massive stone-throwing clashes before and after Friday prayers. Scores of youths in Pampore area of Pulwama District took to streets and pelted stones on Police and paramilitary. Police resorted to pellet firing and intense teargas shelling to disperse the rock-throwing protests. Three persons sustained injuries during clashes at Pampore and they were shifted to hospital.

The clashes also raged in Main Town of Pulwama District after Friday prayers. Large number of youths converged in Main Town and resorted to heavy stone-pelting on security personnel deployed. Police resorted to teargas shelling in the area to contain the stone-pelting clashes.

Clashes also broke out in Kakapora area of the Pulwama District. Police in Main Town of Anantnag District used force to break up a protest after which stone-pelting clashes erupted. The clashes continued for nearly an hour but concluded without any major injury to anyone.

In Tral Town of Pulwama district, groups of youth resorted to stone-pelting on security forces and enforced a shutdown against the Arwani killings.

In Srinagar, clashes between youth and SFs broke out near Jama Masjid in Nowhatta area after culmination of Friday prayers. Scores of youth resorted to heavy stone-pelting on Police and paramilitary in the area while police responded by lobbing dozens of teargas shells.

The clashes in Nowhatta area continued for several hours and later spilled over to Rajouri Kadal and Saraf Kadal neighborhoods. One youth was detained by police while he was pelting stones.

The clashes between youth and SFs also erupted at Sopore town of Baramulla District after Friday prayers. No one was reported injured in the clashes in Sopore and Bandipora areas.

Two youths were injured in Army firing after they allegedly didn’t stop at a checkpoint in Bandipora District on June 16. Locals said that Army opened fire on a car near Chek Reshipora area of Bandipora. “Two youths were injured in the firing. The Army signaled them to stop but they didn’t and were ultimately fired upon,” they said, adding that both of them sustained bullet wounds and were shifted to nearby hospital from where they were referred to Srinagar.

Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep anguish over the killing of two civilians and six Policemen across Kashmir valley during the past 24 hours. The Chief Minister said she has reiterated it time and again that violence and innocent killings would lead the State only to a cobweb bloodletting and destruction and uncertainty rather than paving the way for any peaceful solution.

DGP, Dr S P Vaid, said that militants have adopted a new strategy of targeting local Police for their work on anti-militancy front eagerly. “Targeting local cops is a new strategy by militants. The local police works on the anti-militancy front with eagerness, that is why they (militants) are targeting them (police). But I am sure that we will control this soon”, DGP said.

In the meantime, Director General of CRPF, Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar, said that his force is well trained and are ready for any challenges on militancy and law and order front. Bhatnagar said: “During the law and order probe, we face different kind of challenges as well as on militant front. So we are ready to face those challenges. We are well trained, well prepared, well motivated and we will face those challenges.”

An Army jawan, identified as Naik Bakhtawar Singh was killed and another injured in heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistan along LoC at Kalsian village in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. Sources said that Pakistan army resumed heavy shelling using 120mm and 82mm mortars and firing with automatic and semi-automatic weapons in Nowshera sector at 4.30 am on June 16. The Indian side retaliated effectively and exchange of firing continued for about two hours. Two Army soldiers were injured in the shelling and firing by Pakistan side. One of them succumbed to his injuries while another injured has been admitted to the hospital in stable condition.

GOC 16 (White Knight) Corps Lieutenant General AK Sharma visited forward areas of LoC in Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch District and reviewed situation with the Army Commanders in view of continued shelling and firing. He met the troops deployed along LoC and commended them for constant vigil and valiant actions taken to thwart inimical designs of Pakistan.

June 17

Militants killed one Ajaz Ahmad of Pinglana area in Pulwama District. Sources said that Ajaz was fired upon by militants outside his house and was critically injured. Militants fled after firing at him. He succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.

Militants attacked a convoy of CRPF in Budgam District. According to officials, bike borne militants opened fire on a vehicle carrying jawans of CRPF's 174 battalion at Duniwara village Budgam's in Chattergam area in the evening. However, no CRPF personnel were injured in the attack.

The perpetrators of the ambush in which six Policemen were killed would "face the law" very soon, J&K DGP S P Vaid said and announced a bounty of INR 10 lakh for LeT ‘commander’ Bashir Lashkari who is believed to have orchestrated the attack.

June 18

A group of militants attacked an Army convoy in south Kashmir's Anantnag District. The militants fired at army vehicles in Bijbehara area and fled from the spot, after which SFs started a search operation. No casualty was reported.

A spontaneous shutdown to mourn the civilian and militant killings was observed in South Kashmir areas amid tense situation. Majority of the shops and commercial establishments were closed in Khudwani, Pampore, Qoimoh, Yaripora, Pulwama and few other areas today against the killings of three LeT militants and two civilians during an encounter at Arwani area of Anantnag District on June 16.

A Police official said the day passed off peacefully and no incident of stone-pelting occurred anywhere. He said that the situation in rest of the Kashmir also remained peaceful and commercial activities as well as transport resumed in central and northern Districts.

Sources said, SFs are tracking five local militants who have returned to Srinagar from South Kashmir. These militants who joined militancy last year (2016) but were operating in South Kashmir have been asked by their commanders to return to Srinagar and operate in the city. Sources said that there were no resident militants in Srinagar till they arrived last month. Their return has made Srinagar a target.

Army’s 46 RR, 179 Battalion of CRPF and SOG of J&K, Baramulla, cordoned off Binnar area of Baramulla District in the afternoon after inputs that ‘divisional commander’ of JeM Khalid Bhai is hiding in the village. They conducted house to house searches in the village and its surroundings but the JeM ‘commander’ had left the village before the SFs arrived.

Exuding confidence that the State Government was capable of handling the prevailing situation in Kashmir valley, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju ruled out direct intervention by the Union Government to tackle the present state of affairs in J&K. “The State Government is capable of handling the situation and input support will be given by the Central Government in this regard,” he said in Srinagar.

June 19

Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District, injuring a soldier. Sources said that Pakistani troops violated ceasefire at around 9 am at Lower Garh post in Uri sector where 20th Sikh regiment is posted. One soldier, identified as Sepoy Hiray Shriram was injured. Army said that Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the LoC to provide cover to the infiltrating militants.

Intense clashes broke out between students and Police in Main Town of Ganderbal District during which a Police personnel was injured while situation elsewhere was normal. The students of Degree College Ganderbal assembled outside their college and started sloganeering. They also burst some firecrackers and then pelted stones on police at Dudherhama in the town. A Police constable, identified as Gulzar Ahmad Magray was injured after he was hit by a stone during clashes. Police while chasing stone-throwing students detained more than a dozen among them.

Among the five militants who came to LeT 'commander' Junaid Matoo's funeral on June 17, two were from the HM, their attendance reflective of a co-ordination between terror outfits that SFs and the Police find worrisome. LeT militants Matoo, Nasir Ahmed Wani and Adil Mushtaq were killed in an encounter in Anantnag District on June 16. Nasir's funeral, too, was attended by two HM commanders. At both places - Matoo's Khudwani village in Kulgam and Nasir's family home in Heff, Shopian - the militants came armed and raised anti-India slogans. A senior Police officer said the presence of militant leaders at funerals of militants who did not belong to the same outfit, was a way to glamourise their movement. "It is a matter of concern for us," said the officer. "By appearing at militants' funerals, they are trying to attract more youths towards militancy and they have been successful sometimes."

June 20

Militants in the evening fired two UBGL grenades at 180 battalion of CRPF at Tral Babla in Pulwama District. However, there was no damage. SFs immediately launched searches in the area but the militants had fled away.

Police recovered arms and ammunition from Old City area of Srinagar. However, no one was arrested in this connection. Sources said that Police station Kral Khud recovered one pistol, four pistol magazines and four grenades from Babdemb area of Srinagar. They said that the arms and ammunition were in rusted condition and were stored by militants.

A SPO was beaten by unidentified assailants at Arampora locality of Ganderbal District. Police said that the SPO, identified as Riyaz Ahmad had gone to offer prayers at Arampora mosque and when he came out of the mosque, he was thrashed by 'miscreants'. "The injured cop has suffered fractures and he has been hospitalized at Bone and Joint Hospital Barzulla," said the Police.

Clashes broke out at Frestbal area of Pampore in Pulwama District between protesters and SFs. The clashes broke out on the occasion of 'Chahrum' (rituals on the fourth day following a death) of a local militant namely Adil Mushtaq who was killed last week at Kulgam District in an encounter. Police used teargas shells to disperse the stone-throwers but they remained unfazed and continued pelting stones for several hours. However, no one was reported injured.

SFs resorted to aerial firing at Churat village of Kulgam District in the evening after their vehicle was stoned by youth. Police said that the vehicle developed some snag and stopped midway on road. As some youth spotted the vehicle, they pelted stones on it and to disperse them, the forces opened fire in air, the police added. No loss of life or injury was reported from area.

June 21

At least two HM militants, identified as Gulzar Ahmad and Basit were killed in an encounter with SFs in Rafiabad area of Baramulla District in the morning. According to report, the militants were holed up inside a house in Pazalpora village in Rafiabad in Baramulla District. Following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants, SFs had launched a cordon and search operation last night (June 20). The Army official said two weapons were also recovered and operations were still on in the area.

Army foiled an infiltration attempt by Pakistan backed terrorists on the LoC in Palanwala sector in Jammu District. The attempt was made in the wee hours around 4.30 AM when alert troopers, deployed along the LoC, detected some suspicious movement on the border. On being challenged and fired by the Indian troops, the suspected group of terrorists fired in return but also ran back to other side of the LoC. Later an intense combing operation was conducted in the area which resulted into recovery of one AK-47 rifle along with ammunition and some other items, being used by the group of terrorists.

June 22

Three militants of the LeT were killed during search operation in Pulwama District. On a tip off about presence of a group of LeT militants hiding in New Colony Kakapora in Pulwama, SFs had launched cordon and search operation last evening (June 21). Militants fired upon SFs on seeing them, leading to an encounter in which an army Major, identified as Major Kartik suffered minor shoulder injury due to bullet hit. The encounter continued till morning and three militants were killed subsequently. Two of them have been identified as Majid Mir and Shabir while the identity of the third militant is yet to be ascertained.

A joint team of Army's first RR and SOG of JKP have laid a cordon in several villages in Baghpora, Magraypora of Marhama in Bijbehara in Anantnag District, after some inputs of militants hiding there. Further details are awaited as the search operation is currently going on at the time of reporting.

Two Army personnel were killed and two others injured when the BAT of Pakistan comprising Special Forces and highly trained militants carried out an attack on the Army personnel in Karmara area of Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch sector in Poonch District. Immediately after the BAT attack, the Indian Army launched massive offensive against Pakistani troops and decimated their four posts from where the BAT members had been launched into the Indian side to carry out the attack, official sources said adding that Indian troops retaliated swiftly killing two members of the BAT team. Sources said the BAT members could be either Pakistan Special Forces or dreaded terrorists of LeT and JeM outfits or mixture of Pakistan army and terrorists.

Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Keran sector in Kupwara District, killing one militant. Sources said that Army launched a massive operation in Keran sector of the LoC in Kupwara after reports that a group of 5-6 infiltrators had managed to sneak in. During massive searches in the forests near the LoC in Keran sector one body of the militant was recovered so far. Army also recovered one AK 47, one rucksack, one radio set, one magazine pouch, one knife and some eatables from the spot.

A DySP, Mohammed Ayub Pandith, was beaten to death by an irate mob in Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on the auspicious occasion of Shab-e-Qadar in the late night. There are conflicting reports about the incident and witnesses said that he was beaten to death by an irate mob after he allegedly opened fire at a group of people, who caught him clicking pictures outside Jamia Masjid injuring three persons. However, DGP Dr SP Vaid said that Pandith was checking the access control in the area. "When he came out after checking, he was surrounded by some miscreants who started manhandling him and asking for his identification. Initial investigation revealed that there was an altercation and the officer fired to get away from the mob. He was, however, overpowered and killed near Bata Chowk in Nowhatta area," he said. DGP added that two persons have been arrested in connection with lynching. "Two people have been arrested, third person has been identified. They will have to face the law," he said.

June 23

The situation in old city (Srinagar) turned tense following the killing incident of DySP, Mohammed Ayub Pandith. The mob went on a rampage targeting empty security pickets erected in the area. Police reinforcement were rushed in to restore normalcy in the area.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti warned people of severe backlash if Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police loses its patience over killing of Police men. Terming the lynching of DySP, Mohammad Ayub Pandith outside the Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar as shameful, she said, J&K Police is one of the best police forces in the country and is showing maximum restraint.

Report said that the DySP Mohammad Ayub Pandit, who was lynched on the premises of Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on June 22 night, is the third officer of Jammu and Kashmir Police to be killed on duty in the past two months and among 17 policemen to be killed this year. Most of the policeman deaths this year were reported from Anantnag and Kulgam Districts. Eleven Policemen were killed in two attacks in Achabal and Kulgam. A total of 13 policemen were killed in militancy-related incidents in the Valley last year (2016). The Police sources have expressed concern about the rising casualty figures, especially in the last two years.

Army recovered arms, ammunition and sharp-edged weapons from Karmara village in Chakan-Da-Bagh area of Poonch sector in Poonch District, where two members of BAT were eliminated while two jawans were martyred and two others injured on June 22 afternoon. Recoveries made from the site of BAT action included one rifle, magazines, ammunition, explosive devices, dagger and war-like stores, which indicated nefarious designs of the BAT members, sources said. Body of one of the slain intruder was recovered from the spot, sources said, adding body of his second slain associate was lying near the LoC and couldn't be recovered. Sources said the BAT members had planned to cause more casualties but their plot was thwarted by the troops with timely retaliation. The BAT members were also carrying with them sharp-edged weapons, headband and cameras, sources said.

June 24

One SF person was killed and another one injured after heavily armed militants attacked a CRPF's patrol party in Pantha Chowk area on the Srinagar-Jammu NH in Srinagar District. A CRPF official in Srinagar said that militants armed with AK-rifles fired indiscriminately around 5:50pm on a vehicle, which was part of a 29 battalion CRPF patrol party, near Pantha Chowk bus stand in Srinagar. "The injured soldiers were evacuated to military hospital at Badamibagh, Srinagar, where Sub-Inspector (SI) Sahab Shukla and other jawan injured in the attack is undergoing treatment," he added. A civilian too has sustained minor injuries in the attack. Later, LeT claimed responsibility of Pantha Chowk attack. "Mujahideen Lashkar-e-Toiba attacked on CRPF party at Pantha Chowk on Srinagar-Jammu highway," LeT spokesman Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi said in a statement.

Pakistani forces violated ceasefire by firing from automatic weapons and shelling mortars at Shahpur and Kirni forward areas along the LoC in Poonch District. The Pakistan army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing from small arms, automatic weapons and mortars at Shahpur and Kirni from 11.30 am on Indian Army posts along the LoC in Poonch sector, official sources said. The Indian troops returned the fire strongly and effectively, they said, adding that the firing stopped at 2.10 pm.

June 25

Pakistan Army again violated ceasefire in Naushera sector along the LoC in Rajauri District.

Investigations into a case of terror funding in the Kashmir Valley being carried out by the NIA revealed that the founder of JuD, Hafiz Saeed, pumped in almost INR 500 million for subversive activities in the region following the killing of top HM 'commander' Burhan Wani in July 2016. The FIR lodged by the NIA in connection with the case also names Saeed, who is the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, as one of the main accused for financing terror activities in the Valley.

The ED, which also lodged a case on June 23 to investigate the money laundering angle in terror financing, too has named Hafiz. "Initial investigations have confirmed that Hafiz Saeed routed at least Rs 50 crore over a period of almost a year since last July during which time the Valley witnessed unprecedented violence. This is a conservative estimate and the figure could be much higher. Most of the money came through a well organised hawala network through Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and UAE. We are trying to piece together the entire chain to establish clearly who were the end receivers of this money," a senior intelligence official said.

The ED, which also lodged a case on June 23 to investigate the money laundering angle in terror financing, too has named Hafiz. "Initial investigations have confirmed that Hafiz Saeed routed at least Rs 50 crore over a period of almost a year since last July during which time the Valley witnessed unprecedented violence. This is a conservative estimate and the figure could be much higher. Most of the money came through a well organised hawala network through Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh and UAE. We are trying to piece together the entire chain to establish clearly who were the end receivers of this money," a senior intelligence official said.

DGP SP Vaid, issued advisory to the Police personnel asking them not to offer Eid prayers in Eidgahs and in Masjids at isolated places. They have been asked to offer prayers at Police Control Room and other secure places for security reasons. The advisory has been issued after recent attacks on Police personnel and lynching of a Police officer in Jamia Masjid on June 22-night.

Pakistan Amy again resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing in Nowshera sector along the LoC in Rajouri District twice during the day directly targeting civilian population and forward posts of the Army. An Army jawan was injured in the shelling while some houses were damaged. Official sources said Pakistan Army fired 120mm and 82 mm mortars and opened firing with automatic and semi-automatic weapons at Dhanaka, Kalali, Bhawani, Kalsian and Gania forward villages and their surroundings in Nowshera sector around 6 am. Indian Army gave befitting reply to Pakistan, leading to heavy exchanges of shelling and firing.

June 26

Pakistan Army resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing along the LoC in Balakot Sector of Poonch District at 8.30 pm. Indian side retaliated effectively. However, there was no report of casualties or damage on the Indian side when the reports last came in.

Amidst regular exchanges of mortar shelling and firing on the LoC, the Indian and Pakistan Army officials exchanged sweets at Chakan-Da-Bagh cross-LoC point in Poonch District while BSF and Rangers also celebrated Eid jointly at various places along the IB.

A few incident of stone-pelting and clashes between protestors and SFs were reported in J&K as Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated across the state. Clashes between protestors and law enforcing agencies were reported from Sopore, Anantnag, Rajpora, Shopian towns and Safakadal area of the Srinagar City. There were no reports of any casualties in these clashes.

The authorities have placed top separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, under house arrest, fearing that their presence at large Eid gatherings could spark violence, the officials said. JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik has been taken into preventive custody and lodged at Central Jail, Srinagar.

UHM Rajnath Singh hoped that violence will end in Kashmir and peace and happiness will be restored in the Valley soon to pave the way for emergence of new dawn. In a video message to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on Eid festival, Rajnath said new Sun will rise in Kashmir, which will bring peace and normalcy back to the Valley and happiness for people of the State. He hoped for return of peace in the Valley, which has been facing series of violent incidents including spurt in militant activities, attacks on police personnel etc though the Government has taken various measures to maintain peace.

UHM Rajnath Singh hoped that violence will end in Kashmir and peace and happiness will be restored in the Valley soon to pave the way for emergence of new dawn. In a video message to the people of Jammu and Kashmir on Eid festival, Rajnath said new Sun will rise in Kashmir, which will bring peace and normalcy back to the Valley and happiness for people of the State. He hoped for return of peace in the Valley, which has been facing series of violent incidents including spurt in militant activities, attacks on police personnel etc though the Government has taken various measures to maintain peace.

As a senior leader of HM, the State Department said in September, 2016, Salahuddin, also known as Syed Mohammed Yusuf Shah, vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Kashmir valley "into a graveyard for Indian forces". "Under Salahuddin's tenure as senior HM leader, HM has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014 explosives attack in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people," the State Department said.

Following the designation of Salahuddin as the global terrorist, the State Department in a notification said he has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism. Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and result in denial of access to the US financial system. Moreover, designations can assist or complement the law enforcement actions of other nations, it said.

India welcomed the US' move. "India welcomes this notification. It underlines also quite strongly that both India and the US face threat of terrorism," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.
June 27

Shifting its focus to the Indian subcontinent, global terror outfit al Qaeda has said it will target Indian security installations and leaders of Hindu "separatist" organisations. The outfit has released an elaborate document titled 'Code of conduct for Mujahideen in the subcontinent' detailing its objectives, targets, and do's and don'ts for members. "All personnel of the military are our targets, whether they be in the war zone or in barracks at their bases. Even the personnel on vacation are not exempted due to their battle against implementation of sharia," the outfit said in the document. This is an exact reproduction of the text, "Officers are a greater priority than soldiers. The greater is the seniority, greater is our priority to kill him. Those officers of the military who have the blood of our Kashmiri brothers on their hands are our targets," the outfit said. The document makes several references to Kashmir, and the opening note even refers to a resident of UP's Sambhal, Maulana Asim Umar, as the 'emir' or chief of the so-called AQIS.

Indian intelligence sources said they were keeping a close tab on the development as it comes soon after former HM 'commander' Zakir Musa floated a new outfit and openly acknowledged support from al Qaeda. The document also mentions that hostages should either be traded for a brother, given up for ransom or be killed, besides elaborating on targets in Pakistan, Arakan (Myanmar) and Bangladesh. Sources said the most worrying part was that the outfit had invited different groups fighting in the subcontinent to pledge their allegiance to what they refer to as the "Islamic emirate of Afghanistan", and stand up against intelligence agencies and the groups they sponsor.

According to an official dealing in counter terror operations, al Qaeda is also trying to establish that its objectives and modus operandi are completely different from that of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), its arch rival. "The document mentions that the Mujahideen will not attack common Hindus, Muslims or Buddhists and also not strike places of worship. This is in sharp contrast with ISIS which has been targeting mosques on priority," the official added.

SFs conducted search operations at several places in Srinagar to hunt a group of JeM militants who are in the city for past two weeks and five more militants who are locals and have shifted to city recently. SFs for last two weeks are tracking the militants and on June 27 they conducted searches at five places in the city during which two persons were detained. Police and CRPF conducted searches at Firodus Abad and Khadi Mill areas of Batamaloo and detained two persons during the searches. According to sources, a group of five JeM militants headed by their 'commander' Mateen Bhai is in Srinagar for two weeks and SFs are on alert to prevent them from carrying out an attack in the city.

SFs also conducted searches in Khanyar, Lal Bazar and Anchar areas of Srinagar against them and other militants who are present in Srinagar. The army also conducted searches in Galib Abad and residents said that they were seeking details from the people about number of their families members. The army exercise followed reports that a group of militants was sighted in Zanakote area of Srinagar last week who are being provided logistic support by 2-3 OGWs of the area. The group was later sighted in Noorbagh area but had fled the area a day before the security operation was conducted there last week.

Jammu and Kashmir Police has put three Hurriyat Conference leaders, identified as Ayaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmad Shah and Raja Mairaj ul din Kalwal, under preventive detention ahead of their pre-planned protest in Valley. The leaders, who are said to be in close circle of Hurriyat leader SA Geelani, were previously interrogated in a money laundering case. According to reports, the Police raided the houses of these leaders and arrested them. Police also raided the residence of another Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Pir Saifullah, however he was not present. Tehreek-e-Hurriyat confirmed the arrests but did not confirm the charges on which the arrest has been made.

The US Government's decision to declare Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist would help in choking his movements and financing, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said. Salahuddin, head of the Kashmiri militant group HM, was a "coward" who had "run away" to Pakistan, Mehrishi said. "What the US did is correct. He (Salahuddin) is a terrorist and he has now been declared so. This declaration by the US may probably help in impacting his movements and funding," Mehrishi said.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar had said in Washington that the designation was "a strong signal coming out of the administration that it is committed to ending terror in all forms". "We should take the step for what it is. It is fixing responsibility, highlighting the problem. There is a signaling out of it, it is focusing on a particular group and particular individual. None of us can really miss that message," he said.

June 28

Pakistan army again resorted to heavy mortar shelling in Balakote, Mendhar and Nowshera sectors along the LoC in twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri. Report said that Pakistan army directly targeted civilian areas, apart from forward defence locations, at Sandot, Dabbi, Panjni, Chouhala, Trala and Basuni areas on LoC in Balakote and Mendhar sectors of Poonch District at 3.30 pm. Indian side retaliated very effectively, leading to heavy exchanges of mortar shelling and firing with both automatic and semi-automatic weapons

Pakistan army targeted Baba Khori, Gania and Kalal forward villages of Nowshera sector in Rajouri District from 2 pm to 5 pm. In all three sectors, there were no casualties of Army or civilians. Also, no major damage was reported to the civilian property.

June 29

Two Indian soldiers were injured in a ceasefire violation along the LoC in Poonch District by the Pakistan army. "Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked shelling and firing along the LoC in Poonch," Defence Ministry sources said. They used small arms, automatics and mortars. The firing started at 1.30am. The Indian Army retaliated effectively and strongly, the defence sources said.

Pakistan had summoned India's Deputy High Commissioner to lodge a protest over the alleged killing of a civilian in cross-border firing by Indian troops.

Separatist groups in Kashmir fear that categorising HM 'chief' Syed Salahuddin as "a global terrorist" may "drift militancy in a different direction in Kashmir as the decision has the potential to shrink space for pro-dialogue groups, too". In an interview, Hurriyat 'chairman' Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed apprehensions that the US' move has "far alarming ramifications" internally in Kashmir. "Indigenous militant outfits here never linked up with global terror and worked around the Kashmir issue. My fear is that militancy can drift in a different direction as any wrong branding of forces will pave way for those forces who completely reject the international system. Unfortunately, the U.S. decision will be responsible for this."

Condemning the US' stand on Salahuddin, who also heads the UJC that comprises around 13 militant outfits and is based in PoK, the Mirwaiz said the Hurriyat commitment to dialogue and its position on seeking U.S. intervention "will stay the same." "However, I fear the new U.S. position may shrink space for those canvassing for dialogue processes in the J&K," he added. The Mirwaiz said hostility between India and Pakistan, and Srinagar and New Delhi had "reached a new level." "The militaristic position taken by India on the Kashmir issue pushes south Kashmir to the brink of a nuclear war. In this situation, the U.S. has to take more pragmatic decisions."

The Government of India defended the US' use of the term "Indian-administered J&K", saying that it only affirmed India's position that HM 'chief' Syed Salahuddin is involved in "cross-border" terrorism. "Use of term 'Indian-administered J&K' affirms our position that Syed Salahuddin been involved in cross-border terrorism against India," said the MEA.

June 30

A woman, identified as Naseem Akhtar (35) was injured as Pakistani troops continued mortar shelling in Balakote sector of Poonch District for the second day. Sources said that she sustained a splinter injury in her lower back. The victim was sitting inside her house when a shell fell into the room after piercing through the roof. A house was partially damaged at Sandote in the morning, while some cattle were also killed in Sohala-Panjani area on June 29 as mortar shells were falling near residential areas. All the three panchayats in the area were affected, sources said, identifying some of the affected areas as Dharati, Sohala, Panjani, Balakote, Basooni, Sandote, and Behrote.

A Defence Ministry spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta, said in Jammu that Pakistani troops initiated firing at 4.15 am. They were indiscriminately firing mortars, automatics and small arms, he said, adding that the Indian army was retaliating strongly and effectively.

Pakistan Army violated ceasefire by targeting Indian posts and civilian areas with mortar bombs, small and automatic weapons along the LoC in Rajouri District. This is the 23rd incident of ceasefire violation in June, report said.

Reports said that two Pakistani soldiers were killed as the Indian Army deployed at the forward posts in Uri sector in Baramulla District sniped them after they noticed suspicious movement near the LoC in PoK. Sources said that the Army deployed along the LoC in Uri sector noticed suspicious movement near the LoC early on June 30 and targeted two soldiers with snipers killing them on the spot. Sources identified the two soldiers as Qamar and Hafiz belonging to 652 Mujahid Battalion of the Pakistan army. They were posted near the Sallan village of PoK. The Pakistani troops later targeted Indian posts. However, no damage was caused.

Pakistani troops continued cease fire violations along the LoC by pounding civilian areas with 82mm shells causing fresh wave of panic among the people in the border. A woman, identified as Shakeela (45) was injured as Pakistan violated ceasefire in Uri sector of Baramulla District along LoC. Pakistani troops violated ceasefire at Gailta sector of Uri in the morning. Army also retaliated the Pakistan fire. However, there were no reports of casualties on either side. Clashes between SFs and protesters broke out at several places in J&K after Friday prayers, though the authorities imposed restrictions to prevent protests called by separatists.

Five persons, including a Police officer, identified as Arif were injured in clashes with the SFs in Shopian District in the afternoon following inputs about the presence of militants in the area. As the area was being cordoned off, some youths assembled there and started pelting the SFs with stones that led to clashes. Police had to resort to teargas and pellets to disperse the protesters, causing injuries to five persons.

Protests broke out in Shermal village of Pulwama district also hampering search and cordon operations of the Army and the Police. The clashes also broke out at Bellow, Chatpora and Tral areas of Pulwama District.

The clashes between youth and SFs broke out at Nowhatta and Safakadal areas of downtown (Srinagar) in the evening after withdrawal of forces from there.

The clashes also broke out in South Kashmir after Friday prayers. At Reshi Bazar locality of Main Town in Anantnag District, a protest march was taken out after Friday prayers and later youth clashed with SFs during which Police resorted to teargas shelling. A house was partially gutted after allegedly being hit by a teargas canister at Reshi Bazar.

Clashes between youth and SFs broke out at Sopore town of Baramulla District after Friday prayers. There was no report of any injury to anyone.

July 1

LeT 'commander' Bashir Ahmad Wani alias Bashir Lashkar and his associate, identified as Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada along with two civilians, identified as Tahira Begum and Shadab were killed in a fierce encounter in Dailgam village in Anantnag District. A Police spokesman said gunfight between the militants and the SFs raged after siege was laid in the area following specific inputs. Police said 17 civilians, who were inside the house, where militants were trapped, were rescued. After the house was cleared of civilians, Police and Army blasted the house and it resulted in the killing of two militants. "While the cordon was being laid, some militants outside a house fired upon the security personnel which was retaliated. In the cross firing one woman sustained injuries and later succumbed," the Police spokesman said. Another youth was also injured in clashes who later died.

As the news about the operation spread in the area, a large number of people took to streets and tried to approach towards the encounter site and pelted stones at the SFs. SFs fired tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters. DGP Dr SP Vaid said that people assemble at the encounter sites at instigation of enemies of peace. "If you see the social media, there is instigation to youth to reach to the site of encounter to save Bashir Lashkar, these people assemble on the instigation of enemies of peace of this unfortunate Valley", he said.

Soon after the news about the killing of two militants including Bashir spread, clashes broke out at Kokernag, Pulwama and areas adjoining to Dialgam between protesters and SFs. Around a dozen civilians were injured in the clashes amid shutdown in the area.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the death of two civilians at Anantnag during an anti-militancy operation. Terming the deaths as tragic and unfortunate, the Chief Minister appealed the people to keep away from the points of conflagration so that precious human lives are not lost.

There has been a sharp drop in the number of stone-throwing incidents in the Kashmir Valley this year (2017), DG, CRPF, Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar said. "Last year [2016], around 1,600 incidents were reported when CRPF personnel were attacked with stones. This year [2017], the number has fallen to fewer than half, around 700 incidents maybe. There are days when there is no such incident," Bhatnagar said. The 1,600 incidents were reported in five months after Wani's killing, while the 700 incidents were recorded from January to June in 2017. Around 30,000 personnel of the CRPF are deployed in the Valley to assist the local police in maintaining law and order and conducting anti-militancy operations. Attacks on SFs by stone-throwing youth escalated in the Valley after July 8, 2016 when HM 'commander' Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter.

July 3

Militants shot at and critically injured a Policeman, identified as Ghulam Hassan in Anantnag town in Anantnag District. Constable Ghulam Hassan was shot in the neck by militants from close range at Anantnag bus stand, a Police official said. Hassan was unarmed at the time of the attack, the official said.

July 3-4

At least three terrorists were killed in an encounter in Bahmnoo area of Pulwama District. Three soldiers, including an officer, were also injured. The gun battle began in the morning of July 3 after the SFs launched a search operation following a specific tip-off about the presence of terrorists in the area. Two terrorists were killed on July 3 and the body of third terrorist was found in the morning of July 4.

July 4

Police said that during the last few months 54 youth have been arrested from different Districts of the Kashmir Zone. These youth were attempting to join militancy in Kashmir. “Out of these, 28 youth have been arrested in Baramulla, Kupwara, Sopore, Handwara and Bandipora of the North Kashmir Range”, Police said. 13 youth have been arrested in Central Kashmir Range Srinagar while an equal number of youth have been arrested in Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian, Awantipora and Kulgam of South Kashmir. Kupwara police arrested four boys who were attempting to cross the LoC.

India said the interview telecast by a Pakistani TV channel of HM ‘chief’ Syed Salahuddin on July 1, is further proof of Pakistan's role in cross-border terrorism. "The brazen admission by Syed Salahuddin of perpetrating terrorist attacks on India and having the capacity to carry out such attacks at any place and time in India is a further proof of Pakistan's continuing policy of cross-border terrorism," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said.

"His (Salahuddin) confession of assistance in such activities from Pakistan also affirms the complicity of Pakistan's state structure in using terrorist proxies as a matter of policy against the neighbours," Baglay said. He added, "The interview only highlights the unabashed manner in which terrorist organisations and leaders enjoy freedom of operations in Pakistan, including access to terror financing and procurement and supply of weapons for terrorism."

JKLF chairman Yasin Malik was arrested by Police and sent to the Central Jail in Srinagar. "Malik was arrested today when police raided the JKLF's office at Abi Guzar. He has been shifted to Central Jail, Srinagar, on a judicial remand," a spokesman of the separatist group said. The Police did not give any reason for the arrest but it is believed to be a preventive action since HM ‘chief’ Syed Salahuddin has given a call for agitation to observe first anniversary of its slain militant Burhan Wani on July 8.

July 5

Birmingham city council withdrew its permission for a planned rally to mark “Burhan Wani Day” on July 8 after India lodged a protest with the UK Government against the “glorification of terrorists”. The rally was being planned by UK-based Kashmiri groups to mark the first death anniversary of the ‘commander’ of the HM militant outfit killed in a gun battle with Indian armed forces in the Kashmir valley on July 8, 2016. India on July 3 protested to the UK over the planned rally. “We took a booking for a peaceful rally highlighting the human rights abuse in Kashmir. However, we are now aware of concerns raised about the promotional leaflet and, having assessed the material, have not given permission for the use of Victoria Square,” a Birmingham City Council spokesperson said.

DIG of Police, North Kashmir Range, Nitesh Kumar said that there has been growing tendency over past few weeks of young boys attempting to join militant ranks and the recruiters are using ISIS (Islamic State) modus operandi in luring these youths to join militancy. The DIG said that the Police have been able to save five boys from Pattan and Naidkhai areas of Baramulla and Bandipora Districts with the help of their families who approached Police and with joint efforts of family and Police these boys were rescued. “After counseling they were handed over to families. Although we have been able to save many such boys but this dangerous trend can be stopped only with the help of conscientious citizens of the society,” he said.

A senior Police officer said that footprints of militants have been sharply increasing in the Kashmir Valley with as many as 50 young men taking to arms in the past six months. Most of these new recruits came from Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam Districts in South Kashmir, which had become the hub of tech-savvy, young militants. "A total of 50 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in the valley in 2017," the Police officer said. Rising footprints of militants have raised concern among the security agencies, which believe the trend reflects the worsening situation in Kashmir. The officer said that 88 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in 2016, the highest in the past six years. Since 2014, there has been a constant rise in the number of people joining militancy. As many as 66 youths joined militancy in Kashmir in 2015 and 53 in 2014, data compiled by security agencies revealed. In 2010, 54 youths joined militancy and in 2011, the number came down to 23. It further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013, it said.

July 6

As many as 92 terrorists were killed till July 2, 2017 in J&K, against 79 in the corresponding period of 2016. In fact, the numbers of terrorists killed in counter-insurgency operations so far this year have surpassed the year-wise figures for 2012 and 2013 when UPA was in power at the Centre. While 72 and 67 terrorists were eliminated in J&K in 2012 and 2013 respectively, the numbers picked up during NDA's tenure, touching 110 in 2014, 108 in 2015 and 150 in 2016. "Terrorists killed till July 2 this year are only slightly less than killings through 2014 and 2015," a senior UMHA official said, attributing the successes to seamless coordination between the Army, Central Forces, State Government and Intelligence Agencies.

"The forces have been given a free hand to track and intercept the terrorists holed up in the valley, before launching intelligence-based operations with due mapping of the target and how to neutralise terrorists with minimum collateral damage," said a senior UMHA functionary. The official underlined that among the 92 terrorists killed in J&K till July 2, most of the targets were big and prominent terror operatives. Infiltration figures also show a decline. As against 371 infiltration cases recorded in 2016, 124 were recorded till May-end this year. "Many of these 124 terrorists have been neutralised since," said a UMHA official.

While terror-related incidents were higher at 168 till July 2 this year as compared to 126 in the corresponding period of 2016, stone-pelting incidents witnessed a dip with 142 incidents till June 2017. In July 2016 alone, there were 820 incidents, though this was largely on account of outbreak of violence after the killing of HM leader Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016. The central security establishment feels that better statistics of terror-related violence in J&K, are largely to do with the Centre's strategy to actively engage with the terrorists holed up in the valley with full backing of the State Government. "Not only are pro-active operations being undertaken but the response of the Army and para-military forces to terror attacks against their personnel and installations has improved manifold," said an officer.

IGP Kashmir range, Muneer Ahmad Khan, said that security across Kashmir has been put on high alert ahead of death anniversary of HM militant Burhan Wani. Khan said that security has been alerted all across Kashmir. “And the alert is not for only unlawful assemblies and rallies but also for probably militant strikes and it has also been alerted vis-à-vis soft targets”, he said. The IGP said that the anti-militancy measures have been taken and the necessary measures for law and order maintenance have also been taken. The IGP said that miscreants across Kashmir have been put under preventive detention on Burhan’s anniversary in view of United Jehad Council and separatist strike call.

The IGP also said that there are more local militants in South Kashmir and more foreigners in North Kashmir. “There are more local militants in South Kashmir compared to North Kashmir and similarly there are more foreign militants in North Kashmir than local militants. So the number is varying. In South Kashmir, there are 100-125 militants”, he added. On recent militant videos, IGP said that they are not bothered about them as their job is to get information for successful operations. “Jammu and Kashmir is a professional force. Videos or no videos don’t make a difference to us. Our work is to get good information and then operate…Militants have their own agenda and we have our own agenda”, he added.

A soldier belonging to Territorial Army (TA), identified as Zahoor Ahmad Thakur went missing from North Kashmir's Baramulla District and Police suspect that he may have joined hands with militant group HM. Zahoor Ahmad Thakur was reportedly missing from his camp in Gantmulla area along with an AK-47 rifle. "Thakur belongs to Pulwama district. A search operation has been launched," Police sources said. Thakur's suspected joining of HM becomes more relevant as the terror outfit is planning to recruit more 40 local militants.

July 8

Two civilians were killed as Pakistan violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch District. Pakistan Army began indiscriminate firing and shelling on our positions on the LoC in Gulpur area and the firing is ongoing and our forces are effectively retaliating, sources said.

Three Army personnel were seriously injured in a militant attack in Bandipora District early today. An Army convoy was attacked by militants in Hajin area of Bandipora early in the morning. The attack takes place on the death anniversary of HM ‘commander’ Burhan Wani.

A Policeman was injured in a grenade attack on a Police party in Tral area of Pulwama District. Police said that militants hurled a grenade on a Police party in Aripal Tral area of South Kashmir at around 11 pm and a Police man was injured in the blast and he was rushed to hospital for treatment.

Indian Army destroyed three bunkers and two posts of Pakistan Army and eliminated their at least two jawans in massive offensive launched against them in Chakan-Da-Bagh sub sector of Poonch District along LoC. Sources said the counter attack was necessitated to silence the Pakistani guns, which were pounding civilian areas in Khari, Karmara, Digwar and Chakan-Da-Bagh areas of Poonch sector. “Pakistan has suffered extensive damage in retaliation by the Indian troops,” sources said, adding that at least two Pakistan army personnel were killed and half a dozen others were injured when their posts and bunkers were destroyed. Number of the casualties on Pakistan side could be even higher, they pointed out saying “it was not possible to ascertain exact number of casualties and damage suffered by the Pakistani troops in the Indian offensive”.

July 9

Normal life resumed in Jammu and Kashmir a day after a shutdown was observed on the first anniversary of HM ‘commander’ Burhan Wani and curfew imposed by authorities in many parts of the Valley to thwart the protests. The Valley observed a complete shutdown on July 8 on the first death anniversary of Wani, with authorities clamping down on all access to roads and internet services suspended across the Valley. Mobile Internet services in Kashmir were restored last night (July 8), two days after the facility was snapped in view of apprehensions of law and order problems on the first death anniversary of Wani.

PM Narendra Modi held high-level review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and NSA Ajit Doval. Rajnath and Doval gave detailed briefing to Modi in half an hour long meeting at his residence on the situation along frontiers, internal security and other aspects including implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir after which `One Nation, One Tax’ regime has come into force in the entire country.

India slammed Pakistan for making a martyr out of HM militant Burhan Wani, who was killed on July 8 2016. Criticising the Pakistani Government for glorifying the dead terrorist, MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay tweeted, "First, Foreign Office of Pakistan read from banned LeT's script. Now, Pakistan COAS (army chief) glorifies Burhan Wani. Pakistan's terror support and sponsorship need to be condemned by one and all." Baglay's comments came a day after Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa praised Wani. Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif too paid tributes to Wani, saying his death "infused a new spirit in the struggle for freedom" in Kashmir Valley.

Pakistan Army evening again started mortar shelling and firing at Digwar, Gulpur, Chakan-Da-Bagh, Karmara and Kasalian forward villages of Poonch sector in Poonch District. Indian troops retaliated the shelling and firing effectively at all the places, sources said, adding heavy exchanges continued for couple of hours after which intensity of shelling reduced. The exchange of small arms firing also continued. However, there were no reports of any casualties or damage in Pakistan shelling.

Pakistan summoned India's deputy high commissioner in Islamabad for the second consecutive day on July 9 over alleged ceasefire violations along the LoC, claiming that more civilians were killed in firing by Indian troops. J P Singh was summoned to "condemn and lodge protest over more civilian casualties at the LoC due to unprovoked ceasefire violations by India", Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement. A Pakistani spokesperson alleged three more civilians were killed in Chirikot and Satwal sectors on July 8 by Indian troops, taking the total civilian toll to five.

India said Pakistan’s support for terrorism should be condemned by all and criticised the neighbouring country’s army chief for glorifying HM militant Burhan Wani on his first death anniversary. Wani was killed in a gunfight with SFs in south Kashmir on July 8, 2016. “Sacrifices of BurhanWani & generations against Indian atrocities are a testimony of their resolve,” Addressing the G20 summit in Hamburg, Indian PM Narendra Modi equated Pakistan based LeTand JeM to Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, saying their names might be different but their ideology was the same.

Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Dulanga area of Uri sector in Baramulla District killing one militant. Sources said that Army noticed suspicious movement of a group of militants near the fence in Dulanga area of Uri sector and carried out a massive operation during which they challenged the militant group. The searches continued in the area and Army on July 12 saw body of a militant lying near the fence. The other members of the group have managed to flee back to the PoK.

July 10

In a worst attack on the annual Amarnath pilgrimage, militants killed seven pilgrims from Gujarat, including six women, and injured 32 others as they struck at a bus in Anantnag District. According to Police, the bus was attacked at around 8.20 pm near Khanabal when it was on its way to Jammu. The bus was not a part of the yatra convoy which is being provided elaborate security, Police said. The militants first attacked a bullet-proof bunker of the Police at Botengoo (Baramulla District), a Police official said, adding it was retaliated. There were no injuries in this attack. Thereafter the militants fired on a Police picket near Khannabal (Anantnag District), the Police added. When the Police retaliated, the militants fled, firing indiscriminately in which the bus carrying the pilgrims got it. Seven of the pilgrims were killed and 32 were injured, the Police said. Later, IGP Kashmir Range, Muneer Ahmad Khan said that the terror attack was carried out by the LeT and was masterminded by a Pakistani terrorist Ismail.

The Police and top Government sources said the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7 pm as the security cover is withdrawn after that. It was the “irresponsible” act of the ill-fated bus driver and its passengers that exposed the Amarnath pilgrims to tonight’s terror attack in Kashmir in which seven were killed and 32 injured, according to top security officials.

Several political organisations, including the VHP, the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party, the National Conference and the Congress called for a bandh (General Strike) in Jammu on July 11 to protest the killings.

Indian Army foiled a major infiltration bid along the LoC in Nowgam sector of Kupwara District killing three infiltrators. The Army troops deployed along the forward posts in Nowgam sector noticed the suspicious movement along the LoC in Nowgam sector on July 9 night and troops challenged the group of infiltrators. They, on being challenged, fired on the Army leading to a gun battle. The Army rushed more troops to the area and conducted searches in the vast forest area near the LoC during which three militants were killed.

Brigadier Neeraj Kumar said that Army foiled a major infiltration attempt along the LoC at Nowgam sector in Kupwara District on July 10. “The terrorists, who tried to infiltrate by exploiting the thick jungle along the LoC were detected by the Army troops on duty close to the LoC”, he said. The Army officer said that the operation that was conducted in a very difficult terrain lasted for 18 hours. “Army troops conducted prolong search operations in thick jungle and difficult terrain conditions which lasted over 18 hours, resulting in elimination of three terrorists and recovery of large cache of war-like stores”, he said. Brigadier Kumar said that this is the fourth infiltration bid that was foiled along the Nowgam sector in last two months.

A non-local militant of LeT, hailing from UP, identified as Sandeep Kumar Sharma alias Adil along with another militant, identified as Muneeb Shah were arrested by Police from Anantnag District. IGP, Kashmir Range, Muneer Ahmad Khan said that Police arrested Sandeep Kumar Sharma, resident of Muzaffarnagar, UP, associated with LeT during an operation. Sharma was involved in a number of attacks on security forces, besides planned bank robbery, the IGP said, adding that he robbed four banks and shared the booty with the LeT members. “Sandeep helped the LeT militants to loot ATMs while they also indulged in immoral activities in the villages,” he said. The IGP said Sharma had come to Kashmir valley in 2012 and was working as a welder. However, he came into contact with Shahid Ahmad before joining the LeT. The IGP said that UP Police has been alerted and “we are trying to get more information about his background”.

Meanwhile, a team of the UP Police Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) rushed to Jammu and Kashmir to interrogate Sandeep Kumar Sharma alias Adil, an LeT suspected arrested in Kashmir valley on July 10, adds Daily Excelsior. Inspector General of Police (IGP) ATS Aseem Arun said that a team of UP ATS have rushed to Kashmir after hearing the news about the arrest of Sandeep, a native of Muzaffarnagar District. Arun said a separate team has also been rushed to Muzaffarnagar to get details about the accused.

July 11

Three youths, who were planning to join militant ranks in South Kashmir’s Shopian District, have been arrested, Jammu and Kashmir Police said. A Police spokesman said it have arrested three accused involved in the attempt of bank robbery and weapon snatching at Jammu and Kashmir Bank Imamsahab in Shopian. “By arresting these three accused, police have foiled their plans to join militant ranks,” he said. The spokesman said that the incident took place on May 25, 2017 and a case has been registered. “The trio had a plan of joining the militant ranks, upon successful completion of their attempt,” he said.

A manhunt has been launched for LeT ‘commander’ Mohammad Abu Ismail believed to have carried out Monday's (July 10) attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir that killed seven people. It was one of the deadliest attacks by the 26-year-old terrorist who had been operating in south Kashmir. Sources in Delhi said that Abu Ismail, a Pakistani national, had infiltrated from across the border with Pakistan about two years ago and was a local commander of the LeT in south Kashmir.

With heavy security arrangements by the Army and other Government forces in Kashmir, the LeT had activated its OGWs to find easy targets for its terrorists. "The OGWs had been tailing this group from Gujarat comprising mostly women for the last two days and tipped off the terrorists to attack the group when there was no security around," top Government sources said. Sources said Ismail, the mastermind, is from Mirpur in Pakistan and has been indulging in bank loots for the past year to sustain the operations of the LeT along with Abu Dujana, the LeT head for Kashmir valley. With an INR 10 lakh bounty on him, the category ‘A’ terrorist is active around the areas of Pampore and Anantnag and was involved in the killing of a sarpanch there in April 2017.

Even though central agencies are yet to conclusively link July 10's attack on Amarnath pilgrims to LeT, the latter's prompt denial of its role is being seen in the context of international pressure on Pakistan to crack down on its top leadership including Hafiz Muhammad Saeed as well as its terror activities. "A key factor that may have led LeT to disown the Amarnath attack is that civilians, and not Security Forces, were a target. Hitting innocent civilians obviously draws international condemnation, which could create problems as Pakistan has been told time and again to rein in Saeed and the LeT terror network," an intelligence officer said.

July 12

Three HM militants were killed in an encounter in Radbugh village in Budgam District in the morning. The slain militants were identified as Javid Sheikh, Dawood Ahmad Sofi and Aaquib Gul. The gun battle started on July 11 evening after SFs launched a search operation following a tip-off about the presence of militants in Radbugh village in Budgam's Magam area at around 7.30pm, a senior Army officer said. "Their bodies along with three assault rifles have been recovered," he added.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that "We consider it to have been a terrorist attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in which seven religious pilgrims were killed. That's of great concern to us." Nauert further said that the terror attack is particularly "reprehensible" because it targeted civilians. "These were civilians, they were killed as they were exercising their right to worship, and that is in large part what makes this so reprehensible. That is a great concern to us," the State Department spokeswoman added.

Two soldiers were killed as Pakistan army violated ceasefire in Keran sector of Kupwara District. An Army spokesman said that Pakistan violated ceasefire in Farkian Gali in Keran sector of North Kashmir this afternoon and targeted Balbir Post. He said that two Army personnel of 3 JAKRIF, identified as Lance Naik Ranjit Singh and Rifleman Satish Bhagat were killed in the firing.

Pakistan is arming the militant group HM with chemical weapons to carry out terror strikes in Jammu and Kashmir, audio excerpts intercepted by security agencies have revealed. According to this report, these transcripts are undeniable and damning proof of how Pakistan is aiding and abetting terror activities in Pakistan. Terror outfits have lost 90 members to military offensives during the past few months, and hitting back with chemical weapons may be a desperate way for HM to get back at the Indian security establishment. According to the accessed transcripts, HM members have already got their hands on these chemical weapons. Plans to use these weapons, primarily at forces, seem to be a desperate attempt to retaliate against the back-to-back successful offences launched by the SFs.

Members of this outfit hope to surprise the Indian security forces, which have so far been dealing in conventional weaponry, with this chemical attack. “Inshallah, we are going to get lots of support from Pakistan...things are happening along the border. In days to come, Pakistan will step-up its anti-India game,’ a HM operative can be heard saying at one point. At another instance, this operative adds, “Till now we’ve used grenade launchers on the Indian army...killing just 3-4 and injuring a few. But now it’s time to change our tactics. We will straightaway use chemical weapons...to kill as many as possible at the same time.” Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is the biggest terror outfit in the Valley with around 200 active members.

Even though there was no specific intelligence about Monday's (July 10) attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag District, the primary analysis by agencies suggests that it could be the result of frustration among terrorists who are on the run due to the aggressive line of SFs.  According to official figures, Army, CRPF and Jammu & Kashmir Police are literally hunting down terrorists in the Valley with over 100 killed till July 11 this year (2017) as compared to 150 in the whole of 2016.

Officials said out of the 100 terrorists killed in major joint operations this year, 33 belonged to LeT and 23 to HM. Sources said some of the big names gunned down in the last months included LeT's ‘district commander’ Basir Lashkari (who was listed among A++ category of wanted terrorists in the valley); another top commander of Pakistan-based outfit Abu Haris; outfit's ‘divisional commander’ Abu Musaib; and HM ‘commanders’ Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, Aquib Ahmad Bhat, Abu Hamza and Gulzar Ahmad Lone.

According to a senior official who coordinates joint operations with army, CRPF and J&K Police's SOG, most of the terrorists have been neutralised in Budgam, Kupwara, Kulgam, Baramulla, Anantnag, Bandipore and Pulwama. He said while 57 terrorists have been killed in joint operations, 43 were killed while infiltrating from Pakistan. "Specific intelligence is being gathered on terrorists hidings in villages and they are being targeted as part of coordinated operations. For example, three terrorists - Javid Ahmed, Sheikh Dawood Ahmed and Aaquib Gul - were neutralised in Budgam on Tuesday (July 11) night after security forces zeroed in on the house where they were holed up," said an official who didn't wish to be named. The officials are, however, concerned about 150 terrorists, including 40-50 who infiltrated from Pakistan, who are still present in south Kashmir.

In a first, the corpse of a militant was wrapped in the flag of the Islamic State (IS) terror group as hundreds of supporters joined his funeral in Srinagar. They waved flags with pictures of slain HM ‘commander’ Burhan Wani and his protégé Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Musa. This was a departure from previous instances when the bodies of slain militants used to be covered with Pakistani flags. Sajad Gilkar, a resident of downtown Srinagar, was killed along with two other HM militants in an encounter on July 12. Police said Gilkar had played a key role in the lynching of DySP Mohammad Ayub Pandith. Gikar's funeral prayers were held in the premises of Jamia Masjid where Pandith was lynched by a mob on June 22.

July 13

Authorities imposed curfew in Shopian town and restrictions in many other parts of Jammu and Kashmir to maintain law and order as a strike called by separatists disrupted normal life in the Valley. Curfew has been imposed in Shopian town of south Kashmir as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, a Police official said. He said these measures were taken to prevent any untoward incident in view of the strike called by separatists to mark the death anniversary of 21 persons who were killed in firing by the Dogra Army on this day in 1931.

More than 50 per cent of around 220 active terrorists in J&K are Pakistan nationals, a UMHA official said. He also said that infiltration bids have seen a rise in last five months. Around 220 terrorists are active in the Kashmir Valley and majority of them are Pakistanis, the official said. At least 120 attempts of infiltration have been made till May, with 30 militants having been successful at the attempt, he said. In 2016, there were 370 attempts of infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir, the official said, adding as many as 119 terrorists had sneaked into the country that year.

According to data compiled by the UMHA, 88 Kashmiri youths had joined militancy in 2016, the highest in last six years. In 2014, 222 terrorists tried to enter the country, but only 65 could make it, and in 2015, 121 ultras attempted to cross the border, but 33 of them were successful. Besides, there has been a steady increase in the number of youths taking up arms in the Valley from 2014 onwards as compared to ones between 2010 and 2013, the data said. In 2010, as many as 54 youths joined militancy, in 2011, however, the number came down to 23. It further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013, it added.

India asserted that cross- border terrorism in J&K was at the “heart” of the matter that was threatening regional peace and snubbed China for its offer to mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue, insisting it was a bilateral matter between it and Pakistan. India’s strong reaction came a day after the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said China was willing to play a “constructive role” in improving Indo-Pak ties, especially after the increased hostility along the LoC. He also said the situation in Kashmir has attracted “international” attention.

July 14

A LeT militant was arrested by SFs in Sumbal area of Bandipora District. A Police official said that acting on specific information regarding the movement of militants in Markundal-Pushwari area, a joint ambush was laid in the orchards by Police, Army’s 13 RR and CRPF this morning at around 6 am. He said during the ambush, suspicious movement of a person was noticed in the area and he was challenged to stop but he tried to run away from the spot. “He was, however, overpowered by the alert security forces and apprehended subsequently,” the official said, adding that later on during investigation he identified himself as Shahbaz Rasool Mir of Mir Mohalla Hajin of the Bandipora District. The Police official said that Shahbaz was a recent militant recruit and he had joined the LeT few months ago. Police recovered a Chinese pistol, one pistol magazine, four pistol rounds, one grenade and a knife from his possession.

Police detained driver of ruling PDP MLA Aijaz Ahmad Mir, identified as Touseef Ahmad for his alleged links with the militants. Sources said that Touseef Ahmad was picked up by Police for questioning following inputs that he is in touch with the militants. According to reports, Police has arrested two more persons along with Touseef for their links with militants. Sources said that Touseef has worked with the SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police in the past and is accused of supplying ammunition and facilitating militant movement.

Police constituted a SIT to probe attack on Amarnath pilgrims in Anantnag. IGP Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan, said that the SIT will be headed by DIG of South Kashmir Range SP Pani. “The SIT has been constituted to expedite the probe and investigate all the pros and cons. The probe involves foreign militants so it will take some time,” he said. Asked whether anyone has been detained so far, the IGP said: “As of now, I cannot divulge any details with regard to the probe.” Police have named LeT ‘commander’ Abu Ismail as prime suspect in the attack on Amarnath Yatra bus that left seven pilgrims dead and 19 others injured on July 10. The SIT will probe all the angles of the case.

Srinagar town had witnessed intense clashes between stone-pelters and SFs shortly after Friday prayers. Auqaf Committee headed by Mirwaiz south Kashmir Qazi Yasir Ahmad accused SFs of ransacking the Jamia Masjid during the clashes and arresting 14 persons from there.

July 15

At least three militants were killed in an encounter with SFs in Tral in Pulwama District. Official sources said SFs and State Police launched a joint search operation in the woods at Dantiwan Satoor forest in Tral in Pulwama District.  When the forest area was being sealed, militants hiding there opened fire, they said, adding that SFs also retaliated ensuing a fierce encounter. It is reported that three militants were killed, they said, adding that the bodies of militants have not yet been recovered.

Another operation against militants has been launched at Aripal in Tral in Pulwama District. However, details are awaited.

An Army trooper was killed as Pakistan resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing targeting forward defence location and civilian areas along the LoC in Manjakote sector of Rajouri District. A forward patrol party of the Army was reportedly caught in shelling by Pakistani troops at Tarkundi, falling between Manjakote and Balakote sectors of Rajouri and Poonch Districts, in which an Army soldier was seriously injured. Later, the trooper identified as Lance Naik Mohammad Naseer (35), succumbed to his injuries.

Jamia Masjid area in downtown Srinagar also observed a shutdown on July 15, to mourn the death of militant Sajid Ahmad Gilkar who was killed along with two of his associates in an encounter with SFs at Radbugh village in Budgam District on July 12.

July 16

Anantnag town in south Kashmir observed a shutdown in response to a call given by a religious organisation against the alleged vandalism of the local Jamia Masjid and the arrest of over a dozen youths during clashes. The town had witnessed intense clashes between stone-pelters and SFs on July 14 shortly after Friday prayers. Auqaf Committee headed by Mirwaiz south Kashmir Qazi Yasir Ahmad accused SFs of ransacking the Jamia Masjid during the clashes and arresting 14 persons from there.

At least five Pakistani soldiers were killed after Special Forces of Indian Army targeted their vehicle along the LoC in Furikiyan sector in Kupwara. Sources said that Special Forces of Army (Paras) targeted a Pakistani Army vehicle on Neelam Valley road. The vehicle that was targeted by the Special Forces fell into Kishan Ganga River called as Neelam River by Pakistan which is the LoC in the sector. They said five soldiers drowned in the river and one body has been recovered so far. “Pakistani troops were seen searching for the bodies in the river”, they said. Pakistani troops later targeted forward posts of Army but there was no loss of life. The intermittent firing in the area continued.

Pakistan’s ISPR confirmed the incident and said that Indian Army targeted an army vehicle which fell in the river at Athmuqam in PoK. The ISPR said the body of one of the soldiers had been found while the search for the others was under way. “Pakistani troops effectively responded to the ceasefire violation”, the ISPR added.

A woman pilgrim, identified as Lalita (47) injured in the militant attack on Amarnath Yatra bus on July 10, succumbed to her injuries at SKIMS hospital in Srinagar in the morning, taking the death toll in the July 10 attack to eight. The Commander of 1-Sector RR, Brigadier R Chakraborty, said that the attack on the Amarnath Yatra in which 8 pilgrims were killed and 19 others injured was an aberration. “We believe that this attack was an aberration and we have intensified our drills and hope such type of attacks won’t take place in future”, he said.

Police arrested four persons including a Policeman and bank official for their involvement in providing logistic support and participation in the killing of SPO Khurshid Ahmed in Imamsahab Shopian last month. Police said that during the investigations of the case, it was revealed that the attack was carried out by HM outfit based in Shopian. “One Nazim Nazir Dar on the direction of other HM militants Saddam Padder and Irfan Abdullah Ganie, both residents of Heff carried the attack”, said Police. Police said that in the criminal conspiracy four OGWs provided logistic support to the militant group who were identified as Amir Mohidin - a bank official, Constable Towseef Ahmad of Chakoora, Basharat Yusuf Mir - working as private teacher and Iftikar Rather alias Jamshed. “After sustained questioning they were arrested and are being investigated for their roles”, Police said.

SFs busted a HM militant module, luring youth to militancy, by arresting three persons in Baramulla District. The arrested HM militants were identified as Ansarullah Tantaray, Abdul Rashid Bhat, and Mehrajuddin Kak. SSP Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain said that Baramulla Police, assisted by other SFs, busted the module which has been active in the area to lure young boys to militancy. The SSP said the module was being spearheaded by HM ‘commander’ Parvez Wani alias Mub-ashir, a resident of Gagloora, Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara District.

The SSP said the module had plans to send many boys to Pakistan on valid visa to get them trained in militant camps of PoK. “One of the accused Abdul Rashid Bhat had visited Pakistan in the month of May this year and got training for undertaking terrorist activities in Khalid bin Waleed camp of HM located in PoK,” he said. The SSP said Bhat had got the visa from Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on the recommendation of a separatist organization. “Arms, ammunition and Rs one lakh in Indian currency has been recovered from their possession,” he said. He said that module has not only been luring young boys to militancy, but providing all logistic support to other militants of the outfit as well. Imtiyaz said recently Baramulla Police saved around 10 boys meant to be inducted in militant ranks and handed them over to their parents.

July 17

Pakistan Army resorted to heavy shelling and firing targeting the Indian positions on the LoC in Bhimber Gali sector of Rajouri District, Defence Ministry spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Manish Mehta said. "The indiscriminate firing using small arms, automatics and mortars that started from 7.30am is still on," Mehta said. The Indian Army was retaliating strongly and effectively, he added.

Three LeT militants were killed in an encounter in Bul Bul Nowgam area in Anantnag District. SSP Anantnag, Altaf Khan said that a joint team of SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police, 19 RR of Army  and CRPF cordoned off Bul Bul Nowgam area following specific inputs about the presence of militants. “As the security forces intensified the searches, the militants hiding in the area opened fire triggering an encounter in which three militants were killed”, he said. The militants have been identified as Showkat Lohar of Arwani, Bijbehara in Anantnag District. He was an ‘A-category’ militant and was recruited by LeT last year (2016) in August. Another militant has been identified as Mudasir Ahmad Hajam of Danwatpura village in Kokernag in Anantnag District. He was ‘B-category’ militant and joined LeT in January 2017. Both the militants were part of Bashir Lashker group, who was killed early this month. The third militant is said to be a Pakistani and has not been identified as yet. One AK 47 rifle, an SLR and a pistol was recovered from their possession.

Militants, in the morning, attacked an Army convoy at Bijbehara in Anantnag District of Jammu and Kashmir, an army official said, adding that a man was injured when the forces fired back. SFs have cordoned off the area and launched an operation to track down the militants, the official said. "Terrorists opened fire on the last vehicle of the army convoy near Bijbehara. We retaliated and a man was injured in the incident," he said.

SSP Kupwara, Shamsher Hussain said Police rescued and foiled the plans of four minor boys of Gulgam village area of Kupwara District to join militant groups when a Police party deputed for the purpose near LoC intercepted them. After proper counselling at Police Station Kupwara, they were handed over to their parents, he said. The SSP said that last week, Police in Kupwara prevented four more youth from joining militant groups. They were identified as Hilal Ahmad Fafoo (18), Firdous Ahmad Bhat (19), Touseef Ahmad Shah (16) and Ahteram-ul-Haq Shah (16). “After receiving the information about their fleeing from their homes, Police parties were sent to different locations. The parents of the missing boys and their relatives were also involved, who played the positive role for their motivation and providing timely information with regard to their contact numbers and other details,” Shamsher said.

“During the swift operation, two boys from Shatmuqam Lolab were intercepted from Pulwama area who were heading towards Tral and other two boys hailing from Bumhama were intercepted from Vodhpora area who were also planning to move towards Shopian area, the spokesman said. During the course of investigation, all the four boys have confessed that they were going to join the militant ranks as they are being reprimanded by their parents owing to various reasons including poor in studies besides they were also fed up with life style at home due to poverty”, the SSP said. “All the rescued boys have been properly counselled and motivated for their re-union with the families,” he added.

An Army soldier and an infant were killed in heavy mortar shelling by the Pakistan army while three others including two civilians and a jawan were injured along the LoC in twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri. Indian troops gave befitting response to Pakistan’s ceasefire violations at all the places. A mortar shell fired by Pakistan army struck an Army bunker in Tarkundi area of Manjakote sector in Rajouri District in which an Army jawan, identified as Naik Mudassar Ahmed attained martyrdom while another soldier, identified as Naik Firdous Ahmed was injured. Another mortar shell fell on roof of the house of Mohammad Kafeel at village Barhuti in Dadiana area of Balakote sector of Poonch District killing nine year old female child, Sajida Kafeel daughter of Mohammad Kafeel. Two more civilians including Shah Begum (54) and Sharief Ahmad, both residents of Naika Panjgrain were injured in mortar shelling in Manjakote sector of Rajouri District.

Report adds that the escalated tensions along the LoC prompted DGMO Lieutenant General AK Bhat warning his Pakistan counterpart Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza that though India was sincere to maintain peace on LoC, it reserves the right to retaliate appropriately. Heavy shelling forced the district administration to close down Government schools, located close to the LoC while cross-LoC bus between Poonch-Rawlakote route was suspended for second consecutive week in view of shelling and tensions on the LoC, keeping 55 citizens of PoK stranded for more than a week, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr Mandeep K Bhandari said. He added that a Contingency Plan has been put in place to help the border dwellers.

Pakistani troops targeted forward posts of army in Kamalkote sector in Uri in Baramulla District by firing mortars. One soldier was injured and he was removed to hospital for treatment.

July 18

Two militants were killed by Army when a group of militants were attempting to infiltrate into Gurez sector along the LoC in Bandipora District. Sources said that a group of six militants tried to sneak in at around 11:30 pm in Gurez sector of the LoC. Army personnel of 13-Sikh regiment noticed their movement and challenged them. Militants fired at them and Army retaliated leading to an encounter in which the two militants were killed. Three AK-47 rifles and ammunition was recovered during the searches of the area.

Army also foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Macchil sector in Kupwara District. Sources said that Army troops deployed at the forward posts in the sector noticed the movement of 5-6 infiltrators near the fence and they were challenged but they fled under the cover of darkness leaving behind some ammunition. Search operation has been launched in the area and more troops were rushed to ensure that no militant is hiding in the area.

A 60-year-old civilian who was injured in Army firing at Bijbehara town in Anantnag District on July 17, succumbed. Mohammad Abdullah Ganaie was shot in leg and was referred to SKIMS Soura, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Two Army jawans were killed and six persons, including three civilians, were injured as Pakistani troops pounded several villages and forward areas with mortar bombs along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir officials said. An Army sepoy Jaspreet Singh was killed in the Pakistani shelling in Naushera sector in Rajouri District, a Defence spokesman said. "Pakistani troops initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Naushera sector in Rajouri at around 1350 hours today. The Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively," the Defence spokesman said. Another Army jawan was killed in Pakistani firing in the Nowgam sector in Kupwara District of Kashmir Valley, an Army official said. Three civilians were injured in Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Naushera sector, the Defence spokesman said, adding that they have been hospitalised. The reports said that three Army jawans also suffered injuries in exchanges of the firing and shelling along LoC.

The Government informed Parliament that the situation in J&K is "much better" than that of the last year (2016) even as it is keeping a close watch on all developments, which have a bearing on India's security. Citing statistics of violence reported from the State, which has been affected by stone pelting since the killing of HM militant leader Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016, the UMHA said in a written reply in Lok Sabha  that 583 cases (of violence) have been reported this year (2017) till date against 2897 total registered in 2016. UMHA informed that 12,650 miscreants (referring to the stone pelters) and separatists have been arrested or bound down (charged) under substantive and preventive laws since last year. It added that separatists/trouble mongers have been kept under close surveillance to check their activities. The J&K Police, Army, CRPF and NIA have taken strong action the stone pelters and terrorists in last one year. This year, 100 terrorists have already been killed in action with SFs in J&K.

The UMHA added that while 2808 incidents of stone pelting were reported from J&K in 2016 in which 85 civilians were killed, 8932 were injured and two security personnel were killed and 8378 personnel were injured, 664 such incidents have been reported this year till July 9. In 664 incidents this year, 21 civilians have been killed, 107 civilians have been injured (till May 31), one security personnel has been killed while 1073 have been injured.

The UMHA data shows that infiltration attempts from LoC has gone up this year as compared to the last year around the same time. In January this year, there were 7 infiltration attempts at LoC as compared to 2 in January 2016, while 10 attempts have been made in June 2017 as compared to 7 last June. Total 42 infiltration attempts have been made by terrorists from Pakistan this year till June end, said UMHA. The Government added that the Army has adopted a robust counter infiltration strategy along the LoC which is an appropriate mix of technology and human resources put together to check infiltration.

July 19

Following three days of intense shelling and firing by Pakistan army in twin border Districts of Rajouri and Poonch, Indian troops decimated nine posts and bunkers of Pakistani troops, which were engaged in targeting civilian areas including the educational institutions to cause more casualties. “A major counter attack against Pakistani troops was necessitated across Rajouri and Poonch districts along the LoC to silence the enemy guns, which were targeting civilian population and schools. Huge damage has been caused to Pakistan army,” official sources said. They said: “enough and far more damage than what we suffered has been inflicted upon Pakistan army in all parts of the LoC across Poonch and Rajouri districts, where heavy mortar shelling and firing with automatic weapons continued for third consecutive day today”. According to sources, at least nine posts and bunkers of Pakistan army have been decimated while many more were damaged in retaliatory action undertaken by the Indian troops. Pakistan army has also suffered several casualties, both fatal and non-fatal, they said.

Report said that fresh migration took place from forward areas of Nowshera sector in Rajouri District. Three hundred people along with their 150 cattle were safely shifted from forward village of Gania, located within the firing range to a Government Middle School in the same village, which was in the safer location. Similarly, around 600 more people have reached the relief camps set up for the border dwellers by the civil administration of Rajouri in Nowshera sector.

Sources said there were 3361 people from 839 families in the relief camps at Nowshera prior to fresh round of shelling and their number has now swelled to around 4000. The educational institutions in Manjakote and Nowshera sectors of Rajouri District and parts of Balakote and Mendhar sectors in Poonch District, falling in the shelling and firing range, remained closed on July 19 on the orders of administration to avoid casualties as Pakistan army was targeting civilian areas including the schools.

The most wanted militant in Jammu and Kashmir and ‘divisional commander’ LeT, Abu Dujana, slipped out of SFs ambush in Pulwama District of South Kashmir after a brief gun battle and a massive operation has been launched against him. Sources said that LeT ‘divisional commander’, Abu Dujana, who is the most wanted militant in Kashmir valley slipped out of Police dragnet this evening in Pulwama District of South Kashmir by firing at a vehicle in which Police was chasing him. Sources said that Abu Dujana was on his way from Tral to Pulwama and Police in civvies was following him in a civil car.

They said that at Banderpora village, Abu Dujana got suspicious of a Bolero car that was chasing him. He fired at the tyre of the car before abandoning the Sumo in which he was travelling and also fired at the tyre of an Army vehicle that had laid ambush against him in the village. Police and Army also fired at him several rounds but he managed to slip out of their dragnet. More troops were rushed to the area and a massive hunt has been launched against him in the nearby villages by joint team of Police and Army. Police seized the two vehicles and arrested the driver of the Sumo and he is being questioned.

Army continued searches for the infiltrators in Gurez sector along the LoC in Bandipora District. As SATP reported earlier, the Army foiled a major infiltration bid in Gurez sector by killing two militants on July 18. However, the searches for the rest members of the group is going on.

SFs said that there are over 250 militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir with majority of them Pakistanis against whom operations to eliminate them are going on across the Valley. GOC Counter-Insurgency Victor Force Major General BS Raju said in Anantnag that there are 110 militants active in South Kashmir out of which nearly 100 are locals. “There are around 110 militants operating in South Kashmir out of which around 100 are locals and around 10-15 are foreignness. We are conducting operations against them which will continue”, he said. The GOC, however, appealed the local militants to shun the path of violence and assured them that Army will help in their rehabilitation. “I appeal to the militants, who have taken to arms to shun the path of violence and return to mainstream. We assure you that we will work for your safety”, he said.

DIG of CRPF, R K Yadav said that are 156 foreigners militants active in North Kashmir. He, however, didn’t specify the locals who are working with them and their OGWs. He said that we are ready to face any challenge posed by these militants in the area.

July 20

At least 36 persons including 14 Police personnel were injured after massive clashes raged at Zainapora area of Shopian District against death of a minor girl who was hit by an Army vehicle. Police seized the vehicle and arrested the driver. A Police officer said that in an incident of alleged reckless driving, an Army vehicle crushed to death a minor girl namely Aruba Jan in Aglar area of Zainapora in Shopian. The incident triggered massive demonstrations in the area and the angry youth vandalized offices of Sub Divisional Magistrate and Tehsildar Zainapora. Some youths pelted stones on SFs who retaliated by firing teargas and pellets. At least 22 protesters sustained injuries in the clashes, 11 of them were hit by pellets while 14 Policemen were also hurt. Police said it exercised maximum restraint while dealing with angry protesters.

Two boys were injured as a bomb exploded at Bamnoo village in Pulwama District. An official said that an unexploded shell went off near the July 3 encounter site at Bamnoo village and resulted in injuries to two boys, identified as Muzzamil Ahmad Khan alias Wakeel (16) and Umar Ahmad Khan (24). While Muzzamil sustained splinter injuries in his hand, Umar sustained abdomen and chest wounds.

India accused Pakistan of "deliberately targeting" villages and school children in ceasefire violations across the LoC, which remains volatile with the two armies exchanging heavy fire on a daily basis in J&K. Indian DGMO Lieutenant General A.K Bhatt told his Pakistani counterpart Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza over the hotline to exercise "strict control" over his troops and instruct them to refrain from any "nefarious activities". During the telephonic conversation at about 3.30pm on July 20, Bhatt said Pakistan army troops had deliberately targeted villages and also fired at school children in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri District when they were being evacuated from the area on July 18.

Pakistan summoned Indian deputy high commissioner JP Singh after two civilians were killed in alleged ceasefire violations across the LoC by Indian troops. Director General (SA and SAARC) Mohammad Faisal who summoned the Deputy High Commissioner "condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations". Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement that firing by Indian troops in Nikial and Nezapir sectors yesterday (July 19) killed two civilians and inured five others. "The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws," Faisal said. He urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement; investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC.

July 21

Army jawan, identified as Rifleman Jayadrath Singh was killed in unprovoked firing on forward Indian posts by the Pakistani troops along the LoC in Sunderbani sector in Rajouri District. Official sources said Pakistan army initiated unprovoked firing on forward Army posts in Sunderbani sector, which was hitherto calm despite heavy shelling in neighbouring Nowshera sector. The Indian troops retaliated strongly and effectively.

Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along the LoC in Naugam sector of Kupwara District for the third consecutive day, but there were no casualties in the unprovoked firing from across the LoC. An army official said the Indian Army is retaliating to the Pakistani aggression in equal measure.

An eerie calm prevailed along LoC in shelling-hit sectors of Nowshera, Manjakote, Balakote, Mendhar, Sabjian and Shahpur besides other villages falling close to LoC in Rajouri and Poonch Districts with frightened people staying indoors and educational institutions remaining shut following Pakistan army’s direct shelling of civilian population and the Government schools.

A protester was killed after Army opened fire during the clashes in Beerwah area of Budgam District while police foiled separatist march to UNMOGIP in Srinagar by imposing curfew like restrictions. Soon after the Friday prayers, protests broke out in Beerwah area of Budgam District during which protesters pelted stones at the Police and SFs. Army opened fire when they were heading towards their camp in the area, which resulted in severe injuries to two youth. One among the youth, identified as Tanveer Ahmed Wani who had received bullet injuries in his head, succumbed to his injuries.

India has lodged a strong protest with the US over the state department's "Country Report on Terrorism 2016", released on July 19, referring to PoK as "Azad Jammu & Kashmir" even as it states that the area is being used by terrorist groups to target India. The Indian Government approached US authorities after the release of the report. An official spokesperson of the MEA said, "The government has seen the mention of the term 'Azad Jammu & Kashmir' in the US state department's country report on terrorism for 2016. We have raised the matter with the US authorities and lodged our protest."

This is the first time the US has referred to PoK as "Azad Jammu & Kashmir" despite the fact that the region is closely controlled by the Pakistan military in the face of Indian protests. Till recently, the US has used the nomenclature "Pakistan-administered Kashmir". The report, however, praises India's efforts to combat terrorism.

On the other hand, India has reason to feel satisfied that the report refers to the Indian state as "Jammu & Kashmir" instead of its previous reference to it as "Indian-administered Kashmir". The report, in the section on US government-designated foreign terrorist organisations, talks of HuM and says "the outfit conducts its operations primarily in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and Afghanistan". It adds: "HuM operates from Muzaffarabad in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, as well as several cities in Pakistan". Similarly, while talking about Hafiz Saeed-led LeT, responsible for several attacks in India including 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the state department report says "the precise size of LeT is unknown, but it has several thousand members in Azad Jammu &Kashmir and Pakistani Punjab; Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Provinces in Pakistan; and in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India". Muzaffarabad is the headquarters of LeT and other anti-India terror groups and PoK is used to launch terrorists into India and plan attacks on Indian military and civilian targets on the direction of the Pakistani army.

July 22

An Army jawan, identified as Sepoy RV Yadav was injured when Pakistan army initiated unprovoked firing on the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. “A jawan sustained injury in cross border firing early this morning in Nowshera sector,” sources said. It said that the soldier reportedly hit by a sniper shot and admitted to Army Hospital.

July 23

Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC killing one militant while operation is going on in Machil sector in Kupwara District. Sources said that troops in Macchil near the LoC noticed suspicious movement of some infiltrators and immediately challenged them. The militants opened fire on the troops leading to an encounter in which one militant was killed. More troops were rushed to the area and a major search operation is going on in the forest area near the LoC as Army believes that 3-4 militants are still in the area.

Police arrested six OGWs of LeT in Tengpora area of Srinagar. Acting on specific information, Srinagar Police had laid a naka at Tengpora bypass and as a vehicle in which they were travelling approached the naka, it stopped and the persons boarding the vehicle fled leaving behind the vehicle. Police chased and arrested them along with an AK-47 and other war like stores. They also seized two vehicles in which they were travelling. The arrested OGWs have been identified as Mastan Sirul Saba, Ishfaq Ahmad Dar, Arif Ahmad Dar, Masrat Ahmad Dar and Nisar Ahmad Lone.

SFs conducted searches in Tankipora area of Srinagar near Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Srinagar. However, no one was arrested. SFs also conducted searches in Shalteng area of Srinagar after inputs about presence of militants in the area. However, during searches, residents pelted stones at the SFs leading to clashes. The search operation was later called off.

July 24

The NIA arrested seven separatist leaders including son-in-law of APHC chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani from New Delhi and Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir and charged them with acting in connivance with top militant outfits like LeT, HM and DeM. IG of NIA, Alok Mittal, described arrests of seven separatist leaders as "one important step'' and declared that investigations in the case would continue and all those found connected/involved in the case would be examined, raided and appropriate action taken against them at an appropriate time. "We have arrested the separatist leaders based on the evidence gathered during raids at various places few days back and follow up investigations," Mittal said, adding that six arrests were made from Srinagar and one from New Delhi.

All those arrested in Srinagar are being shifted to New Delhi for questioning after Police remand from the court, he added. Those arrested include Altaf Ahmad Shah alias Altaf Fantoosh, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal, Peer Saifullah, Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Nayeem Khan and Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate. Bitta Karate was arrested in New Delhi and the other separatist leaders were arrested from Srinagar and have been taken to New Delhi. They will be produced before the Special Judge, NIA, Patiala House, New Delhi on July 25.

July 25

SFs averted a major catastrophe when they recovered five kilograms IED from village Loran in Poonch District. Sources said the IED along with wire and other accessories was being fabricated by the militants at an isolated area of Loran. However, joint teams of Army and Police detected the IED during a search operation and recovered it. The IED was subsequently defused. Sources didn't rule out the possibility of the IED being fabricated by the militants to target annual Budda Amarnath Ji yatra.

Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah was arrested by the ED in connection with over a decade-old money laundering case against him for alleged terror financing. Officials said Shah was arrested in Srinagar and is expected to be brought to New Delhi on July 26. He would be produced in a court in New Delhi. A Delhi court had earlier this month issued a NBW against the separatist leader. "The warrant has been executed," a senior official said.

HC leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's son-in-law is among seven separatist leaders who will be interrogated by the NIA for 10 days as a Delhi court allowed its plea to examine their complicity in a case of alleged terror funding in the Kashmir valley to fuel unrest. District judge Poonam A Bamba allowed the agency to interrogate in custody Altaf Ahmed Shah, popularly known as Altaf Fantoosh, along with six others to unearth the "complete conspiracy". They may be taken to the Valley for investigation for unearthing their modus operandi to raise funds to carry out secessionist and terror activities in the Valley.

The NIA, while analysing social media activity of "habitual" Kashmiri stone-pelters as part of its J&K terror funding probe, found at least 28 WhatsApp groups whose creators, administrators and some members are based in Pakistan and include identified cadres of terror outfit JuD. Sources in NIA stated that the WhatsApp groups together have 5,000 members, of which majority are local Kashmiris but a significant number are linked to Pakistani mobile numbers. Many of these groups have either been created by a Pakistani or have Pakistanis as their administrators. "We have identified Pakistani numbers in the WhatsApp groups. Some of these numbers also show up in JuD posters and publicity material, confirming JuD link to the J&K youth who regularly pelt stones to disrupt ongoing anti-terror operations, allegedly on payment arranged by Hurriyat separatists," said an unnamed investigator.

July 31

Indian Army foiled a major infiltration attempt in Torna area of Rampur sector in Uri in Baramulla District and killed one infiltrator so far while massive searches for other members of the group are going on. Sources said that 21-Sikh regiment deployed in the forward areas of Torna noticed movement of an infiltrating group on July 27 and launched massive operation. The Army patrol had a brief gun battle with the militants but they managed to flee that area. However, during the searches one body was recovered and the army also recovered AK-47, 5 magazines, Hand grenades, pouches and dry food. The searches are going on as the Army felt that more militants are hiding in the area which has dense forests and rugged terrain.

Army sources said that there are over 250 militants waiting on the launch pads in PoK near the LoC and they want to sneak in the summer. Army has intensified its vigil along the LoC to prevent them from infiltrating. Army is conducting round the clock patrolling along the LoC to foil the infiltration attempts of the militants. SFs this year achieved major successes against militants and killed 118 militants so far. Last year they had killed a record 150 militants. SFs said that there are 266 militants operating in Kashmir with 110 in South Kashmir, which is worst affected by militancy. Out of these militants nearly 100 are locals while in North Kashmir majority of the militants are Pakistanis who have infiltrated into Kashmir by crossing the LoC.

Suspected HM militants robbed and decamped with a cash amount of over INR 5 lakh from Arwani branch of J&K Bank in Bijbehara area of Anantnag. Around 12:40 pm, a group of four HM militants, who had boarded an Alto Car, stopped outside the Arwani branch of J&K Bank. They said while two militants stayed outside the bank, rest others armed with one AK 47 rifle and one INSAS rifle barged into the J&K Bank branch where they asked officials to handover cash. Interestingly, both the militants had donned a veil, locally called Burqa, and after looting the cash on gun-point, they also ransacked the computers of the bank branch. Police said that militants fled with around INR 5.20 lakh amount. A police spokesman said that during the initial investigation and with the help of CCTV footage, it was found that HM militants are involved in the crime.

August 1

At least two top LeT militants, identified as LeT Kashmir ‘head’ Abu Dujana alias Hafiz and another LeT militant Arif Lilhaari were killed during a fierce encounter in Pulwama District. Dujana was the LeT's so-called 'divisional commander', and reportedly hailed from northern Pakistan. Acting on specific intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in Hakripora village in Pulwama District, SFs launched a cordon and search operation in the area, a Police official said. The militants opened fired during the operation, prompting retaliation from the forces which triggered a gun battle, he said.

Following news of Dujana's and Lilhaari's killing, clashes broke out near the encounter site in Hakripora in Pulwama District between protesters and Police and fifteen people were reportedly injured in the violence, Police said.

One civilian, identified as Firduos Ahmad Bhat was killed in the firing incident when a mob tried to march towards the encounter site to disrupt the anti-terror operation in Pulwama District. Soon after the news about Dujana’s killing spread, hundreds of people took to streets in several areas of Pulwama including in Kakapora. The protesters pelted stones on SFs who retaliated firing teargas, pellets and bullets. Firduos Ahmad Bhat was hit by bullet during clashes near encounter site. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The clashes were also reported from Chadoora in Budgam and in Bijbehera.

In Srinagar, clashes between students and Police in Lal Chowk, Exchange Road, Abi Guzar, Regal Chowk and adjoining areas created panic and chaos. Police used teargas in city centre to disperse the student protesters. Some protesters were also detained by Police. As the protests spread, authorities ordered suspension of mobile internet services across Kashmir. The colleges and schools were closed for two days in Kashmir.

As many as 86 of the 117 terrorists killed by the SFs in J&K so far this year have been "foreign" ones or those who have sneaked across the LoC from Pakistan or PoK like the slain LeT ‘commander’ Abu Dujana. "This clearly indicates that the flow of intelligence from the `local' population against the foreign terrorists from LeT and JeM has definitely improved. Successful counter-insurgency operations, after all, are a direct result of good and real-time intelligence inputs. There also seems to be a growing schism between foreign and local terrorists," said.

Infiltration bids, incidentally, have registered a jump in the first seven months of this year as compared to the same time-frame last year (2016), though the SFs have managed to thwart many of them. Officials say 19 infiltration bids from across the LoC have been thwarted from January till July 31 this year, in which 42 terrorists were killed. In the first seven months of 2016, 18 terrorists were killed while thwarting 11 infiltration bids.

August 2

Curfew like restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar and strike called by separatists against the killings paralysed life in Kashmir. Restrictions were imposed in Srinagar areas falling under the jurisdiction of even Police Stations including Khanyar, MR Gunj, Safakadal, Rainawari, Kralkhud, Nowhatta and Maisuma. The life in rest of the Valley remained paralysed due to strike called by separatists against the killings of two militants and a civilian in Pulwama on August 1.

August 3

Two Army personnel including an Army Major, identified as Army Major Kamlesh and Sepoy Tanjin were killed in a gun battle in South Kashmir. A joint team of Army and Police launched a cordon and search operation at village Matribugh, Zoipora in Shopian District following a tip off about the presence of some militants. The militants hiding in the area opened fire triggering off an encounter in which an army Major along with two soldiers sustained bullet injuries. Two soldiers including an officer later succumbed to their injuries. The militants believed to be three in number managed to escape while taking advantage of darkness. HM claimed responsibility for the attack

Two HM militants, identified as Aaqib Ahmad Itoo and Suhail Ahmad were killed in an encounter with SFs in Kulgam District. SFs had laid an ambush at Gopalpora village in DH Pora following a tip off about the movement of some militants in the area. As the militants entered the ambushed area, they were challenged after which a fierce gun battle took place between the SFs and the militants in which two militants were killed. Bodies of the two militants were recovered along with two AK 47 rifles.

One HM militant, identified as Yawar Nissar Shergujri and an unidentified civilian were killed in an encounter with SFs in Kanelwan village in Bijbehara in Anantnag District. One soldier, identified as Rohit Kumar sustained injuries during the encounter. The unidentified person who was killed was riding a motorcycle in the area and was caught in the crossfire during the encounter between terrorists and SFs. SFs conducted search operations in the area based on intelligence inputs that three militants had been spotted in the area. During the search operations, the militants opened fire on the SFs and the latter retaliated. While the HM militant Shergujri was killed in the exchange of fire, two militants managed to escape in the cover of darkness. Police recovered an SLR, two magazines, 40 rounds and one Chinese hand grenade from the slain militant.

August 4

The Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque concluded peacefully but a group of youth pelted stones on SF men from the entrance of the Jama Masjid in Srinagar for more than an hour. SFs responded firing teargas. The protester later dispersed and clashes erupted in nearby Saraf Kadal locality. However, SFs managed to contain the stone-pelting instantly and the order was restored.

The situation in rest of the city remained normal except a stone-pelting incident in Parimpora interiors, said a Police official. In four Districts of south Kashmir – Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama – situation remained tense. A spontaneous shutdown was observed in most parts of these Districts against recent militant and civilian killings.

In Main Town of Anantnag District, clashes erupted in the morning after the burial of local militant Yawar Nissar, who was gunned down by SFs on August 3. The clashes also erupted in parts of Pulwama District including at Haal, Tahab and Prichal.

In neighbouring Shopian District, clashes were reported from Memandar area after Friday prayers. The clashes also erupted at Sopore town of Baramulla District in North Kashmir after Friday prayers. Police said that no major injury was reported from anywhere in the day and situation is under control.

Army and Police recovered arms from a natural cave hideout at Baurgalli village under the jurisdiction of Kandi Kotranka Police Station in Rajouri District. “A joint team of Police and Army today (August 4) recovered two AK rifles, three pistols and two AK magazines from a natural cave in Baurgalli area,” official sources said. They said that acting on a specific input, a joint search operation of Police and Army was launched in the area during which an old hideout of the militants was detected and destroyed.

Budgam Police said that they foiled an attempt of two local youth to join militancy. Police spokesman said that on July 31, Police Station at Charari Sharief received a missing report stating that two boys, identified as Basharat Ahmad Dar (15), student of 10th class and Anayat Qayoom Bhat (17), a 12th class student had gone to appear in the golden test at Higher Secondary School Baghlipora, Chadoora but did not return home. “After receiving this information, Budgam Police lodged missing reports and started the investigation,” the spokesman said, adding that after proper verification and checking of their movement, it was found that the duo had gone to Tral area of Awantipora in Pulwama District. “Acting swiftly, SHO Charari Sharief sent a team to Awantipora on August 2 where from the duo were brought back,” he said.

A special court sent three separatist leaders from Jammu and Kashmir to the jail till September 1 while granting custodial remand of four others to the NIA, which told the court that it wanted to further interrogate the four separatists in connection with terror funding and other aspects of the case. The NIA had arrested a total of seven separatist leaders from Kashmir and New Delhi in connection with terror funding, hawala operations, fuelling unrest etc on July 24 and was engaged in their sustained interrogations. Simultaneously, the ED had arrested another separatist leader Shabir Shah in connection with using foreign money to fund terrorism. His custody with the ED had been extended only yesterday (August 3) by the Court for six days.

August 5

At least three militants of LeT were killed and a Police constable was injured in an encounter at Amargrah, Sopore in Baramulla District early morning. Official sources said that on specific information about the presence of militants, SFs and SOG of State Police launched a joint search operation at Amargrah early this morning. During the operation militants attacked the SFs with automatic weapons ensuing a fierce encounter in the open ground. Three LeT militants were killed and three AK rifles and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain militants, source said.

At least three persons, identified as Hilal Ahmed Wani, Latief Ahmed Khan and Suhail Ahmed Bhat were injured when SFs opened fire on protesters, who were protesting against the militant killings at Sadarkoot Bala in Bandipora District on August 5. As SATP reported earlier, three LeT militants, identified as Javed Ahmed Dar, Abid Hamid Mir and Danish Manzoor were killed and a Police constable was injured in an encounter at Amargrah in Sopore in Baramulla District early morning on August 5. Soon after the bodies of the militants reached their areas, there were protests.

Police and SFs arrested three OGWs of LeT, identified as Showkat Ahmad Mir, Waseem Ahmad Sofi and Junaid Ali Bhat, from Zainapora area of Shopian District. Three hand grenades were also recovered from them. Police said that during questioning, the OGWs admitted that they were working at behest of LeT operative Wasim Shah and were tasked to lob grenades on police establishments, cause death and injuries to Police personnel and snatch weapons in Shopian. The OGWs had also carried out observation of some Police guards for militant attacks.

August 6

A LeT militant from Pakistan, identified as Umar was killed in an encounter with SFs in Samboora village of Pulwama District. Umar was part of the ‘Abu Ismail group’ of Kashmir, which is behind the July 10 attack on Amarnath pilgrims that left eight devotees killed and several others injured, a Police official said. The official said that SFs launched a cordon and search operation in Samboora village late night following information about presence of militants there. The search party of forces was fired upon by militants triggering a gunbattle, the official said. One militant was killed in the encounter, he said.

After a lull of few days, Pakistan Army again resorted to shelling and firing on LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. Official reports said Pakistan violated ceasefire at Baba Khori in Nowshera sector at about 10.30 pm by resorting to firing with small and medium fire arms and few shells of mortars. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to exchanges, which continued till late in the night. No casualties were reported on the Indian side.

Nearly a month after eight Amarnath pilgrims were killed during a terror attack (July 10, 2017) in Pahalgam area, the State Police said that they have cracked the case. "Ismail, a Pakistani terrorist of LeT along with two other associates and a local Kashmiri terrorist carried out the attack," IGP – Kashmir, Muneer Ahmed Khan said while addressing a press conference in Srinagar. Another terrorist in the group of four had been identified as Yawar, a local recruiter for the LeT, the Police said. Efforts are on to identify the other two, believed to be Pakistanis. The police also released pictures of Abu Ismail and Yawar. He also said that the attack was "initially planned for July 9, but that day there was no movement of CRPF or yatri vehicle in isolation." Giving details about the attack, the IGP said, "Three locals provided logistical support to the terrorists. All of the accused have been arrested and produced before court, currently under police remand." "During investigation the accused completely revealed everything about the modus operandi of the terror attack," he said, adding, "They had code word 'Shaukat' for yatri vehicle and 'Bilal' for CRPF vehicle. It was purely a terrorist act." "There was yatri vehicle that day so they attacked it, had there been CRPF vehicle they would've attacked that, they had planned it."

The three "co-conspirators"-- Bilal Ahmed Reshi, Aizaj Wagey and Zahoor Ahmed --had carried out reconnaissance exercises and chosen Botengo near Khanbal as the spot where the attack could be carried out, the IGP said.The trio had also provided shelter to the four militants in Khudwani and Sriguffwara of south Kashmir, he said.  Bilal's elder brother Adil, an alleged LeT terrorist, was killed by SFs earlier this year.

The ED arrested alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani in coonection with a decade-old money laundering case involving Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah from Srinagar. A Delhi court sent alleged Mohammad Aslam Wani to ED custody till August 14.

August 7

Indian Army foiled a major infiltration bid in Macchil sector of Kupwara District killing five infiltrating militants and recovered huge quantity of arms and ammunition from them. Army’s 57 RR noticed the movement of five infiltrators near Dat Post in Kamkadi area of Macchil sector of Kupwara at around 5 p.m. They were challenged by the troops leading to an encounter in which five militants were killed. Army recovered five AK-47 rifles and huge quantity of ammunition from the killed militants. They also recovered dry fruits and war like stores. The search operation in the area is going on, report said. Sources said that these infiltrators made an attempt during the night on July 29 and 30 but went back to PoK after seeing huge army deployment of the LoC.

A soldier, identified as Narendra Singh Bisht (43) was critically injured in sniping by Pakistani troops along the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District in the evening. The soldier deployed in forward area was hit by a sniper in his head injuring him critically. He has been airlifted to Army’s 92 base hospital Badamibagh, Srinagar for treatment.

A weapon snatching bid was foiled by a J&K Bank guard in Charar-e-Sharief area of Budgam District but perpetrators were caught on CCTV camera. A Police official said that three unidentified men attempted to snatch a rifle from a J&K Bank guard in Charar-i-Sharief area of Budgam District in the afternoon. “The policeman deployed at the guard foiled their attempt. The trio managed to escape from the spot but was caught in the CCTV footage. A case has been registered in this regard and investigation taken up,” he said.

Amid shutdown in South Kashmir’s Pulwama District, clashes erupted between youth and SFs in Pulwama District. Clashes erupted in Pulwama town following the killing of a militant in Samboora during which SFs used tear gas canisters to disperse the youth who were throwing stones on them. CASO was launched in Pinglin area of Pulwama District following the inputs about the presence of militants there during which the youth took to streets and pelted stones on forces.

In North Kashmir, a shutdown was observed in Hajin, Baramulla and Sopore areas. All the shops, business establishments and the educational institutes remained closed in these areas today while the traffic was also thin ion the roads. Meanwhile, the mobile internet services continued to remain suspended in north Kashmir.

Joint separatist leadership called for a shutdown in Kashmir on August 12 against alleged attempts to abrogate the Article 35-A of Indian Constitution. In a statement issued in Srinagar, the joint separatist leadership comprising of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik appealed people to observe shutdown on August 12 and take to streets against alleged attempts of abrogating State Subject law which has remained in place since centuries. The separatists also said that the shutdown would be observed to protest the alleged “excesses on the people of South Kashmir, crackdowns across Valley and NIA raids on their leaders.

August 7-8

HM ‘commander’ Sameer Tiger along with his two associates fled from cordon in Drubgam village of Pulwama District on August 7 night. The militants, who were hiding in a house, fired on troops during searches leading to a gun battle but they managed to escape. SFs later cordoned off the entire villages and conducted house to house searches. The operation continued till 9 a.m on August 8 but was called off.

Police and Army have launched hunt to trace an injured militant in Pulwama District. Reports said that a militant of LeT, Ayub Lone alias Ayub Lelhari was injured during an encounter in Samboora village in Pampora area two days ago. One Pakistani militant was killed but Ayub and his associate managed to escape from the cordon but he was injured. SFs on August 7 cordoned off Pahoo, Bougam Kakapora and Pinglana village to trace out the injured militant. The hunt to trace out him continued on August 8.

August 8

An Army jawan (trooper), identified as Sepoy Pawan Singh Sugra was killed in Pakistani firing from across the LoC in Mankote sector of Poonch District. Official sources said Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked firing on forward posts of the Army at Balnoi in Mankote sector of Poonch District around 2.50 pm. The Indian troops retaliated “strongly and effectively” to the Pakistani firing, sources said.

Police busted a module of HM in Kreeri area of Baramulla District by arresting its three members. Police said that assisted by Army’s 29 RR and CRPF on a specific information laid a joint checkpoint at Behrampora Tilgam crossing in Baramulla District and arrested three suspected HM militants, identified as Waseem Ahmed Mir, Umer Hassan Rather and Hussain Rather. Police said that two Chinese pistols along with ammunition was recovered from their possession. “On sustained questioning, the trio admitted that they are working for Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terror outfit and motivating young boys into militancy”, said Police.

August 9

Three militants of Zakir Musa-led al Qaeda group, Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (supporters of holy war in India), identified as Zahid Ahmad Bhat, Mohammad Ishaq Bhat and Mohammad Ashraf Dar were killed in an encounter at Tral area of Pulwama District while a protester was killed during protests in pellet firing by SFs. Sources said that a group of militants belonging to Zakir Musa group were taking bath in a local stream in Gulab Bagh Tral and were zeroed in by SFs. SFs opened fire on them killing two of them on the spot while others fled. One of the militants was killed inside the village. Two AK 47 rifles and one pistol were seized from the encounter site.

Protests broke out during the operations and SFs fired teargas and pellets to disperse the protesters during which a 16-year old boy, identified as Mohammad Younis of Saimoh Tral, was also killed. Hundreds of people staged violent protests at Gulab Bagh during the operation. They clashed with SFs and the forces retaliated by firing teargas and pellets during which the boy was critically injured due to pellets. Police said that after encounter a huge mob pelted stones upon a camp. “During law and order situation, one person sustained pellet injuries and later succumbed to his injuries”, he said.

All educational institutes shall remain closed in Pulwama District today, according to district administration. The clashes also raged at Pampore area of the district where SFs resorted to aerial firing. In Qoimoh area of Kulgam District, SFs fired in air after locals clashed with them during a raid on a hospital.

Army said that five militants who were killed while attempting to intrude on August 7 in Machil sector of Kupwara District were heavily armed and prepared to undertake prolonged operations. Brigadier RK Suresh of Machil Brigade said that the militants were heavily armed with AK-47 rifles, a large quantum of ammunition bulk of which was expended “on own as troops as well”, under barrel grenade launchers, multiple ammunition of grenades and other war-like stores. “They were also prepared to undertake prolonged operations. In the end, they were carrying good quantity of rations, medicines which have a lot of Pakistani markings,” the Brigadier said. He said that the troops carried out their operations efficiently with speed without any casualties.

Even as Pakistan accuses India of carrying out ceasefire violations, the Indian Government has conveyed to Islamabad that there has been a spurt in terrorist activities along the LoC and in infiltration attempts. A ceasefire violation by Pakistan had on August 8 led to the killing of an Indian soldier in the Poonch District. Pakistan, however, summoned India's deputy high commissioner J P Singh and condemned "unprovoked ceasefire violations'' by Indian forces which, it said, had targeted Pakistani civilians. The senior Indian diplomat though is learnt to have told the Pakistan foreign office that Pakistani forces had first violated ceasefire after which Indian troops responded with appropriate action. The Indian side also conveyed to Pakistan that it had noticed an increase in infiltration bids and that Pakistani forces were providing cover fire to terrorists in PoK seeking to cross the LoC.

India had summoned Pakistan High Commission official Tariq Karim and issued a demarche "lodging strong protest" over the death of an Indian soldier in unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Krishna Ghati sector the previous day, terming it as "deplorable". Despite repeated calls for restraint and call to adhere to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquility, Pakistan forces have carried out 301 incidents of unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LoC this year, the MEA said.

August 10

A civilian, identified as Mohammad Sharief (60) was injured in a mine blast on the LoC in Keri sector of Rajouri District. According to report, Mohammad Sharief had gone to forward area for grazing cattle and accidentally stopped over the mine, leading to a blast in which he was injured. The victim was evacuated from the spot and admitted in the District Hospital, Rajouri, where he was undergoing treatment.

SFs arrested a LeT militant, identified as Ishfaq Ahmad Kanna from Sopore area in Baramulla District and recovered a pistol and two grenades from his possession. During Naka checking, one suspected person jumped the Naka and fled to a nearby orchard. The area was cordoned off by the police and security forces and the suspected person was apprehended. During the search his identity was revealed as Ishfaq Ahmad Kanna son of Mohammad Shafi Kanna of Jamia-Qadeem Sopore district Baramulla, who recently joined LeT outfit”, Police said. One pistol, one magazine, five rounds and two UBGL grenades were recovered from him. Police said that he was part of Lashkar module, three members of which were killed last week at Jamia Mohalla Amargarh Sopore. “Before joining LeT outfit, he worked as an active recruiter/OGW for LeT outfit in Sopore and other areas of North Kashmir”, said police adding that he was involved in a grenade throwing case on Police Station Sopore.

Normal life remained paralysed \ in Pulwama District, where three militants of Zakir Musa group were killed in an encounter by SFs. The mobile service also remained suspended in the district for the second day on August 10 to prevent spread of rumors on social media. The DM, Pulwama had ordered closure of all educational institutions as precautionary measure. Business and other activities were crippled and traffic was off the road in the district though there was no strike call from any organisation.

The DG of the CRPF, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar visited CRPF installations in South and North Kashmir. While interacting with the reporters, he said that the anti-militancy operations in Kashmir are an ongoing process and they will continue in future. He said that Army, CRPF and Police work jointly and in future also there will be successful operations as had been recently. He said that CRPF along with Police and Army conducted 18 successful operations recently and they were also managing law and order effectively with minimum collateral damage. “We didn’t allow stone pelters to disturb the anti-militancy operations”, he said. On infiltration of militants from Pakistan, the DG CRPF said that this is a kind of threat from Pakistan and our border forces, Army and Police are ready to fight back.

The ED conducted searches at a few locations in Srinagar in connection with an alleged terror funding and hawala (illegal money transfer) case involving over INR 20 crore funds.  Officials privy to the operations of the ED said the agency conducted searches against Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad and three premises connected to him. They said Sheikh’s house in Ahmad Nagar and his firms, ‘Al -Khudam Tour and Travels’ and ‘Ms Ferozsons Exports Private Limited’ in Srinagar town, were searched. “Some documents related to foreign firms have been seized after the searches,” they said.

Six top militant ‘commanders’, including LeT’s Abu Dujana, and Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Ahmad Bhat of HM, were among 132 terrorists killed in encounters with SFs in J&K, so far this year, according to official figures.  SFs and Police are going after the militants, as they have fiercely intensified operations to hunt them down by acting on the hit-list of top terrorist leaders in Kashmir. The number of terrorists killed in the past seven months this year is the highest in the same period over the past seven years. “As many as 132 terrorists have been killed in encounters with police and security forces in Kashmir Valley in over seven months this year,” a senior security official said. While 115 militants have been killed till July-end, as many as 17 militants have been killed since then till August 9, as per official statistics.

While 38 LeT militants were killed in over seven months till August 9, 37 HM terrorists were eliminated along with three of the al Qeada-linked Zakir Musa group, and another 54 unidentified militants were killed, mostly on the LoC. “The relentless operations by the SFs have defeated the desperate attempts by Pakistan and its agents to spread terror in Jammu and Kashmir. Operations will be continued,” a senior Army officer said.

August 11

Indian and Pakistan troops exchanged fire with small arms at Kamalkote sector of Uri in Baramulla District. Sources said that the Pakistani troops targeted 20 Sikh and 8 RR regiments of Army at Kamalkote at around 6.25 pm. The fire was retaliated by the Army. The exchange of fire continued for few minutes but there was no injury or fatality on either side.

An army soldier was injured after militants attack army camp in forest area of Kalaroose in Kupwara District of North Kashmir in the late night. A group of militants attacked army’s 41 RR headquarter camp which is located in upper belt of Kalaroose forests along LoC. The indiscriminate fire continued on the RR headquarter for at least 10 minutes, the troops retaliated the fire which resulted a brief clash. During the incident, a soldier of 21 J&K Rifles was injured and has been shifted to military hospital Drugmulla, sources said.

SFs launched a cordon and search operation at Noorpora village of Tral in Pulwama District after suspecting presence of at least three militants including Zakir Musa. The youth pelted stones at the SFs during the operation and they fired tear gas to disperse them. The operation was called off in the afternoon and re-launched after an hour as the SFs got intercept about presence of militants inside the village. Sources said cordon and search operation will remain in place at Noorpora as they suspected presence of militants in a hideout inside the village.

SFs also launched cordon and search operations in Pehlipora Shopian, Nawa Kadal and Zaldagar areas of downtown Srinagar. However, no one was arrested during these operations.

Clashes and protests erupted in multiple parts in Valley after Friday prayers against alleged attempts of abrogating Article 35-A of the Constitution. The call for protests was issued by joint separatist leadership. Soon after Friday prayers were over, the activists of moderate Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq held a protest outside Jama Masjid in Nowhatta area of Srinagar. While Hurriyat activists protested peacefully but dozens of youth assembled inside the compound of Jama Masjid and pelted stones on Police and paramilitary personnel. The security personnel retaliated with stones and teargas canisters. The clashes in the area continued for many hours. However, no one was reported injured.

Dozens of JKLF activists also staged a protest after Friday prayers in Srinagar at Maisuma area of Lal Chowk while a similar protest was held at Hyderpora by hardline Hurriyat activists.

Clashes broke out between protesters and SFs at Nowdal and Batagund villages of Tral in Pulwama District after Friday prayers. The clashes also erupted in Tahab village of the Pulwama District. Police fired teargas against the stone-pelters. Clashes also erupted at Sopore and Hajin areas of North Kashmir’s Baramulla and Bandipora Districts respectively.

August 12

A 40-year-old woman, identified as Raqia Bi was killed in firing by the Pakistani Army at border villages and Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch sector of Poonch District.  “The Pakistani army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatic weapons and mortars from 0515 hours in Poonch sector along the LoC,” a Defence spokesman said. Indian Army personnel guarding the border posts retaliated strongly and effectively. The exchange of fire stopped at 0645 hours, he said. Till August 1 this year, there have been 285 instances of ceasefire violations by the Pakistani forces. In 2016, the number was significantly less at 228.

An Army jawan was killed while another jawan was injured when Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing targeting forward defence locations and civilian areas on the LoC in Mendhar and Krishna Ghati sectors in Poonch District. The Indian side retaliated very effectively decimating three Pakistani posts and bunkers, which were engaged in targeting civilian population in the area. In the exchange of fire, Naib Subedar Jagram Singh Tomar and Sepoy Mohit Kumar were injured. Tomar later succumbed to his injuries.

A civilian, identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad, injured in a petrol bomb attack in Srinagar on August 12, died in a hospital on August 13th morning. According to Police, unidentified assailants hurled a petrol bomb on a Police naka (checkpoint) at Badyari Chowk in Dalgate on the bank of Dal Lake on August 12 evening in which a civilian Imtiyaz Ahmad was critically wounded. The injured was rushed to SKIMS, where he died, Police spokesperson said.

Life across Kashmir was paralyzed by a shutdown amid restrictions against the alleged attempts to abrogate Article 35-A during clashes erupted in few parts of Valley. Police said that the day passed off peacefully and no major incident of violence was reported from anywhere in the Srinagar city. However, evening clashes erupted at Nowhatta, Safa Kadal and Zaldagar areas of downtown, Police said.

While the day passed off peacefully in Valley, clashes also erupted between youth and SFs at Arampora locality of Sopore Town in Baramulla District. There was, however, no injury to anyone.

August 12-13

In a major success to the SFs, HM ‘commander’ Yasin Ittoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi was killed on August 13 in an overnight encounter at Awnera village in Shopian District, taking the death toll to five; two army personnel and three militants. The night-long fierce encounter that started on August 12 evening ended on August 13th morning after the killing of HM ‘commander’ Yasin Ittoo. His two associates, identified as Umar Majid Sheikh and Irfan ul Sheikh were killed by SFs on August 12 night and the dead bodies were recovered in the August 13th morning. Two Army personnel, identified as identified as Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman, and Sepoy Ilayaraja P were also killed and three others injured in the encounter on August 12 night.

Ittoo, from Chadoora area of Budgam District of central Kashmir, had a long association with HM.  He was oldest surviving militant in Valley who joined HM in 1996 and was arrested in 2007 and later released on parole in 2014 after remaining in jail for seven years. He joined the militant group again and was ‘commander’ of the outfit. One KK series rifle used by Ittoo and two AK series rifles of his associates were recovered from the encounter site. The militants were shifting from one house to another during the encounter and four houses were damaged in the gun fight that ended this morning. Authorities suspended internet services in Shopian and Kulgam to prevent spreading of information about the encounter and mobilization of people towards the encounter site.

August 13

Report said that two protesters were killed in SFs firing in the evening on protests that broke after the gun battle at Awnera village in Shopian District. Soon after the gun battle ended, clashes erupted in Zainapora and other areas in Shopian with protesters pelting stones at SFs. Several protesters were injured among which one identified as 26-year-old Mohammad Sayed Bhat later succumbed to injuries.

Another youth, identified as Owais Ahmad Dar was killed after he was hit by pellets in Kakapora area of Pulwama District during clashes between SFs and protesters. The SFs coming from Shopian were attacked with stones at Kakapora in Pulwama and they fired pellets which hit Owais in right part of his chest. He was shifted to nearby hospital from where he was declared him brought dead.

Two Policemen and an Army jawan were injured when militants fired upon a search party of SFs in Bandipora District. SFs launched a cordon and search operation at Wahab, Parray Mohalla in Hajin area of the District in the morning after receiving specific intelligence about the presence of some militants there, a Police spokesman said. He said as the forces were conducting the search operation when the militants fired upon them, resulting in injuries to two Police Constables, Mukhtar Ahmad and Mohammad Ashraf, and Sepoy Raj Kumar.

Three soldiers, identified as Lans Naik Balwinder Singh, Rifleman Gurjeewan and Sepoy Kulwinder were injured as militants attacked an Army post in Uri sector of Baramulla District. According to report, a group of militants targeted an army post of 20 Sikh Regiment at Baaz in Uri at 1730 hours. The firing resulted in injuries to three soldiers who were airlifted to Srinagar for treatment.

Pakistani Army violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Uri sector in the Baramulla District by opening fire at Indian posts, resulting in injuries to three Indian soldiers. The Pakistani troops opened fire at Indian positions at Baaz Post in Uri in Baramulla District at around 4 pm, Indian Army sources said. The sources said three soldiers suffered bullet injuries in the firing and were admitted to the 92 Base Hospital of the Army in Srinagar.

Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire four times in Rajouri District. "Cross border shelling started in Kalal, Khori, Manpur and Ganiah villages of Nowshera," DC Rajouri, Shahid Choudhary said in a Tweet. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchanges, which continued till late night. However, there were no reports of any casualties on Indian side.

Pakistan Army opened firing with small arms in Mankote area of Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch District prompting effective retaliation from the Indian side. No loss of life or damage was reported on Indian side in Mankote sector.

Sources said that some militants were also camping across LoC waiting for infiltration into the Indian territory and Pakistan army was also trying to facilitate the intrusion bids but was finding it impossible to push the militants due to high alert being maintained by the Indian troops on the LoC.

According to a senior official, seventy young men have joined militancy in the past seven months this year (2017) with most of the recruits from three Districts in South Kashmir. The new recruits mostly belong to Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam Districts in South Kashmir, which has become the hub of tech-savvy militants. “As many as 70 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in the Valley in seven months period this year,” the senior security officer said quoting official statistics. The officer claimed 88 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in 2016.

Since 2014, there has been a constant rise in the number of people joining militancy. As many as 66 youths joined militancy in Kashmir in 2015 and 53 in 2014, according to data compiled by security agencies. In 2010, 54 youths joined militancy and in 2011, the number came down to 23. It further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013, it said.

The Pulwama-Shopian-Kulgam region has become a hotbed of home-grown terrorists, the officials said. Security officials say Pulwama, which has of-late emerged as the terror epicentre, is strategically important as it is the central point to connect Srinagar, Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Budgam Districts of central Kashmir. “The areas have seen the highest number of encounters and attacks,” the officer added.

SFs have also foiled attempts by dozen others to cross over to the PoK for arms training, the officer said. In 2017, as many as 54 men were stopped from joining the ranks of militants, the officer said. 132 terrorists have been killed in encounters with Police and SFs in Kashmir Valley in over seven months period this year, security officials said. While 115 militants have been killed till July end this year, 17 militants have been killed till August 9, as per official statistics.

While 38 militants belonging to LeT were killed in over seven months till August 9, it was followed by killing of 37 militants of HM and three militants belonging to Musa Group of al Qaeda followed by killing of 54 unidentified militants mostly along the LoC. Out of them, six top ‘commanders’ of LeT and HM were killed in encounters in Kashmir during the period.

As per the data, the number of terrorists killed in the past over six months is the highest in the past seven years. In 2010, 156 militants were killed in the first 7 months period of the year followed by 102 in 2017, 77 in 2016, 61 in 2011, 51 each in 2014 and 2015 respectively, the data showed.

Terrorists in the Kashmir Valley are now on the run and they cannot continue to terrorise the people for decades, Arun Jaitley, the Defence Minister said, maintaining that the Government’s priority was to clean up the Kashmir Valley of armed militants. He said the terrorists in Kashmir were “now under great pressure” and the financial crunch caused by demonetisation and the actions taken by NIA on illegal foreign fundings have checked illegal activities in Jammu and Kashmir in large scale. “Today no big militant can dream of committing terror acts and continue to terrorise the Valley for decades, but today their life shelf has dwindled to a few months. I will specifically praise the Jammu & Kashmir Police for working hard (towards eliminating terrorists),” he said.

August 14

Four SF personnel were injured in a grenade attack by militants in Budgam District. Militants hurled a grenade at a ROP of CRPF and Police at Batpora in Magam area, 20 kilometres from Srinagar, a Police official said. He said three CRPF personnel and one Policeman were injured in the grenade blast.

Two HuM militants were arrested by SFs in Kupwara District. Official sources said on a tip-off, SFs arrested two HuM militants identified as Youns Ahmad Mir and Tahir-ul-Islam in Handwara area of Kupwara. They are being questioned, they said, adding further details are awaited.

A 17-year-old youth, identified as Danish Ahmad Khanday was injured when a shell, he found near last month’s encounter site at Bamnoo in Pulwama District, exploded. An explosive, apparently left behind at an encounter site around 40 days back at Bamnoo Pulwama, went off injuring a boy. On July 3, an encounter took place at Bamnoo where three militants were killed by SFs.

SFs fired teargas to disperse protesters in Kakapora area of Pulwama District against the killing of a youth in pellet firing on August 13. Owais Ahmad Dar, a resident of Kakapora, was killed on August 13 after SFs fired pellets to disperse protesters.

Four Kashmiri separatists, including the son-in-law of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali shah Geelani, were sent to judicial custody by a Delhi court in a terror funding case. Duty Magistrate Pankaj Sharma sent Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, popularly known as Altaf Fantoosh, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Nayeem Khan to jail for 14 days. The court’s order came after the NIA submitted that they were not required for further interrogation. The agency had arrested seven persons on July 24 in the case of alleged funding of terror and subversive activities in the Kashmir valley to fuel unrest. The other three separatist leaders — Shahid-ul-Islam, Farooq Ahmed Dar and Mohamad Akbar Khanday — were sent to the judicial custody till September 1.

August 15

A woman was injured in ceasefire violation by Pakistan army in Baaz and Nambla areas of Uri sector in Baramulla District. The Indian Army retaliated to the unprovoked firing by the Pakistani forces.

The NIA teams are carrying out raids at 12 places in Jammu and Kashmir's Baramulla, Handwara and Srinagar in connection with its terror funding and civil unrest probe involving Hurriyat leaders. Sources said that fresh raids have been carried out on those people who have financial links with the pro-Pakistani Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani. The names of these persons have been disclosed by seven separatists, who were arrested by the agency last month for allegedly organising the funds and civil unrest in the valley.

August 16

Pakistan Army again today violated ceasefire along the LoC at the Poonch sector in Poonch District. The Indian forces are retaliating strongly, reports state. No casualty has been reported so far.

LeT’s Pulwama ‘district commander’, Ayoub Ahmad Lone alias Ayoub Lelhari was killed in an encounter in Pulwama District. SSP Choudhary Mohammad Aslam, said that he was travelling in a Tavera car along with the driver and a civilian in Banderpora, Koil area when security forces intercepted the car. “He opened fire but was killed in the retaliatory fire by security forces,” he added. Two Police personnel were injured in the initial firing after which an encounter started in which Lelhari was killed. The SSP said that driver of the car has been arrested but the civilian fled from the spot. Lelhari had been active in South Kashmir areas and had recently been designated as ‘district commander’ by the LeT.

A CRPF trooper, identified as Reyaz Ahmad who was injured in a grenade attack by militants in Budgam District on August 14, succumbed to injuries. Reyaz Ahmad died at SKIMS hospital in Soura. He was among the four SF personnel injured in the attack on August 14. The militants had hurled a grenade at a road opening party of CRPF and Police at Batpora in Magam area.

A soldier, identified as Havaldar Narendra Singh who was injured in sniping of Pakistani troops in Rampur sector in Baramulla District on August 7 succumbed to injuries at 92 Base Hospital in Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar. Havaldar Narendra Singh who was deployed at a forward post in Rampur Sector was injured during sniping by Pakistani troops on August 7. He was provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar where he succumbed.

Pakistan troops shelled forward posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch District. “Pakistan army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 0534 hours in Poonch sector along the Line of Control today,” sources said. Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively,” they added. According to reports, firing and shelling were reported at six places in Mankote, Basuni, Mendhar, Malipur, Dharna and Patri of Poonch District.

The J&K Government has begun the construction of 100 bunkers in border villages along the LoC in Rajouri District where there have been repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan forces. "The district administration has started the construction of 100 bunkers in villages along the LoC in Nowshera sector," DC, Rajouri, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said. These bunkers will accommodate around 1200-1500 people in case of ceasefire violations, especially shelling from across the border, he said. Choudhary on August 16 visited the forward areas along the LoC in Nowshera and inspected the construction of these bunkers. An inter-departmental team headed by DC is supervising the construction of these bunkers.

The US designated militant outfit HM as a “foreign terrorist organisation”, nearly two months after declaring the group’s ‘chief’ Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. The designation, which slaps a series of US sanctions on the outfit, came against the backdrop of an upsurge in terror activities by the militant group in Jammu and Kashmir in recent months. “These designations seek to deny Hizb-ul-Mujahideen the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks,” the State Department said in a statement. All of HM’s property and interests subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and people in the US are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with the group. The decision marks a severe blow to Pakistan which has been projecting the militant group as a voice of the Kashmiri people.

August 17

Two terrorists were killed as the Army foiled an infiltration bid near the LoC in Gurez sector in Bandipora District. "Army had launched a massive search operation yesterday [August 16] evening at Dhurmut forest area at Kundalwan in Gurez after noticing suspicious movement when they were on routine patrol of the forests," a senior Police official said, adding, "Two terrorists were shot down today [August 17] in the ensuing gunfight." This year, the Army has foiled a total of 24 infiltration bids along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, and 41 armed intruders have been eliminated in such operations.

Two persons including a civilian and an Army jawan were injured in firing by the Pakistani troops on the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. Sources said an Army soldier, identified as Naik Sushil Kumar was injured in Pakistani firing at Baba Khori in Nowshera sector while a civilian, identified as Sushil Kumar was injured at Sanya village in Jhanghar sector in two separate ceasefire violations by Pakistan. The Indian side retaliated the firing and the exchanges lasted only for a brief period, sources said, adding that panic gripped the border dwellers due to fresh round of firing by Pakistan army in Nowshera sector.

Police said that SFs in a joint search operation arrested three persons and recovered arms and ammunition from their possession in Sumbal area of Bandipora District. According to Police, on specific information, Bandipora Police and 13 RR launched a cordon and search operation in the orchards of Wangipora in Sumbal in Bandipora District. “During search operation, three accused persons identified as Altaf Ahmad Mir, Irshad Ahmad Mir and Waseem Ahmad were arrested”, Police said. “Two hand grenades, one AK 47 magazine and 15 AK 47 rounds were seized from his possession.

The NIA arrested a prominent Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad Watali from New Delhi for terror funding and separatist activities in Jammu and Kashmir. Watali is accused of playing a key role in receiving the funds from Pakistan and then forwarding them to the separatists and even kept account books for it. He is a prominent businessman who has links with mainstream politicians and separatists. His brother, Ali Mohammad Watali, retired as DIG in Kashmir Police and nephew is serving IG in Kashmir Police. A statement by NIA stated said that Watali’s arrest followed the searches conducted by the NIA on August 16 at multiple locations in Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla belonging to his relatives and employees. The searches have unearthed incriminating material pertaining to receipt of funds by Zahoor Watali from foreign sources and its further distribution to the terrorists and separatists in Kashmir valley for anti-India activities.

August 18

UHM Rajnath Singh asserted that by 2022, a solution would be found to the ‘Kashmir problem’ as also other problems like terrorism, naxalism [Left Wing Extremism] and North East insurgency. “There are a lot of problems - terrorism, naxalism, Kashmir problem. Much is not needed to be said about these problems. But I can assure you this much that by 2022, we have pledged to create a ‘new India’…So a solution will be found to all these problems before 2022. We want to assure the countrymen on this,” he said.

India has welcomed the US’ decision to designate HM as a foreign terrorist organisation, saying it follows a joint commitment by the two countries to fight the menace of terrorism. "I welcome this step by the United States state department to designate Hizb-ul-Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation, that has been responsible for carrying out heinous act of terrorismIt reflects the joint commitment of India and the US to firmly deal with terrorism in all its forms and manifestation," spokesperson of MEA Raveesh Kumar said. Syed Salahuddin, the ‘chief’ of HM, had been declared a ‘global terrorist’ by the US in June, coinciding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US. The move was criticised by Pakistan which calls HM a group of freedom fighters.

Despite strict vigil along the LoC to foil infiltration of militants from PoK, around 80 militants have sneaked in this year (2017) while SFs achieved major successes against them by killing 133 militants including seven top ‘commanders’. According to MAC figures, around 80 militants have infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir till July 2017 from PoK. These militants mostly infiltrated from Keran, Gurez, Machil and Nowgam sectors of Kashmir and majority of them are in North Kashmir.

Last year (2016), as per MAC figures 114 militants infiltrated into Kashmir which was highest since 2014. As per MAC figures, 35 militants infiltrated into Kashmir in 2015, 65 in 2014, 97 in 2013, 121 in 2012, 52  in 2011, 82  in 2010, 99 infiltrated in 2009 and 27 in 2008.

Last year, there were no reports of infiltration of militants into Kashmir till April and but this year some groups managed to sneak in when the peaks were covered in snow in January and February. After the infiltration of militants in winter this year, Army along the LoC was put on heightened alert as security agencies had inputs that the militant outfits across wanted to push in more militants this year.  The vigil along the LoC was increased and patrolling was intensified to foil the infiltration attempts. Sources said that the militant groups carried out and are carrying reconnaissance along the LoC regularly but the tight vigil along LoC by the Army and regular patrols prevented and are preventing them from sneaking in. Sources said that around 300 militants are on launch pads mostly in Neelam Valley area PoK. These militants had started gathering this year in winter only as compared to previous year’s when they were waiting for the snow to melt.

SFs have also achieved major successes this year and eliminated 133 militants so far including seven top ‘commanders’. Majority of them were killed in last two months after SFs launched massive offensive in South Kashmir. Last year 150 were killed in Kashmir while 108 militants were killed in 2015, 110 in 2014, 67 in 2013, 72 in 2012 and 100 in 2011. Despite the killing of 133 militants this year, sources said that 135 are operating in Kashmir and operations against them has been intensified

Even as the joint combing operation, ‘Operation All-Out’, has succeeded in killing 35 militants in South Kashmir since April, 2017 the Police’s counter-insurgency data suggest 34 new faces have joined the rank. Police data, portray a grim picture of South Kashmir’s four Districts despite “great successes” made by the SF) by killing eight top commanders of HM and LeT. “We have reports of 34 new faces joining the militants ranks of both HM and LeT in South Kashmir since April when the operation against active militants was launched,” said a top counter-insurgency Police officer. He said militant groups in the highly volatile of district of Pulwama, adjacent to Srinagar, had roped in 21 new youths into their ranks. “Since April, 20 militants were killed in Pulwama,” he said.

As many as 224 people, including 136 militants, were killed in operations in Kashmir so far this year. The ‘Operation All-Out’, launched in April in the wake of growing militant activities in South Kashmir, saw June witnessing highest 48 deaths, including 30 militants and 15 SFs. The Police claim that the worrying trend is that youth from urban pockets of Bijbehara, Anantnag, Kokernag and Srinagar “are joining the militant ranks”. “Earlier, rural pockets of Shopian, Kulgam and Kareemabad and Kakpora were hubs of militants. Recruits from more urbane pockets have picked up too,” said the Police official.

According to the police, new pictures of armed youth posted by the militant outfits on the social media, including Instagram, suggest “many of these recruits are around 20s.” The Police, however, expressed satisfaction with the ongoing operation that saw “elimination of entire militant leadership” in South Kashmir. “Recruiters and strategists like Abu Dujana, Sabzar Bhat, Junaid Matto, Yasin Ittoo and Bashir Lashkari have already been killed,” said the Police official. The Army is now zeroing in on “Hizbul ideologue Riyaz Naikoo” and encounter specialists Wasim Shah and Sadam Padder of Shopian.

Since April, over 16 foreign militants have joined the depleting militant ranks in south Kashmir, especially the LeT, by crossing into the north Kashmir valley through the LoC. “We have completely blunted the striking capability of the militant groups in south Kashmir. All of them are on the run,” said another Police official.

August 19

Suspected militants shot dead a PDP worker, Mohammad Isaaq Parray at Uggen in Dailgam area of Anantnag District. A Police officer said that the militants opened fire upon the PDP worker Mohd Isaaq Parray at Uggen in Dailgam in the afternoon. In the incident, Parray sustained serious bullet wounds and has been shifted to nearby hospital where doctors declared him brought dead on arrival. Soon after the incident, a joint team of SFs launched a man hunt to nab the militants.

A low intensity blast occurred inside BJP office in Jawahar Nagar area of Srinagar causing minor damage to boundary wall and window panes in the evening. The explosion took place in J-2 Quarter which houses BJP office at Jawahar Nagar in the evening. SHO Rajbagh, Ghulam Moihuddin said that Police is ascertaining the nature of the blast.

SFs cordoned off and conducted searches in 10 villages of Shopian including Chakoora, Mantribug, Zaipora, Pratabpora, Takipora, Ranipora, Ratnipora, Dangam, Kellar and Wangam. The joint operation was launched by Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army’s 62 RR and 114th Battalion of CRPF. The cordon and search operation was launched after inputs about the presence of a Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) militant group in the area.

August 20

A local cable network operator, identified as Hilal Ahmad Malik was shot dead by militants near his residence at Malik Mohalla in Shopian District. Malik was shifted to nearby hospital where from he was referred to Srinagar for treatment. However, he succumbed to his injuries on way to hospital in Srinagar. Police, Army and CRPF immediately reached the spot and a massive manhunt has been launched against the militants responsible for his killing.

A bullet- riddled body of a 16-year-old youth, identified as Gowhar Ahmad Dar was recovered in Nagbal in Shopian District in the morning. The Police recovered the bullet-riddled body soon after locals informed that the youth was lying in pool of blood near the peripheries of an orchard at Nagbal. Police said that he was missing since last evening (August 19) and perhaps kidnapped by militants.

The killing of cable network operator is third killing since August 19 in South Kashmir. As SATP reported earlier, militants shot dead a PDP worker, Mohammad Isaaq Parray at Uggen in Dailgam area of Anantnag District on August 19. The series of killing took place after SFs launched a massive operation in Shopian District in South Kashmir on August 19 to flush out the militants.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said in Mumbai that SFs with their resolute action had established dominance over terrorists in J&K and the Centre was firm that armed militancy must end in the border State. He said the ‘Kashmir issue’ had become complicated because of cross-border support to terrorists and also because local groups. “The Kashmir issue had become complicated because of cross-border support (to terrorism) and (also) our own groups supporting the armed militants. “Mass civil protests were seen in the form of stone- pelting and sometimes this was used to help terrorists escape,” he said.

Incidents of stone-pelting have reduced in Jammu and Kashmir due to the role of the NIA, UHM Rajnath Singh said. He said the incidents of naxalism, terrorism and extremism have also seen a downward trend in the last three years. “You have seen role of the NIA in Jammu and Kashmir, where incidents of stone pelting have come down. We have taken pledge for India’s security and strict action is being taken for this. We will accept challenges and in the past three years incident of naxalism, terrorism and extremism have seen a downward trend,” he said. Singh was speaking after inaugurating the office and residential complex of the NIA in Lucknow. “We will win over naxalism, terrorism and extremism. In the past three years, extremism has come down by 75 per cent in the northeast and naxalism has come down by 35-40 per cent,” Singh said. Emphasising on “finishing terror funding sources”, he said, “If we plug sources of fake currency and terror funding, it will be a big blow to terrorism. NIA is doing a great job here. Its name sends fear down the spine of those indulging in terror funding.”

A sustained crackdown on militancy in J&K, aided by strong ground intelligence, has seen the killings of terrorists outstrip recruitment by terror groups this year, with ranks of separatists increasingly dependent on infiltration of ‘foreign’ operatives into the State. The infiltration from PoK and Pakistan is slightly higher with 78 terrorists sneaking into J&K till July against 123 in entire 2016 but intelligence agencies said, given the current trend, it is a matter of time before the total number of active terrorists in the Valley sees a decline. The number of terror recruits in J&K this year, going by intelligence records, is around 71, while as many as 132 terrorists have died in security operations.

Of the 132 terrorists killed as a result of intelligence-based operations this year, 74 were foreign nationals and 58 locals. As many as 14, were top ‘commanders’ of LeT, HM or Al-Badr. These included two in the "A++ category, four in A+ category and eight in A category". Sources said cooperation between Central and State agencies are paying off. J&K Police, CRPF and Army have jointly accounted for top HM leaders even before they could settle down to their roles as one succeeded the other.  Though more youth joined terror groups in the Valley over the past 3-4 months, deaths of terrorists exceed recruitment levels. Fatalities among terrorists surged from an average 9.5 killings a month till April to 18 in May, 30 in June and 25 in July.

With squads of 400-odd terrorists, HM cadre in J&K do not seem unnerved by the US state department declaring the outfit a ‘global terror group. In fact there are experts who suggested that given the degree of anti-Americanism in Muslim-dominated Valley, this could even have a multiplier effect. One cannot ignore the jolts suffered by HM in the past by way of internal feud over money, ideology, and with other terror groups like JKLF, which ultimately gave up arms in 1994 with the release of their chief Yasin Malik from jail.

Nonetheless, HM is still operating in the Valley and continues to get local support. "Hizb is now operated directly by Syed Salauddin from PoK - albeit through their south Kashmir-based conduits," a top Hurriyat separatist said. Mainstream political parties like the PDP, NC and even Congress did not sound too upbeat about the State Department's action against the Hizb and termed it a "diplomatic gesture" which will hardly deter the outfit's cadre. "It has rather given legitimacy to the group in Muslim majority Kashmir due to its hatred against the US, whom it blames for Palestine and wars in several Muslim countries," said Nasir Aslam Wani, senior NC official and former minister. PDP avoided coming on record considering it's in governance with the BJP, which has branded US action as India's victory on the international stage.

"Hizb's 100-odd homegrown militants, under newly minted commander Riyaz Naikoo, are stooges of Pakistan's ISI. Outfits like Hizb have no international base except in Pakistan; therefore, it would not choke their resources in terms of the funding, etc.," a top PDP official said. Intelligence sources said the US declaration will have little impact in the Valley. The Hizb cadre comprises stone pelters and hardcore Muslim radicals. While stone-pelters are oblivious of the facts of the insurgency, radicals are unbothered about US utterances, sources said. "They firmly believe they are fighting jihad against Hindu India," a senior intelligence officer said. Hizb is unhassled in the Valley with substantial public support. Notwithstanding a few incidents of flow of information about presence of militants in the villages, they get food, shelter and other comfort from sections of locals.

August 21

SFs unearthed a militant hideout in Kangan area of Ganderbal District and recovered arms and ammunition. Police said that a search operation was launched by SFs in Cheki Akhaal forests in Kangan area, following a tip off. "During the searches, a militant hideout was unearthed. An AK assault rifle, two AK magazines and 44 rounds of ammunition were recovered from the hideout. A case has been registered in this regard", Police said.

SFs, during a raid, arrested a HM militant, identified as Shahid Ahmad Wani from Zainapora village of Shopian District. "A Chinese pistol, nine rounds and a magazine were recovered from his possession," Police said, adding that a vehicle has also been seized.

Police said that it has identified the militants responsible for the killing of a cable operator and a student in South Kashmir's Shopian District and launched massive searches to nab them. Police on the basis of human and technical intelligence identified the militants who killed the cable network owner Hilal Ahmad Malik on August 20. The terrorists involved in the attack are Zubair Ahmad Turray a resident of Bonbazar, Shopian and Umar Nazir Malik alias Khattab a resident of Malikgund, Shopian.

Police also identified the militants, who killed a student, Gowhar Ahmad Dar of Urpora Nagbal on August 20. Police blamed LeT for his killing. They identified the two LeT militants responsible for the killing of Gowhar as Waseem Shah, resident of Heff and Nazim Dar, resident of Urpora. They said a manhunt has been launched to nab them.

With SFs stepping up action in South Kashmir, the militants are targeting the civilian population to discredit the forces by shifting the blame onto them and also create fear psychosis in the minds to make people to support them. With decline in incidents of stone pelting on the SFs during anti-terror operations and better intelligence gathering about militants' movements, the unnerved militants are now targeting young civilians. Three civilians were killed in South Kashmir during last three days.

August 22

A suspected LeT militant was reportedly killed in an encounter with SFs in Kupwara District. According to official sources, SFs and SOG of J&K Police launched a joint search operation in a village at Handwara in the frontier district of Kupwara. When the SFs were sealing the area, the militants hiding there opened indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons, sources said, adding that the fire was returned, ensuing an encounter in which a militant was reportedly killed. There are three to four militants holed up in the area which has been cordoned off, they said.

J&K Governor N N Vohra called on UHM Rajnath Singh and discussed with him various issues including repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces. During the meeting in New Delhi, the Governor apprised Singh about the prevailing situation in the Kashmir Valley and steps taken for restoring normalcy. They also discussed, among other issues, the ceasefire violations from across the border, increasing infiltration attempts and the incidence of terrorism in the Valley.

August 23

Separatists announced multiple protests starting from Friday (August 25) this week and a strike on August 29 when SC will be hearing PIL on Article 35-A. Separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, 'chairman' of the APHC-G, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, 'chairman' of the APHC-M and Yasin Malik, chief of JKLF, in a joint statement, warned of agitation if "Supreme Court rules against Article 35-A".The separatists called for a shutdown in State on August 29 when the Apex Court will hear the case. Besides, the separatists said that Kashmir Bar Association will hold peaceful protest demonstration on August 25 against "conspiracies to finish State Subject law".

The Indian Army charged Pakistan with abetment and support to cross border terrorism and deliberate targeting of civilian populations along LoC in the twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri. The charge was conveyed to Pakistan by the Indian Army officers at Battalion Commander level Flag Meeting held at Chakan-Da-Bagh on the LoC in Poonch District, which was the first high-level contact between India and Pakistan since May 1 after fresh ceasefire violations broke out at various sectors of Poonch and Rajouri Districts, leading to casualties of Army and civilians and loss of property.

The Indian delegation highlighted abetment and support of Pakistan army to cross border terrorism and deliberate attempts of targeting civilian population by firing mortar shells in the populated villages along LoC in the two border Districts of Rajouri and Poonch. The Indian Army delegation also charged Pakistan with indulging in sniping actions on the LoC to target the Army soldiers during ceasefire violations.

According to Army, the year 2017 has seen a sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan. Till August 1, there were 285 such violations by the Pakistan Army while in 2016, the number was significantly less at 228 for the entire year, according to the Army figures. Eleven people, including 9 soldiers, were killed and 18 injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army in the month of July, the Army data says. There were 83 ceasefire violations, one BAT attack and two infiltration bids from the Pakistani side in June in which four people, including three jawans, were killed and 12 injured. In May, there were 79 ceasefire violations, according to the officials.

UHM Rajnath Singh directed the Para-military Forces and JKP to step-up operations against the militants and their OGWs and to ensure that there was no fresh infiltration of the militants from Pakistan. The UHM is understood to have issued these directions at a very high-level security review of J&K situation with top brass of UMHA, heads of Para-military Forces, Intelligence Bureau and senior officers from J&K at his North Block office. "The anti-militant operations undertaken by security forces and police, infiltration attempts foiled and successful along the borders and related issues for the last two months of summer were taken up at the meeting in which the top brass of MHA, para-military forces, Intelligence agencies and State police officers briefed the Union Home Minister,'' sources said, adding Rajnath Singh was satisfied the way SFs have tackle militancy and eliminated a number of militants including the top commanders especially those belonging to LeT and JeM outfits. "Infiltration by the militants from Pakistan side has been contained to maximum extent this summer and this process must go on to keep it at zero level,'' UHM Singh said at the meeting.

August 24

The NIA has again summoned two sons of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, 'chairman' of the APHC-G for questioning in New Delhi, in connection with terror funding and hawala cases. Sources said the NIA, which had earlier also quizzed Geelani's two sons-Nayeem Geelani and Naseem Geelani and then allowed them to leave for Jammu and Kashmir-has called the duo again at its headquarters in New Delhi for fresh round of questioning. The NIA is likely to quiz the Geelani's sons on their assets and other issues, which have surfaced during questioning of already, arrested separatist leaders and a businessman, sources said, adding the NIA could call some more persons from the Kashmir valley for interrogation in the next few days.

The NIA questioned two sons of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, 'chairman' of the APHC-G at its headquarters in New Delhi in connection with terror funding probe and hawala operations in the Kashmir valley. This is for the second time that both sons of Geelani have been questioned by the NIA. Sources said that the NIA wants to know the source of funding for assets managed by them and their other family members, apart from some benami transactions, which the Agency suspects were owned by the family members of the separatist on various names. Sources said Nayeem and Naseem, sons of Syed Ali Shah Geelani, were questioned earlier on August 8. The elder son Nayeem is a surgeon by profession, while Naseem is an employee of the Jammu and Kashmir Government. According to sources, the two were asked to bring certain documents related to financial transactions that have come under the scanner of the NIA.

The UMHA has described the settlement of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis in Jammu as 'illegal' and declared that they would be deported. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir made the UMHA's stand clear on deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis at a press conference at Jammu after high-level review of security situation along the IB and another meeting on the issues of West Pakistani, PoK and Kashmiri refugees.

Responding to a question, Ahir said the Rohingyas and Bangladeshis were living "illegally" in Jammu and the Home Ministry was clear that they have to be deported at an "appropriate time". "We have given instructions to the authorities to identify the colonies, where Rohingyas and Bangladeshis have been settled…the nature of work they were doing here…whether they were indulging in non-violent activities and posing threat to security and society," the Minister said, adding that the UMHA was firm on its stand that Rohingyas and Bangladeshis have to be deported. On the issue of citizenship rights to west Pakistani refugees, he said that certificates would be given to them very soon.

Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said that stone pelting incidents and terrorist activities have decreased in J&K after the modernisation of Police in the State. After visiting the BoP in Baba Chimilyal area of Samba District, he said that the Centre was spending about INR 500 crore on modernisation of the State Police, which included the latest equipments, arms and ammunition.

August 25

A BSF jawan was injured in a sniping incident by Pakistani Rangers along the IB in Arnia sector of Jammu District. Official sources said BSF constable KK Appa Rao was manning an Observatory Post in forward area of Arnia sector when he was hit by a sniper shot fired by the Pakistani Rangers at 12 noon. The ceasefire violations by Pakistan on the IB were very rare these days though they had been quite common on the LoC, report said.

Significantly, on July 17, the BSF and the Pakistan Rangers had held a Commandant-level flag meeting in Samba sector along the IB and "committed" themselves to maintaining peace. In the flag meeting, the two sides had agreed to re- energize instant communication between field commanders, whenever required, to resolve petty matters. On August 23, senior Army Commanders of India and Pakistan also held a flag meeting on the LoC in Poonch sector and agreed to institute mechanisms for durable peace and tranquility on the border. The year 2017 has seen a sharp increase in ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Kashmiri separatists withdrew their five-day protest programme against a move to get Article 35A of the Constitution repealed, after the Supreme Court deferred hearing on a petition challenging the validity of the provision. "The protest programme, including the proposed strike on August 29, is postponed for the time being as the hearing," separatist leaders, including chairmen of both factions of APHC Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik said in a statement in Srinagar. A new protest schedule would be issued whenever needed, they added.

SF's major offensive against militants including top commanders of various outfits in the J&K has started bringing desired results with nearly half of 30 fresh recruits from the Valley getting fed up within few months of their sojourn to the 'world of violence' and sending feelers either directly or through their family members to the Army for surrender. "The Army's decision to go for kill through 'Operation All Out' in which large number of militants including dreaded commanders like Abu Dujana have been eliminated, is reported to have panicked majority of the fresh recruits of the militancy as well as their family members, who were now knocking doors of security forces for mercy and accept their surrender," official sources said. They said the "shortened life span of militants" including their commanders after SFs started their massive search operations in the entire Kashmir valley to flush out the militants was another major reason behind disenchantment of the fresh recruits from militancy and their desire to return to mainstream.

August 26

Eight SF personnel, including four CRPF jawans, were killed when a group of fidayeen (suicide squad) attacked DPL in Pulwama District, triggering an encounter in which the three militants were also killed. Police sources said that some militants on "suicidal mission" entered Police family quarters inside DPL Pulwama at around 4 am. They said that the Police's SOG, CRPF and Army started clearing the quarters by evacuating families of security personnel. "In the process, we suffered some casualties. Unfortunately our four CRPF men and four police personnel were martyred and we have searched two blocks so far and two dead bodies of two terrorist were recovered. They have not been identified yet and they look foreign terrorists," Police sources said. Later, SFs shot dead third militant who was trapped in third residential block. The body of the militant was later recovered from the debris during the searches. JeM has claimed the responsibility of the attack.

As the encounter was underway against militants in the day, some youth took to streets in Pulwama town and resorted to heavy stone pelting on Police and CRPF. Police retaliated by lobbing dozens of teargas canisters. Authorities sealed off Pulwama town and snapped mobile Internet services across the District as a precautionary measure.

The BSF killed at least three Pakistani Rangers personnel in retaliatory firing after an unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan on IB in Akhnoor and Sunderbani sectors in Rajouri District. "Today Pakistan resorted to unprovoked to ceasefire violation and fired four 51mm mortar and two 81mm mortar shells towards the forward Indian posts in Dewra village of Sunderbani of Rajouri district," a BSF spokesperson said, adding that the jawans retaliated strongly and shot dead at least three Pakistan Rangers. The force also said it is "engaged in a befitting retaliation" after the Rangers began unprovoked firing in the Pargwal area of Jammu since around 3 PM. Earlier in the day, the force said, at least half-a-dozen mortar shells were fired from across the border and they exploded in the Dewra village of Sunderbani sector along the IB.

August 27

Pakistani troops resumed heavy mortar shelling and firing on civilian locations along the LoC in Poonch District, injuring five civilians including a woman. Pakistani troops started heavy mortar shelling and firing targeting forward posts of the Indian Army followed by civilian population at Kirni, Shahpur, Gountrian and Digwar in Poonch sector at 6 pm. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchanges which continued till late night (August 27) when the reports last came in. Report said that five civilians were injured in forward villages of Bandi Chechian and Qasba in Shahpur area of Poonch sector as they were trapped in mortar shelling while working in their fields and didn't get a chance to take shelter in houses or bunkers. The injured persons were identified as Zahid Hussain Shah, Mohammad Qasim, Mohammad Zameel, Parveen Akhtar and Mohammad Safeer.

One person, identified as Jan Mohammad Dar was injured when a shell went off at the EDI building in Pampore in Pulwama District where an encounter had taken place between SFs and militants last year (2016). He was injured when a shell exploded at the EDI building in Pampore near the Srinagar-Jammu NH on the city outskirts, a Police official said. Dar, who is an electrician, was working at the building at the time of the incident. The EDI building was the scene of a 60-hour gunfight between SFs personnel and militants in October 2016. Two militants were killed in the encounter. The building had also suffered damaged in the exchange of fire.

August 27-28

Indian troops launched a major counter offensive against Pakistan in the mid-night after latter targeted civilian areas in various parts of Poonch sector in Poonch District, leading to heavy damages across the LoC including five fatal casualties, two of them Pakistani Army personnel, apart from nearly a dozen injuries and destruction of forward posts and bunkers. Sources said that the troops launched massive assault on Pakistani troops to silence their guns, which were targeting civilian population causing heavy losses across the LoC. Pakistan officially admitted its three fatal casualties and injuries to several others and lodged protest with India. According to sources, two Pakistan army personnel were among five persons dead on Pakistani side while eight to 10 others including troopers were injured. Several Pakistani posts and bunkers suffered extensive damages in retaliatory shelling and firing by the troops. Majority of casualties and damages of Pakistan took place in their Nezapir sector on the LoC, which follows opposite Shahpur sector of Poonch District, which was targeted by Pakistan army on August 27th evening, leading to injuries to five civilians including a woman, who were undergoing treatment in the hospital.

However, officially, Pakistan only named its three civilians killed in the firing as 32-year-old Naveed and 25 year old Ansar, both brothers and their sister Asma (20). Sources said that at least two Pakistan army personnel were killed and some others were injured in retaliatory firing by the Indian side in Nezapir sector. However, as usual, Pakistan didn’t name its army casualties. Few Pakistan army personnel were among those injured.

August 28

UHM Rajnath Singh discussed various infrastructure projects in border areas, including a strategic road in Ladakh, officials said. In the meeting with Ministry officials, he discussed the progress of various infrastructure projects in border areas, including a stand-alone road from Marsimik La to Hot Spring in Ladakh. The road has been given to the BRO for construction and it will ensure access to “vantage points” for SFs, the officials said. Rajnath also reviewed progress of infrastructure projects in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir and other States with focus on the projects falling along Pakistan and China borders.

A Police officer, identified as ASI, Abdul Rashid Peer, was shot dead by militants at Mehandi Kadal in Anantnag District. The militants fled leaving him in a pool of blood and he was rushed to district hospital Anantnag by his colleagues where from he was shifted to Srinagar for treatment but he succumbed to injuries.

SFs launched massive search operations against militants in Shopian villages of South Kashmir to flush them out. Search operation was launched early morning by SOG Shopian and 62 RR of Army in Matribugh, Zoipora, Dangam, Wangam, Shahpora, Chakoora and several other villages of Shopian. Few months ago videos circulating on social media where a group of 30 militants brandishing with AK 47 were seen was shot in the area.

SFs conducted searches in Kulgam near the Mini Secretariat after reports of presence of militants in its vicinity. The operation was later called off and no one was arrested.

IG – Operations, CRPF, Zulfikar Hussain, said that militants are desperate to strike to inflict casualty but SFs are ready to foil their designs. “In recent days, some top militants were killed in South Kashmir in which there was important role of CRPF battalions. We understand that those people (militants) in their desperation are trying to attack security forces and inflict damage. We are ready to tackle this situation and in coming days, our success will surge”, he said.

Hussain said that CRPF and J&K Police displayed exemplary courage and saved lives of civilians inside the DPL Pulwama during fidayeen attack. “The CRPF’s 182 and 183 battalions displayed extreme bravery in partnership with Jammu and Kashmir Police during recent attack on DPL Pulwama. It was a challenging moment as there were families, police lines security and also companies of CRPF. So, with extreme bravery, all three terrorists were killed and civilian families were protected. Our four brave hearts were martyred and some personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Police were also martyred and some of our personnel were injured. Three people are very critical among injured who are in hospital.

A Delhi court extended the NIA custody of Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali, who was arrested for allegedly collecting money from Pakistan-based terror outfits for Hurriyat Conference leaders, five more days. District Judge Poonam A Bamba, in an in-chamber proceeding, passed the order after the agency sought 10 days custody of Watali for further interrogation, court sources said. The NIA had earlier told the court that it had found various suspicious documents from the accused during the searches, including details of bank accounts and cash received by him from various terror outfits.

Pakistan-based terror outfit JeM has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack in which eight SFs personnel and three militants killed on August 26. The three slain JeM militants were identified as Abu Saad, Dawood and Al Bakr.

The workers of DFSS under the leadership of their president, Ashok Gupta held a protest in old Jammu city against the Pulwama terror attack in which eight SFs personnel lost their lives. Dubbing the neighbouring country as a threat to the peace in South Asian region Ashok Gupta castigated Pakistan for pushing fidayeens to carry out terror attacks on the SFs personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, besides endorsing support to secessionists in the Valley.

The J&K DGP S. P. Vaid said that the ultimate outcome of the "war" being waged by Pakistan is that people of the state were getting killed. Speaking to reporters at the wreath laying ceremony of ASI Abdul Rashid, who was shot and killed by militants in Anantnag District on August 28, he said, "I will only say that one more citizen of Jammu and Kashmir has been martyred". "It is the blood of our people that is being spilled and the ultimate outcome of the war that has been waged from across is that people of J&K are getting martyred which is not a good thing," the DGP said. Asked about the warning by the militant outfit JeM that more attacks like the one on DPL Pulwama on August 26, the DGP said "we will take them on".

August 29

Pakistan-based militant group JeM is planning more attacks on SFs in Jammu and Kashmir, DGP S. P. Vaid said and asked SFs to remain vigilant. S. P. Vaid said that the movement of militants has been noticed in many places. “We have inputs that they are planning strikes on security forces,” he said. He noted that with “most local militant ‘commanders’ killed, foreign ultras were being pushed through the border to “attack security installations”, but said there was “no high alert” in the Valley. The Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army and CRPF is likely to work out a joint strategy to tackle the situation.

South Kashmir has been put on heightened alert after JeM fidayeen attack in Pulwama DPL that led to killing of eight SFs personnel including 4 CRPF personnel. The DPL attack surprised the security agencies as it came after over two months of successful operations during which over two dozen militants were killed in the area including top commanders. SFs this year achieved major successes against the militants killing a record number of 136 militants and putting pressure on them.

A top SFs official said that SFs have been put on heightened alert following inputs that there are around one dozen JeM militants in South Kashmir who have recently infiltrated into Kashmir and are trying to carry out DPL like strikes in South Kashmir. Sand bunkers have been established at certain places on roads leading to sensitive security locations in Pulwama and other district and mobile bunkers have also been put in place at various places to prevent any DPL like strike.

The official said that since there was no JeM presence in South Kashmir till last month, the new development came after SFs achieved major successes against the LeT and HM whose militants including their ‘chief commanders’ Abu Dujana and Yaseen Itoo were killed by SFs. Sources said that SFs had already made inroads in the two outfits of LeT and HM which has blunted their striking capability. However, they said that security agencies didn’t know much about the JeM as it surfaced in the region this month only. However, sources said, two local boys, one each from Tral and Bamno areas of Pulwama, have joined the JeM and are providing logistic support to these militants. The JeM was trying to set up base in South Kashmir and its two senior commanders, Adil Pathan and Burme stayed in South Kashmir for two years but failed to get any foothold before they were killed in Tral on October 8, 2015. However, they had some OGWs network which the security agencies felt these newly infiltrated militants may use. They, however, have been put under surveillance.

August 30

Two days before the August 26 deadly Pulwama attack, in which eight SFs personnel and three militant killed, the IB had shared two specific inputs with the SFs claiming that heavily armed and trained fidayeen attackers of Maulana Masood Azhar-led JeM had infiltrated from Pakistan and their targets were camps of military and other SFs. The information shared by IB was of "high priority" nature and it was felt that JeM was planning something on a major scale like last year's (2016) Pathankot IAF base attack. The first input, shared on August 23 claimed that seven JeM suicide attackers have entered India through the LoC at Poonch (Poonch District) on the intervening night of August 16-17 and have split into two groups - of four and three members. It added that one group was headed towards Jammu, while another was going to Srinagar.

The second IB communiqué, sent to ground forces on August 24, two days before the Pulwama attack, informed that four heavily armed JeM attackers had successfully infiltrated into the Jammu sector via Shakargarh in Narowal (Pakistani Punjab) to Gurdaspur on Indian side, on the intervening night of August 16-17. The border in Poonch sector on LoC is secured by Indian Army while Gurdaspur at IB is under the control of BSF.

The report also said that the DPL campus in Pulwama, which houses J&K Police families, was already abuzz with huge presence of security personnel on August 25 and August 26 due to some VIP movement. Sources said that the three JeM terrorists entered the camp wearing combat fatigues same as Indian SFs, hence they went unnoticed. Officials in SFs said they were aware of infiltration and all campuses were on high alert in J&K and Punjab but the IB inputs were not specific to Pulwama district lines. What is worrying the Government now is that out of 11 JeM fidayeen, who infiltrated on August 16-17 night, eight are still present in the Valley or Punjab due to which all SFs premises are on high alert. Senior Government officials added that infiltration of so many fidayeens in a day suggests that JeM is planning something big. The attackers were trained in 'targeted firing', had come prepared for a long hostage situation, and knew the SFs' drills at campuses, which suggests they were trained by Pakistan military. IB had informed that one "Burmi" from Pakistan had escorted the fidayeens to the border for crossing over to India and he will bring another group after he returns to Pakistan.

Pakistan army resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing along the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District, targeting civilian areas, prompting the administration to close educational institutions falling within the firing range. Official reports said Pakistan violated ceasefire by resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing at Kalal, Kalsian, Bhawani and Anwas forward areas of Nowshera sector at 10.30 am. Pakistan was directly targeting the civilian population with mortar shells that led to panic among the border dwellers, who rushed to their houses or bunkers from the fields.

Indian Army retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani guns and save civilian population, which was being pounded with mortar shells and heavy firearms, sources said, adding that heavy exchanges between the two sides continued for more than two hours. However, there were no casualties or major damages on the Indian side in shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops. Pakistan might have suffered some casualties and damages in retaliatory firing by the Indian side but exact details were not available immediately.

The administration ordered closure of educational institutions in the areas, falling within the shelling and firing range, to avert any casualties as some time back, Pakistani troops had targeted educational institutions in the same sector, a result of which many students and teachers were trapped and had to be rescued in bullet-proof bunkers.

IGP Kashmir Range, Munir Ahmad Khan, said that the local militants have gone into hiding in upper reaches after ‘Operation All-Out’ was launched and they have given space to their foreign counterparts. The IGP denied that the SFs have lost grip on counter-insurgency operations. “There is no loose grip in our operations. The successes which the security forces got in which top commanders of Lashkar [LeT] or HM were eliminated, the militants have went into hiding and are trying to look for other ways to survive,” he said. Khan said the militants have gone into hiding and they have reports that they have gone to higher reaches. “They used to freely roam in buildup areas that has now stopped,” he said, adding that the local militants have “now given space to foreign militants whether of JeM or any other”. The IGP said that one or two groups of JeM are still operating in South Kashmir and in the fringes of Srinagar District, even after the killing of three in August 26 Pulwama encounter that left eight security personnel dead.

August 31

A Police officer, identified as SI, Gowhar Ahmad Malla was injured after militants fired at him in Imamsahab area of Shopian District. Militants opened fire upon the Gowhar Ahmad while he was playing Volleyball in a local ground near his home at Barbugh area of Imamsahab in the evening. Gowhar Ahmad who is posted at Srigufwara in Anantnag was immediately shifted to nearby hospital where from he was referred to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment. Soon after the attack SFs launched a hunt to nab the attackers of the Police officer.

Pakistan summoned India's deputy high commissioner J P Singh over alleged ‘ceasefire violations’ by Indian troops along the LoC which resulted in the killing of a civilian. Director General (South Asia and SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal summoned Singh and "condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations" by the Indian forces, the Foreign Office said. It claimed that a 55-year-old man was killed in Kotera Sector on August 29 in alleged firing by Indian forces. "Despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations," it said. "The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws," the Foreign Office said. The Foreign Office also accused India of committing more than 700 ceasefire violations this year (2017) which resulted in the killing of 29 Pakistani civilians.

On the eve of Bakr-Eid, the ‘chief’ of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, al Qaeda's Kashmir cell, Zakir Musa issued a 10-minute audio message, threatening to ‘liberate’ India from the rule of ‘cow-worshipping’ PM Modi and Hindus. Zakir Musa, former HM ‘commander’, also warned the Government against deporting Rohingya Muslims in Jammu. Lashing out at Pakistan Army and Government for betraying Kashmir's jihadi movement by supporting the US in its war against ‘Mujahideen’, Musa said Islamabad "shut down training camps (for terrorists), martyred many Kashmir-centric Mujahideen and put some behind bars". The message was released on YouTube channel Ansar Ghazwa and circulated by his followers on messaging platforms.

Earlier, the outfit's media wing, Al Hurr, released a poster with a message, "Soon, by the will of Allah". Police in Srinagar said they were reading it as an open threat of a terror attack by Musa. "Narendra Modi, the worshipper of cow, can gather as much might with his politics and diplomacy but won't be able to stop us... We will hoist the flag of Islam on Hind (Indian subcontinent) and we will have the Hindu rulers chained and dragged." Stuttering and stumbling through his Kashmiri-accented Urdu speech, Musa sounded as if he was reading from an al Qaeda drafted script. After sermonising on the supremacy of Islam and its Wahhabi interpretation, Musa called Kashmir's militant movement a shining example of Islamic jihad. He said despite numerous betrayals and setbacks, jihad in Kashmir had prevailed only because of Allah's mercy.

Musa claimed that Pakistan had joined hands with India to prevent Mujahideen from pursuing ‘jihad’ in Kashmir. Pakistan, he said, "back stabbed the jihad-e-Kashmir" through back channel and peace diplomacy with India. Musa called Pakistani government and the army his "enemy" while sparing the Pakistani citizens. Musa declared that Kashmir jihad did not require any state's (Pakistan) support. He said the Mujahideen had "kept alive jihad with their own blood and by turning stones into weapons and snatching arms and weapons from Indian soldiers". Recalling various terror groups, including JKLF, HM, he reiterated that they all fought only for Islam and Sharia (Islamic law).

Few days after the UMHA made a formal announcement that Rohingyas and Bangladeshis were illegally settled in J&K and that they had to be deported, the Ministry has formally asked the administration to send complete profiling of the illegal immigrants putting up in Jammu with their actual location before initiating their process of deportation. “The process of profiling has been set into motion,” official sources said, adding it would take some time as the UMHA has sought fully particular of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis including the period they reached Jammu and accurate address in their countries. The Home Ministry has asked the administration to complete profiling within a month and forward it to them as the Centre was under intense pressure not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in some other States on deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis following Intelligence inputs that they could become security threat in the country.

The NIA visited DPL Pulwama where fidayeen attack took place on August 26 in which eight SFs personnel and three terrorists killed. A four member team of NIA visited Pulwama and met the senior Police officers of the district and later went to DPL Pulwama, the scene of the fidayeen attack. The Police officers gave them details about the attack and investigations carried out so far. Sources said that the NIA is keen to investigate the DPL attack which was carried out by JeM. As per sources, these militants had recently infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir and carried out the attack at a time when SFs had put the militants under pressure after carrying out successful operations in which over three dozen militants including seven top ‘commanders’ of HM and LeT. However, sources said that the Jammu and Kashmir may continue to investigate the DPL attack.

With over 140 militants already killed this year (2017) in the ongoing anti-militancy operations, HM ‘operational commander’ Riyaz Naikoo has banned its cadre “from using mobile phones to minimise the losses”. “It seems they [Hizbul militants] have damaged their old SIM cards. It’s not possible for them to survive without mobile phones. They have either managed new numbers or are staying without mobile phones,” said IGP, Kashmir, Muneer Khan.

Sources said the killing of HM ‘operational commander’ Yasin Itoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi in an encounter in Shopian on August 13 had “struck a major blow to striking capability of Hizb” in south Kashmir. A top counter-insurgency official said that after Itoo’s killing, the new commander Naikoo has taken centre stage, and ‘is trying to keep the organisation’s ranks intact and disallow any defection to the more hard-line group led by Zakir Musa, who claims to represent the Kashmir arm of al Qaeda’. In a bid to “revive striking capability”, Naikoo has asked militants to “surrender their mobile phones”. “In case of suspension of use of mobile phones, the police too will chalk out a fresh strategy to track them down. The ‘Operation All-Out’ will continue,” said IGP Muneer Khan.

Days after the fidayeen attack by the JeM in Pulwama on August 26, pro-Afzal Guru slogans have been found scrawled at the encounter site. Police view this as JeM’s “bid to announce its comeback in mainland Kashmir”, from where it had been eliminated in 2014. A top Police official confirmed that the three fidayeen militants who had stormed the DPL, Pulwama, on August 26 had used charcoal to write slogans in favour of Guru, who had been executed for his role in the Parliament attack in 2013.

Starting with “AGS (Afzal Guru Squad)”, the slogan written inside one of the burnt DPL complexes read, “Afzal Guru ka intikaam” (Revenge of Afzal Guru). Eight security personnel had been killed in this attack.

This is the fourth time that the JeM has used the site of an attack to mention Guru’s name, in an attempt to refer to the ‘Al-Shohada Brigade’ or ‘Shaheed Afzal Guru Squad’, formed by the organisation that reportedly carries out ‘suicide missions only’. Earlier, similar pro-Guru graffiti had been found at the encounter sites in Pathankot and Nagrota in 2016. In Afghanistan, after India’s consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif was attacked in 2016, similar graffiti had been found at the site, with a slogan written in blood claiming “revenge for Afzal Guru”.

 “A majority of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba militants have gone into hiding in the upper reaches of south Kashmir, and are banking on the JeM cadre. Our investigations reveal that the Jaish cadre has taken a leading role in carrying out strikes the government forces,” said IGP, Kashmir, Muneer Khan.

Another senior official of the counter-insurgency cell said that the deadly Pulwama attack is the first by the JeM in mainland Kashmir in the past three years. “The attack was meant to announce its comeback in the Valley, from where it had been wiped out in 2014, either through the killing or arrest of its 16 members,” a top counter-insurgency official said. Director General of Police (DGP), J&K, S. P. Vaid said that ‘small groups’ of JeM militants ‘have infiltrated into Kashmir with the sole objective of carrying out suicide attacks on security establishments’.

September 1

Having failed miserably this year (2017) to push terrorists into India, the Pakistan Army is frantically trying to help around 450 of them sneak across the LoC to revive their activities and launch attacks against the Indian Armed Forces in the Kashmir valley. Most of these jihadis have been trained in new camps under the supervision of the ‘Alpha 3 Company’ of the Pakistan Army, which is headed by a senior officer of the force. This unit is deep into training and exporting terrorists across the globe, Indian Army sources said. As part of the new strategy of the Pakistani Army, the terrorists have been trained in assembling IEDs to create trouble in the Kashmir valley to make up for the setback terrorist groups have suffered as SFs have eliminated around 130 of them this year, the sources said.

Most of the terrorists waiting to infiltrate are from the HM, followed by the LeT, and their movements have been noticed frequently at the new launch pads created by the Pakistan Army after the 2016 surgical strikes by India. The sources said about 200-250 terrorists are active in the Valley, spread between North and South Kashmir areas. "In South Kashmir, it is the local terrorists of the Hizbul who are mostly active while foreign terrorists are mostly active in the northern part of the valley," they said. Sources said the terrorist organisations wield more influence than the Pakistan Army in some parts of PoK because of accretion in patronage by successive Governments and Army chiefs.

Sources added that the jihadis are paid about INR 18,000 to INR 19,000 a month for getting killed by Indian SFs. Security officials have attributed the availability of low-cost terrorists to lack of job opportunities on the other side of the LoC and the growing radicalisation among youth on both sides of Kashmir. The sources said Army troops across the Kashmir valley and LoC have already been maintaining high operational tempo against terrorists and would continue to do so to tackle the renewed efforts by the Pakistani forces to ramp up terror activities in the state.

A Policeman was killed and seven others were injured as suspected LeT militants attacked a Police bus in Pantha Chowk area on the outskirts of Srinagar. Police said that militants ambushed a bus on its way from Zewan to Srinagar at Pantha Chowk area in the outskirts of Srinagar on September 1st evening. Police said that eight Policemen were injured and one of them succumbed to injuries. Later, LeT has claimed responsibility for the attack. Senior Police and SFs officials reached the spot and massive search operation has been launched in the area against the militants responsible for the attack.

A BSF ASI, identified as Kamaljit Singh was killed in Pakistan Army firing in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch District. Official sources said Pakistan Army targeted the BSF jawan through a sniper shot when he was manning forward post in Krishna Ghati sector at 5.45 pm on September 1, causing serious injuries to him. The BSF soldier was given medical aid at the spot and evacuated to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Two youths were injured as clashes broke out in old city areas of Srinagar after Friday prayers. Dozens of youth carrying flags and banners of militants took out a protest rally from Jama Masjid after culmination of Friday congregational prayers and marched up to Nowhatta square where they resorted to sloganeering. They later attempted to march towards Nowhatta Police Station but were intercepted by Police after which clashes started between the two sides. The police used teargas canisters against the stone-throwers who continued pelting stones. Later, the youths dispersed and situation returned to normal. During clashes however two youths sustained minor injuries.

The clashes also erupted in Rajouri Kadal and Saraf Kadal areas of Old City. Police fired several teargas canisters to disperse the stone-pelters. The business and transport activities in these areas came to standstill for short span of time due to clashes.

Police detained JKLF chairman Yasin Malik from his residence at Srinagar, reports Daily Excelsior. A spokesman of the JKLF said Malik was detained by Police from his Maisuma residence and taken to Central Jail along with his associate Bashir Ahmad.

A Delhi court, extended the judicial custody of three Kashmiri separatist leaders in a terror funding case by a month. District Judge Poonam A Bamba extended the judicial custody of Shahid-ul-Islam, Farooq Ahmed Dar and Mohamad Akbar Khanday till September 27 when they will produced before the court along with four other accused, including the son-in-law of APHC leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Besides Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, popularly known as Altaf Fantoosh, the other accused who are in judicial custody are Peer Saifullah, Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Nayeem Khan.

September 2

A suspected LeT militant, identified as Irshad Padder was killed during an encounter in Tantray Pora in Kulgam District in the morning. It is being said that the slain terrorist was involved in the brutal killing of 22-year-old Army officer Ummer Fayaz in Shopian District in May this year. The encounter is still underway and the exact number of militants is unknown till the report last came in.

SFs have launched a major drive to track down at least ten terrorists of JeM, who infiltrated into Kashmir Valley ten days ago from POK. Their three fellow militants were killed in a gun battle when they carried out a suicide attack on a Jammu & Kashmir Police complex in Pulwama on August 26. Admitting that tracking the elusive terrorists was proving to be difficult, sources in the security establishment said that the ultras were hiding in the densely populated Districts of Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama.

September 3

Pakistan Army continued to violate ceasefire along the LoC in Poonch sector in Poonch District for third consecutive day, leading to heavy exchanges and triggering panic among the border dwellers. While there were no casualties or damages on the Indian side, Pakistan claimed one casualty in Abbaspur sector opposite Krishna Ghati in Poonch District. Official sources said that apart from one casualty, which Pakistan officially admitted, there were some infrastructural damages across LoC in heavy retaliation by the Indian side in the morning. Mortar shelling and firing from Pakistan stopped only after retaliatory action was taken by the Indian side, report said.

Sources said Pakistani troops started heavy shelling using 81mm and 82mm mortars and firing with both automatic and semi-automatic weapons in forward areas of Balakote, Mankote and Mendhar along LoC in Poonch District at around 8.50 am. Pakistani troops targeted forward posts of the Army and civilian areas at all three places prompting the people, who had started leaving for day’s work in fields and other places, to rush back home and take shelter. “Pakistan army directly pounded the civilian areas, a result of which many mortar shells landed close to houses of the people. However, the civilians had narrow escape at many places,” they said, adding that the Indian Army retaliated effectively at all places to silence the Pakistani guns.

Pakistan later claimed that a civilian girl was killed in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops at village Polas in Abbaspur sector of PoK. Reports said that there has been strong resentment among the people of forward areas of PoK against Pakistan army for resorting to mortar shelling unnecessarily, leading to casualties and damages in the Indian retaliation. Reports said that large number of people gathered at Abbaspur and held protests against Pakistan army and civil administration for making their lives miserable on LoC with their acts of unprovoked firing and shelling on the Indian side, which invited strong retaliation from India and, in turn, led to casualties and damages. Reports added that people in Abbaspur continued their “anti-Pakistan protests” for couple of hours till some civil officers reached the spot and persuaded them to disperse.

Pakistan troops violated ceasefire along the LoC in Kupwara District. However, there was no loss of life. “The Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on our forward posts along the LoC in Karnah sector in Kupwara today [September 3],” an Army official said. He said the Pakistani troops fired upon the forward posts of Army at midnight and continued the firing till early hours of the morning. “The firing was effectively retaliated by the troops during which forward posts of Pakistani troops were targeted,” the official said. However, there was no loss of life or damage on either side.

The officer said that Pakistani troops resort to ceasefire violations to facilitate the infiltration of militants into Kashmir. He, however, said that Army is on high alert to foil any infiltration attempt. He added that the security forces launched searches in the area to ensure that no militants infiltrated under the cover of firing by Pakistani troops. The officer said that there are over 400 militants waiting on the launch pads in PoK ready to infiltrate. However, the Army is on high alert to foil their designs. He said that the militant leaders across want infiltration of more and militants before the onset of winter.

September 4

Two HM militants, identified as HM ‘divisional commander’ Pervaiz Ahmad Wani alias Mudasir alias Bashir alias Ishfaq and his associate Naeem Ahmad Najar were killed in a fierce encounter in Sopore area of Baramulla District. Acting on specific information about presence of militants in Chek-e-Brath village in Sopore Area SFs launched a cordon and search operation in the village. Militants, who were hiding in the house of Peerzada Bashir Ahmad Shah, fired on the SFs during the searches leading to a gun battle which lasted for three hours during which two militants were killed. Police recovered two bodies of the militants from the debris of the house in which they were hiding. Two AK rifles, three AK magazines, 90 AK rounds, one INSAS rifle, one INSAS magazine, 13 INSAS rounds and other ammunition was recovered from the encounter site. Senior SSP Sopore, Harmeet Singh said that these militants were involved in many anti-national and anti-social activities.

Four CRPF troopers were injured in a grenade attack by militants on a patrol party of the SFs in Anantnag District. The attackers hurled a grenade on the CRPF patrol, resulting in injuries to three jawans, a Police official said. He said the injured jawans have been rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. SFs have launched a search operation in the area to nab the attackers.

SFs busted a hideout and recovered arms, ammunition and explosives in Poonch District. Police and SFs launched a search operation in forest area of Beri Rakh in Mendhar belt of the District and busted the hideout, Police said. The recovery effected from the spot includes one AK-56 rifle, 12 AK magazines, 550 rounds of ammunition of AK rifle, 440 rounds of PIKA gun, two Chinese hand grenades, one pocket diary, two water containers and two rain coats, they said.

The BSF foiled an infiltration attempt backed by Pakistani Rangers on the IB in Arnia sector of Jammu District by killing one militant as others retreated to Pakistan. Official sources said alert BSF troopers observed movement of militants in Arnia sector at 3.40 pm when they were trying to infiltrate into the Indian territory taking advantage of Pakistan `bundh’ and tick wild growth. The militants fired towards the BSF posts with a view to push their infiltration. The BSF troopers immediately challenged the militants and opened firing aiming the direction from where they were trying to intrude into this side.

Simultaneously, sources said, the Rangers also violated ceasefire and gave covering fire to the militants in their intrusion bid. “One of the intruders jumped over the BSF fencing towards Indian side,” sources said, adding the BSF troopers gunned him down within 50 meters of the border fencing. Other militants were reported to have retreated to Pakistan after the killing of their colleague. Sources said a major planned and forced infiltration attempt of the militants with active support of Pakistani Rangers has been foiled by the BSF on the IB.

Earlier in Arnia sector of Jammu District, the Rangers had fired sniper shot on a BSF trooper in which he was seriously injured but survived. The BSF, in retaliatory action, had gunned down three Rangers opposite Akhnoor and Sunderbani sectors.

Pakistani troops again violated ceasefire on the LoC in Digwar and Maldalyan areas of Poonch District. However, the ceasefire violation was confined to small arms fire, sources said, adding the Indian side retaliated.

The cross-LoC travel on Poonch-Rawlakote along the LoC remained suspended for ninth consecutive week due to continued ceasefire violation by the Pakistani troops in twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri.

For the first time, Pakistan-based terror groups like the LeT and the JeM were named for causing violence in the region by the BRICS Summit that also asserted that those responsible for committing, organising or supporting terror acts must be held accountable. In a significant diplomatic win for India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was joined by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brazilian President Michael Temer and South African President Jacob Zuma in strongly denouncing terror activities of such groups, as they expressed determination to collectively fight the scourge.

NIA summoned noted Kashmiri lawyer and president of Kashmir High Court Bar Association Mian Abdul Qayoom to its Delhi headquarters for questioning with regard to ongoing terror funding probe. The NIA issued summon to Mian Qayoom, considered a top separatist figure, for appearance at its Delhi headquarters on September 6 (Wednesday) for questioning. The NIA delivered summon notice to his house in uptown city Srinagar.

September 5

The NIA arrested two persons, photojournalist Kamran Yusuf, working for a local English daily newspaper from Pulwama and Javed Ahmad Bhat from Kulgam for their involvement in instigating youth to indulge in stone pelting and protests. According to the NIA, Bhat and Yusuf were involved in stone pelting incidents besides organizing groups of youths who would throw stones at security personnel involved in counter insurgency operations. Yusuf, who had often been warned by the local Police, was allegedly mobilizing the youth and clicking their pictures for circulation in local and national newspapers. The arrests came just a day before Kashmir Bar Association Mian Qayoom was scheduled to appear before the NIA at agency’s New Delhi headquarters in connection with a case of terror funding in which 10 separatists and others have already been arrested.

India summoned the acting High Commissioner of Pakistan and issued a demarche over the infiltration by a group of JeM terrorists who killed eight security personnel in Pulwama District of Jammu and Kashmir on August 26. The MEA lodged a strong protest with Acting High Commissioner Haider Shah over the infiltration by the group hailing from Pakistan who staged a terror attack on August 26. In a statement, the MEA said Pakistan was asked to investigate the incident and bring to justice the individuals and entities responsible for orchestrating the heinous attack. The MEA said it was conveyed to the envoy that DNA samples of the neutralized terrorists have been preserved and can be made available for investigation in Pakistan.

GOC Kilo Force, Major General AK Singh said that Army is closely monitoring situation in Kashmir Valley even as infiltration attempts from across the LoC have increased this year. “Infiltration attempts from the last some months have increased but the soldiers are alert to fight such attempts and give a befitting reply to the attempts by Pakistan,” Major General Singh said. The GOC said that SFs are ready to foil “terror activities” of militants. “Militant organizations always look for opportunities of terrorism but all the security forces are ready to foil their terror activities,” he said. The General said that there were 70 to 75 militants still active in Kilo Force jurisdiction (North Kashmir) and “most of the active militants were from foreign origin”.

September 6

Stone-pelting clashes erupted in Bellow village of Pulwama District after SFs launched a cordon and search operation in the area. Five persons were injured in clashes. The SFs launched the cordon and search operation in Bellow after receiving an input about the presence of two-three militants in the villages. As the search operation was started, local residents came out of their houses and pelted stones on security personnel. The Police retaliated by firing teargas canisters and the clashes between the two sides continued for several hours. The operation was later called off as no militant was found in the area.

Militants hurled a grenade towards Shopian Police Station in Shopian District which, however, didn’t explode and was later defused by the BDS. Militants at around 4.30 pm lobbed a grenade towards Shopian Police Station which fell near its gate but didn’t explode. Police immediately summoned BDS and it was defused without any damage to life or property. Later, a search operation was launched in nearby areas against the attackers but no one was arrested.

Militants attacked a minority Police Post in Panzer village of Shopian District to loot weapons. However, the attempt was foiled by the Police personnel who retaliated by opening fire on the attackers. An official said that militants attacked the Police guard in Panzer village of the District. He said Policemen retaliated and the militants fled away. “A major weapon snatching bid was foiled by the cops,” he said.

The NIA carried out searches at 27 places in various parts of the Kashmir Valley and Delhi and seized nearly INR 22 million in cash in raids relating to probe into terror-funding activities in the State. During the operations that began in the morning houses and business establishments of those suspected of channelizing funds to fuel secessionist and anti-India activities were searched, an NIA spokesman said in New Delhi. “During the searches, cash amounting to approximately INR 22 million were recovered,” he said.

Army chief General Bipin Rawat said the country should be prepared for a two-front war, insisting China has started “flexing its muscles”, while there seems to be no scope for reconciliation with Pakistan whose military and polity saw an adversary in India. Referring to the 73-day long Dokalam standoff, the Army chief warned that the situation could gradually snowball into a larger conflict on the northern border. He said there is a possibility that these conflicts could be limited in space and time or can expand into an all out war along the entire frontier, with Pakistan taking advantage of the situation. “We have to be prepared. In our context, therefore, warfare lies within the realm of reality,” he said, adding the Army’s supremacy among the three services must be maintained to successfully combat external security threats.

September 7

One person was killed and 13 others were injured as militants hurled a grenade targeting CRPF personnel at Jahangir Chowk in Srinagar in the evening. The grenade was hurled at the CRPF at busy market place which exploded on the road injuring 14 persons, including Traffic Police personnel. One of the injured people died later.

Two porters were injured when Pakistan army violated ceasefire and resorted to unprovoked firing on the LoC in Shahpur sector of Poonch District in the afternoon. Reports said the two porters, who were working in the forward areas, were hit by bullets fired by Pakistan Army with small weapons in Shahpur. Indian side retaliated the firing.

The NIA raided the house of one Mohammad Razak alias Ashoka, a close aide of APHC leader, Shabir Shah, in Jammu. “The NIA team this afternoon raided the house of a property dealer, who is a close aide of Separatist leader Shabir Shah in terror funding case,” official sources said. “The house was cordoned by the CRPF men and the NIA team later raided the house,” they said. 

In a similar development, the NIA raided the house of senior leader of APHC Aga Syed Hassan at Badgam in Badgam District. The search operation was going on when the reports last came in, sources said, adding that details are awaited. The NIA raid came after chairmen of both the factions of the APHC - Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Moulvi Omar Farooq - and JKLF chief Mohammad Yaseen Malik announced to court arrest before the NIA headquarters at New Delhi on September 9 in protest against the ongoing investigations in terror funding case.

The Enforcement Directorate opposed the bail plea of alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani in a city court in Delhi, saying that he had a key role in bringing money from Pakistan for terror activities in Kashmir. The probe agency, in its written response to Wani’s bail plea, said the investigation in a decade-old money laundering case involving Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah was at a crucial stage and Wani may threaten witnesses and destroy evidence if enlarged on bail.

The Northern Army Commander Lt Gen Devraj Anbu said that terror camps and launch pads across the LoC in PoK have gone up and around 475 militants are waiting to sneak into the Indian side. “We cannot tell you the exact number of the militants. But the militants, who are waiting to cross over to this side (via the LoC from PoK) are nearly 250 in north Kashmir and around 225 in south of Pir Panjal (Jammu region). We are firmly in control of the situation along the LoC… (the number of) launching pads and terrorist camps along LoC has increased as compared to the previous years.”

He further asserted, “While infiltration attempts have increased, the success to infiltrate has been much less than previous years despite large number of infiltration attempts. That is because of our robust counter-infiltration grid that we have on LoC. The (number of) militants coming to this side have decreased to a large extent this year,” Lt Gen Anbu said. According to MAC of intelligence gathering, the number of militants who have managed to infiltrate is 75 during the last eight months, he said, adding, “But according to our assessment, it is 45 to 50.” He also said the Army has created a “strong deterrence” at the LoC so that militants do not enter the Indian side. “While attempts are more, we are preventing them from entering this side, whether in Kashmir valley or Jammu region,” the Army Commander said.

About the militancy situation in the hinterland, Lt Gen Anbu said, “It is improving. Those (militants) who are operating in the hinterland are foreign terrorists in North Kashmir and South Kashmir has presence of local terrorists more and foreign terrorists are lesser.” He said the Security Forces are trying to dominate the South Kashmir region.  “We have killed 100 militants in the past four months. A total of 144 militants have been killed so far (in Kashmir this year),” he said. “The effect of what is happening now will manifest in a couple of months from now. But there is decrease in local youth getting recruited,” he added.

September 8

A Police vehicle was torched and six cops were injured as violent protests and clashes broke out across Kashmir Valley after Friday prayers against violence on Rohingyas in Myanmar. The protests which were called by Valley’s religious and separatist outfits two days ago prompted the authorities to impose restrictions in certain parts of downtown city Srinagar.

Hundreds of people soon after culmination of Friday congregational prayers hit streets in Lal Chowk area of Anantnag District and resorted to stone-pelting on Police. Witnesses said the Police retaliated by firing teargas canisters but irate protesters cornered them at multiple places and thrashed many of them including an officer while many other cops managed to save themselves.

A group of youth attacked an armoured vehicle of Police outside District Magistrate Anantnag’s office and damaged its glasses and window panes. The Policemen already abandoned the vehicle and later the protesters set the vehicle on fire.  A Police spokesman in a statement said “some miscreants from a mob started pelting stones on the police and security forces deployment at Lal Chowk in Anantnag” today after Friday prayers. “These miscreants also set a police vehicle on fire. The miscreants were chased off by using mild force,” he said. The spokesman said six Police personnel including two officers identified as Deputy Superintendent (Headquarters) Anantnag Mohammad Yousuf, Sub Inspector Junaid Ahmad, Head Constable Gurdeep Singh, Constable Shabir Ahmad, Constable Bilal Ahmad and Constable Javaid Ahmad were injured in today’s Anantnag violence and they were shifted to hospital for treatment. Police said a case was registered and “investigation was set into motion to identify these miscreants”.

Protests against violence on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State of Myanmar broke out at dozens of places in Srinagar city and other Districts of the Valley. Police said the protests remained largely peaceful and only few incidents of stone-pelting were reported. In summer capital here, the protests broke out at Khanyar, Maisuma, Lal Chowk, Safa Kadal, Nowshehra, Hyderpora, Shalimar and few other places. The incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Safa Kadal and Nowshehra. All the four districts – Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam – of South Kashmir witnessed post-Friday protests and rallies against Myanmar. The protests remained peaceful and no violent incident was reported, the Police said.

In North and Central Kashmir, protests were held at Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Budgam and Baramulla after Friday prayers but all of them concluded peacefully.

September 9

A 22-year-old civilian, identified as Mohammad Younis was injured in a ceasefire violation by the Pakistani Army along the LoC in Poonch District.  The Pakistani troops opened fire from heavy weapons and mortars from across the border in Debraj, Krishna Ghati and Ishapur in Mendhar sector starting at around 10.30 am, prompting retaliation by Indian troops guarding the border, a Police official said.

A ‘district commander’ of HM, identified as Shahid Ahmad Sheikh alias Shabir was killed in an encounter with SFs in Sopore area of Baramulla District. He was earlier affiliated with JeM. One AK rifle, two AK magazines, one grenade, 23 AK rounds and a pouch was recovered from the encounter site. Police said that he was involved in many anti social, anti national and criminal activities.

A Police Constable, identified as Imtiyaz Ahmad was killed and another, identified as constable Shabir Ahmad injured in a militant attack in Anantnag District. Militants attacked a Police party near General Bus Stand in Anantnag chowk by firing indiscriminately upon them. The area was cordoned off and a hunt was launched to nab the attackers. However, no one was arrested. The site is barely a kilometre from the venue of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s scheduled meeting with security personnel on September 10, a Police official said.

Pakistan army opened fire from heavy weapons and mortars in civilian areas at various places on the LoC with mortars and heavy fire arms causing injuries to two persons including a civilian and a SFs personnel at Mankote, Mendhar, Balnoi and Shahpur sub sectors of Poonch District. Reports said Pakistan started heavy mortar shelling and firing at 10.30 am (September 9) at forward villages including Sonawali Gali, Balnoi, Nangi Tekri, Dabraj and surrounding villages of Mankote, Mendhar and Shahpur sectors of Poonch District. The Indian side retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani guns and save civilian population. The Pakistani troops also tried to target some forward posts of the Army with mortars and heavy fire arms but failed. Heavy exchange of shelling and firing continued till 1.35 pm in which Pakistan side was reported to have suffered heavy losses but the details were not available immediately.

DG of CRPF Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar said the ongoing NIA raids have affected stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir which otherwise were on rise since July last year. "There is an affect following actions by all the agencies. There is also an affect because of what NIA is doing. The way stone-pelting was happening in a coordinated manner, this will definitely stop that," the CRPF DG said while responding to a question with regard to decrease in stone-throwing incidents after NIA started probe into terror funding. The top paramilitary officer said the counter-insurgency operations will continue despite changing situations. "Situation keeps changing. The anti-militancy operations are intelligence-based and we are achieving success in them. They are ongoing operations and will continue," he said, adding that so far 148 militants including top commanders have been killed this year.

DG of CRPF Rajiv Rai Bhatnagar said the ongoing NIA raids have affected stone-pelting incidents in Kashmir which otherwise were on rise since July last year. "There is an affect following actions by all the agencies. There is also an affect because of what NIA is doing. The way stone-pelting was happening in a coordinated manner, this will definitely stop that," the CRPF DG said while responding to a question with regard to decrease in stone-throwing incidents after NIA started probe into terror funding. The top paramilitary officer said the counter-insurgency operations will continue despite changing situations. "Situation keeps changing. The anti-militancy operations are intelligence-based and we are achieving success in them. They are ongoing operations and will continue," he said, adding that so far 148 militants including top commanders have been killed this year.

September 9-10

Two HM militants were killed and another one surrendered during an overnight operation by the SFs in Shopian District which started on September 9 and ended on September 10. The encounter which started on September 9 evening in Barbugh area of Shopian District after militants attacked an Army patrol, which retaliated killing a militant on the spot and trapping two others in a house in the village. The operation was put on hold for the night and in the morning (September 10) as the operation was resumed heavy gun fire followed in which one militant was killed. Another militant later surrendered. A 14-year old girl, identified as Khusboo Jan was also injured in the firing and she was immediately shifted to nearby hospital.

A Police spokesman said that acting on specific information, Shopian Police along with 44 RR launched a cordon and search operation in Barbugh area of Shopian. “During searches, terrorists hiding in the area fired upon the search party. Two terrorists were gunned down in this encounter who were identified as Altaf Ahmad Rather son of Mohammad Maqbool resident of Awneera Zainapora, Shopian and Tariq Ahmad Bhat son of Mohammad Ibrahim resident of Barbugh, Shopian and one identified as Adil Hussain Dar son of Nazir Ahmad Dar resident of Chitripora, Shopian, surrendered”, he said. He said arms and ammunition were also recovered from the encounter site.

September 10

Three Army personnel, identified as identified as HB Swami, Yankiwali Wala Subramaniyam and K Mahesh were injured in Keran sector of LoC in Kupwara District. Sources said that Army troops of 16 Madras Regiment noticed movement of a group of infiltrating militants near Khawaja Baikh post in Keran sector at around 4 p.m. The group was challenged but they opened fire on the troops in which three Army men were injured. The group managed to escape and massive searches have been launched in the area.

September 11

Two HM militants, identified as Dawood Ahmed Ali and Shaiyar Ahmed Wani were killed in a gun battle with SFs and another militant, Arief Sofi was arrested in Khudwani area of Kulgam District.  Acting on a tip off, the SFs cordoned off a village in Khudwani area at 3a), when they were fired upon by holed up militants. An AK-47and an INSAS rifle were also recovered from the encounter site.

Assuring them of rehabilitation and bright future, SFs made an appeal to militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir to lay down their arms and join mainstream, saying they don't feel happy while killing them during gunfights and instead would be welcomed with open arms. The top officers of Police, Army and Paramilitary CRPF made the appeal during a joint press conference at Police Control Room in Srinagar and produced a militant -who surrendered at Shopian District on September 10, and an OGW, who was arrested at Kulgam District, before media.

The officers who addressed the press conference include IGP Munir Ahmad Khan, GOC Victor Force, Major General BS Raju and IG (Operations) CRPF Zulfikar Hassan. The top officers while speaking to reporters made a joint appeal to militants to lay down their arms and join mainstream while assuring them rehabilitation and secure life ahead. IGP Kashmir, Munir Khan said they had "back to back very good result oriented operations in Shopian and Kulgam in last two days but were different this time". "The operations were a bit different this time. In Shopian, in spite of the fact that one of the militants namely Adil Hussain Dar, a local guy who had joined militancy around 3 months back, was firing during the course of encounter. "He was firing at the forces. He lobbed a grenade at the forces. Somehow he lost balance and could not fire anymore," said the top cop, adding: "he could have been killed by the forces, there was no other way out, but we preferred to give him a chance to come to the mainstream. We preferred that he should join his parents again, that's why we opted to catch him alive, with a very clear message to others who have been lured into all this that if they come, we will receive them with open arms. Not necessarily during the encounters, even now they can come and join the mainstream."

UHM Rajnath Singh said that tree of peace in Kashmir hasn't dried up and that a permanent solution to Kashmir based on five 'Cs'- Compassion, Communication, Co-existence, Confidence Building and Consistency-will be found even as he declared that situation in the Valley has improved significantly over the past year. He described people living in the border areas as "strategic assets" and announced increase in compensation paid to kin of Pakistan ceasefire victims' from INR 1 lakh to INR 5 lakh. He declared that the BSF has been given free hand to deal with ceasefire violations and militants on the borders. "The situation in Kashmir valley has improved significantly over the past year and some green shoots of peace are visible," Rajnath Singh said and expressed willingness to meet every stakeholder to resolve long-standing issues.

Rajnath Singh assured people living in border areas of the Jammu region that India was taking steps to ensure Pakistan was forced to stop firing. "Just wait for some more time. Pakistan will forced to stop firing. If a single bullet is fired from Pakistan, then India should not count the bullets fired in retaliation," he told a rally of migrants from the LoC. Over 5,000 people living along the LoC were forced to move out their homes in the Naushera sector of Rajouri District four months ago in the wake of heavy firing and shelling by Pakistan forces. Singh said, "Whether they (Pakistan) stop firing today or tomorrow, they will have to stop firing and ceasefire violation."

Uprooted from their homes after firing by Pakistan Army, people from border areas living in schools-turned-camps have demanded individual bunkers at their residences. Over 5,000 people living in 23 hamlets along the LoC were forced to leave their houses in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District following heavy firing and shelling four months ago. Four civilians were killed and five others were injured in firing and shelling by Pakistani troops in different sectors of Rajouri in the recent past. The residents made the demand for individual bunkers to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on September 11 during his visit to one of the six camps set up in Nowshera by the Government. "Our first and foremost demand is that Government should set up individual bunkers in each of the border house, if we have to live again along the LoC. This is most and first demand of the LoC people," Jangarh resident Prashtom Kumar said. Kumar, who is the president of Border Migrants Coordination Committee, conveyed the demand to Singh and said, "We need bunkers more than food. It serves as a bullet-proof jacket for us and our families."

Police arrested another OGW of HM, identified as Waheed Ahmad Bhat from Larganapora Bichwara village of Kralgund in Kupwara District. Police recovered a hand grenade from him.

September 12

One woman, identified as Rahmat Bi was injured as Pakistan army violated ceasefire on the LoC in Nowshera sector of Rajouri District. Official sources said Pakistani troops resorted to firing at Lambi, Patti and Pukharni forward areas of Nowshera sector at 5.30 am. A woman sleeping inside her house was hit by a bullet and injured. Indian troops retaliated the firing, leading to exchange that lasted half an hour.

India launched a scathing attack on Pakistan at the UN and held it responsible for disrupting peace in the Asian subcontinent by providing succour to terrorism on its soil. Dr Sumit Seth, first secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to UN, said the Islamic nation's actions had affected not just India but all the countries in its vicinity. Nevertheless, India was willing to assist Pakistan in removing the scourge of terrorism from the region. "The world watches with concern as the consequences of Pakistan's actions have spread beyond its immediate neighbour. All of us stand prepared to help if only Pakistan, creator of this malignant monster, wakes up to dangers of what it has done to itself," Seth said while exercising the Right to Reply in response to a statement by Pakistan. Raising the issue of Kashmir once again at the 36th session of the UNHRC on September 11, Pakistan had blamed India for human rights violations in the restive state and denying the right of self-determination to Kashmiris.

India rejected these claims and sharply reminded Pakistan of its own track record in Balochistan. "J&K is an integral and inseparable part of India and will always remain so. We reject attempts by Pakistan to denigrate the democratic choice that has been regularly exercised by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan is a country that has systemically abused and violated human rights of its own citizens, including in Balochistan as well as the people of PoK," Seth charged. Calling out Pakistan on its "doublespeak and hypocrisy", he accused it of fomenting the current unrest in the Kashmir Valley. Seth added that the SFs had borne heavy losses by exercising restraint while dealing with terrorists and other dissident forces in J&K. "Present situation in Indian state of J&K is a direct result of sustained cross border terrorism emanating from Pakistan. High number of casualties sustained by Indian security forces is reflection of tremendous restraint displayed in difficult circumstances," he said.

Seth went on to say that Pakistan has consistently denied that it sponsors terror outfits, despite harbouring JeM founder Masood Azhar and LeT leader Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, both of whom have been recognised as global terrorists. The Indian emissary appealed to the UNHRC to recognise terrorism as an "extreme violation of human rights" and the same should be acknowledged by the international community.

Police also arrested a OGW of HM, identified as Mohammad Shafi Mir along with a grenade at a checkpoint in Qalamabad village in Handwara Tehsil in Kupwara District.

September 13

Four persons including two BSF jawans and two civilians were injured as Pakistan army stepped up mortar shelling and firing along the LoC and IB. Reports said that Pakistan army started mortar shelling and firing with automatic weapons on the LoC at Sabjian, Degwar and Kassalian in Poonch District. Pakistan also shelled civilian areas and forward posts of the troops. Two civilians were injured when a mortar shell fell near their house at Taglo, Degwar in Poonch sector while two BSF jawans were injured in Sabjian area. Injured civilians have been identified as Mohammad Khurshid son of Mohammad Hussain and Kabir Hussain son of Mohammad Sharief, both residents of village Taglo, Degwar. Two BSF jawans injured in the shelling have been identified as Head Constable-cum-Radio Opera-tor Sandeep Jehangir and Constable Ravinder Singh. Intermittent exchange of shelling and firing continued till late this evening on the LoC.

Pakistani Rangers also opened firing on the IB at Brahman Bela and Raipur forward villages in Pargwal sector of Akhnoor tehsil (revenue unit). Initially, the Rangers resorted to firing with semi-automatic weapons but later also lobbed mortar shells. The BSF retaliated effectively. Intermittent exchange of shelling and firing continued till late night.

Police arrested a key militancy instigator and motivator of HM outfit in Baramulla District. SSP, Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain said that an OGW Ishtiaq Ahmad Wani, resident of Goushbugh village of Pattan in the District, who was at large and wanted for motivating and instigating young boys of Pattan and Palhallan area to join HM outfit, was arrested. "Due to continuous pressure, encounters by police and other security agencies, most of the militants, who were active in North Kashmir, have been neutralized because of which the controllers of HM from across and with Kashmir are trying to accelerate the recruitment process in this area," SSP Wani said. The SSP said recently, Police prevented around 10 boys from being inducted in militant ranks. They were handed over to their parents. "Out of these 10 boys, four boys, were motivated by the arrested recruiter to join militant ranks of Hizbul Mujahideen," he said.

Minister of State in Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh, who accompanied the Home Minister in the present trip, said that they had held a meeting with the youth in Srinagar where the findings of the recent NIA probe against separatists were shared.

September 14

In a major success for the SFs, the 'commander-in-chief' of LeT, Abu Ismail, who was the mastermind behind the Amarnath yatra attack (July 10, 2017), along with his associate, Abu Qasim alias Chota Qasim were killed in an encounter at Nowgam area of Srinagar District. Qasim was most wanted militant in South Kashmir as he was mastermind of attack on Amarnath yatris at Anantnag District in which eight pilgrims were killed. IGP, Muneer Khan revealed that a joint operation was launched in Nowgam after contact was established at 4.15 pm with the two militants hiding in a house in the area. "In a brief, crisp encounter, both terrorists were shot dead," he said. "Abu Ismail had 15 FIRs against him for murder, dacoity and other militancy related incidents," Khan said adding that two AK-47 rifles and other materials were recovered from the dead bodies.

Police arrested a militant of HM, identified as Zameer Ahmed Khatana Gujjar in Ajar area of Bandipora District. Police said that based on specific information about the movement of some militants, a joint naka (checkpoint) was laid by Bandipora Police, Army's 14 RR and CRPF 3rd Batallion at Gurezmod in Bandipora. "During naka checking, one militant of HM outfit was apprehended along with arms and ammunition," Police said. A Chinese pistol, magazine and eight rounds were recovered from his possession.

The Central Government has asked the J&K State Government to re-activate defunct VDCs and create new, where they have ceased to exist, in villages falling along LoC and IB to serve as another defence line behind Army and BSF to tackle infiltration attempts by the militants. Official sources said that the Union Ministries of Home and Defence were of the view that the VDC members being locals, their activation could serve as "third line of defence" on LoC and IB behind Army and BSF to ensure that if the militants managed to breach "first two lines of defence", they are spotted and engaged at the third line and killed or captured. "The idea of creating yet another line of defence behind Army and BSF was revived following inputs that large number of militants have been camping across LoC and IB in Pakistan and that upcoming days could see spurt in infiltration attempts by the militants. Pakistan was desperate to push the militants in the wake of large number of killings of terrorists in the Kashmir valley during Operation All Out," sources said.

September 15

One BSF jawan, identified as Constable Brijendra Bahadur Singh was killed as Pakistan violated ceasefire at IB in RS Pura in Jammu District. One civilian is also reported injured in the firing which took place in Arnia in Jammu District. "One BSF trooper has been killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan rangers. They are using mortars, automatics and small arms to target nine BSF posts in Arnia. BSF troopers are retaliating strongly and effectively", said BSF sources. "BSF troops retaliated strongly and gave befitting reply," said the source. This is the fifth ceasefire violation by Pakistan in six days, and the third consecutive day of such violations, according to report.

Four persons including two Pakistani Rangers were reportedly killed in Pakistani side of the IB in Arnia sector of Jammu District, when India retaliated Pakistani shelling in the area. Pakistan confirmed its casualties and summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh in Islamabad in Pakistan to lodge protest. Acting swiftly, the administration put its `Contingency Plan' for the border villagers for three districts of Jammu, Samba and Kathua immediately in place and ordered closure of educational institutions falling within the firing range on the International Border in Arnia sector and surrounding areas to avoid any eventuality, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr Mandeep K Bhandari said.

Sources said that heavy retaliation to the Pakistani shelling and firing had been necessitated to silence Pakistani guns, which had directly been targeting civilian population in the border areas of Arnia sector and there were apprehensions of civilian casualties. Pakistan suffered losses in retaliatory firing by the BSF, sources said. A number of houses in forward villages of Arnia sector were hit by mortars and their splinters causing damage to them while some cattle were also injured. In most of the villages, the people didn't come out and preferred to stay indoors in anticipation of fresh shelling by Pakistan in frustration.

Authorities imposed curfew like restrictions in parts of Srinagar as separatists had called for protests against the NIA raids and arrests. The restrictions (under Section 144 CrPc) were imposed in parts of Srinagar falling under the jurisdiction of five Police Stations including Nowhatta, M R Gunj, Rainawari, Khanyar and Safakadal. These restrictions were imposed as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident. Huge contingents of SFs were deployed in these areas to thwart any possible protest called by separatists against the NIA raids and arrests.

As soon as the Friday congregational prayers culminated at Gaw Kadal Masjid, separatist leaders and activists took to streets and protested against the NIA raids and arrests. The protesters were holding placards and were chanting slogans against NIA and Government. Separatist leaders termed the NIA raids and arrests of political leaders, journalists and others as frustration of the Government. They said that the NIA raids are aimed to defame the separatist leaders.

September 16

Two militants were killed as the Indian Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Machhil sector of Kupwara District. "An infiltration bid has been foiled in Machhil sector and two terrorists have been killed," defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said. He said troops noticed suspicious movement along the LoC and challenged the intruders, leading to a gunfight in which the two militants were killed. Weapons have been recovered from the slain militants, the spokesman said.

Pakistani Rangers, in another ceasefire violation, targeted forward BoPs of BSF along the IB in Arnia sector of Jammu District. "From mid night till early this morning (September 16), there was exchange of fire and shelling in Arnia Sector," official spokesman said. He said that the exchange of firing took place in the area of 6 to 8 BoPs of BSF, adding no human loss or injury was reported.

A woman, identified as Ratano Devi was killed and five others were injured, as Pakistani Rangers shelled almost entire Arnia sector on the IB in Jammu District throughout the night. A number of cattle were killed or injured in Pakistan's shelling and firing. Meanwhile, Pakistan claimed that it lost four persons and five others were injured in Sialkot sector during exchange of shelling and firing. According to reports, nearly 50,000 civilians in forward villages of Pakistan's Sialkot sector have deserted their homes following heavy retaliation by the BSF.

"It was a war like situation last night. Mortar shells were raining in every village close to the International Border. It was very narrow escape for the civilians," Ram Lal, a shopkeeper of Arnia town, said. He added that it was "worst ever shelling" witnessed in Arnia town during the recent past. Almost similar was the position at Sei Khurd, Nikowal, Jabowal, Allah, Treva and surrounding villages in Arnia sector, where bullets continued to rain throughout the night striking houses, shops and cattle sheds of the people, causing them heavy damages.

September 17

Pakistan resumed shelling and firing in forward villages of Arnia sector in Jammu District in the night.

Sources said the BSF has been retaliating Pakistan's unprovoked firing and shelling very effectively as there had been reports that LeT's militants have also mixed up with Pakistan army to target the BSF and infiltrate into the Indian territory. Taking no chance, the BSF was taking all steps to counter infiltration attempts by the militants on the IB. Confirming presence of militants especially those of LeT outfit on Pakistan side of IB opposite Arnia sector, sources said unprovoked mortar shelling and firing by the Pakistani Rangers on the BSF posts and civilian areas was also aimed at diverting attention of the troopers and civilians to push the armed infiltrators into this side. However, they added that the BSF while countering shelling and firing was also keeping strict vigil on the "unwanted movements" to ensure that the militants didn't manage to intrude taking cover of Rangers' provocations.

The streets of Shopian (Shopian District) are splashed with posters bearing HM stamp blaming al Qaeda-appointed 'head' of Kashmir jihad, Zakir Musa, for 'helping Indian forces kill Kashmiris' and asking people to 'chase him to death', while also describing him as an 'Indian agent'. Written in Urdu, with Musa's picture displayed prominently, the posters claim that the former HM militant got many 'innocents killed by Indian tyrants in lieu of huge money'. 'This traitor is creating different outfits in league with the government. Initially, he was part of Hizb and thereafter, he joined hands with the government of India. He even termed Hurriyat wrong. Therefore, wherever you find him, kill him,' the posters said.

Pakistani Rangers continued mortar shelling along the IB in Arnia sector in Jammu District for the third consecutive night. The latest round of shelling rendered some and other structures damaged but there were no casualties either on BSF side or civilians. “Intensity of mortar shelling and firing was very less last night as compared to the two previous nights when shelling had continued throughout the night. However, shelling, which started around 9.30 pm last night, stopped around 11.30 pm though intermittent firing with small arms continued till wee hours of this morning,’’ official sources said.

September 18

No militant is ready to become ‘chief’ of the LeT terror outfit in Jammu and Kashmir after the killing of Pakistani terrorist Abu Ismail in an encounter last week, said J&K DGP S P Vaid. "I heard there is a vacancy for the commander's post in Lashkar, but no one is ready to apply," Vaid said while replying to a question about the recruitment of a new LeT ‘chief’ in the Valley. He urged local militants to renounce the path of violence and join the mainstream. "Be it elders, religious leaders, parents or political leaders, I appeal to all to help children distinguish between the good and bad. One must tread upon the right path and fulfil the mission of life. Bloodshed won't yield anything," he added.

Vaid said the J&K Police have recently rescued 60 youths from militancy and counselled them. "We're counselling out of militancy all those boys whose cases are brought to our notice. They are our kids and we don't want them to go the wrong way," said the DGP, adding that there are clear instructions to the SFs to give a chance to those militants who are ready to surrender. Attempts are being made to bring the youths back into the mainstream. Security personnel are trying to engage them so that they remain away from drugs and militancy, said Vaid.

September 19

The NIA arrested two LeT militants, who were close associates of dreaded Pakistani militant Bahadur Ali, and had been helping LeT cadres to infiltrate into the Indian territory from the LoC in Baramulla and Kupwara Districts. The two militants, identified as Zahoor Ahmad Peer and Nazir Ahmad Peer were on NIA radar for helping Bahadur Ali and other cadre of the LeT outfit but since their full identity and address was not known to Ali, the NIA had to work a lot to identify and arrest them. Sources said that both the militants were called for interrogation by the NIA officers at their Sainik Colony office in Jammu District and immediately taken into custody as they turned out to be the same persons, who had figured in the interrogation of Bahadur Ali. The NIA is expected to shift both the militants to New Delhi on September 20 for detailed interrogation after taking their transit remand from a Court in Jammu.

Anticipating that the arrested militants might have helped more Lashkar cadre in infiltration and carrying out their activities, sources said it was in this context that both of them were being taken to New Delhi for detailed interrogation to ascertain LeT network in Kupwara District especially on the LoC. Bahadur Ali was among very few Pakistani militants, who have been captured alive by SFs during the raids, which had helped security agencies to nail Pakistan’s direct support to militants operating in the Kashmir valley. Bahadur Ali’s case was later handed over to NIA, which had prepared a detailed dossier of Pakistan’s involvement in the militancy on the basis of disclosures made by Ali. Ali had disclosed as to how Pakistan army and ISI were radicalizing local youth and pushing them into the militancy. He has also mentioned involvement of LeT commanders in training of the militants and helping them infiltrate into the Valley.

A Delhi court sent two men, including a freelance photo-journalist, to judicial custody for a month in connection with an alleged case of stone- pelting in the Kashmir valley. District Judge Poonam A Bamba sent Javed Ahmed Bhat from Kulgam and Kamran Yusuf from Pulwama to jail till October 17 after they were produced before the court during in-chamber proceedings on the expiry of their Police custody. The NIA counsel said they were not required for further custodial interrogation, court sources said. During its probe in the funding of terror and separatist activities in the Kashmir valley, the NIA had arrested Bhat and Yusuf on September 5.

CM Mehbooba Mufti sought an end to the hostilities between India and Pakistan on the borders, saying it is the people of the State who bear the brunt of the skirmishes. Mehbooba, who was addressing a public meeting at Tanghdar sector near the LoC in Karnah area of Kupwara District, said the recent skirmishes along the border area has led many people to migrate. “I appeal the leadership of both the countries to work for maintaining peace on the borders. The people of the State have been the worst victims of this hostility which has led to their killing, dislocations and damages to the property on both the sides,” she said. The Chief Minister said peace in the State and between the two South Asian countries holds key to the progress and development of the region.

September 20

One Head Constable of the SSB, identified as Ram Pravesh was killed and an ASI, Shyam Sood was seriously injured as suspected militants attacked the SSB camp at Thathar in Banihal Tehsil of Ramban District. The suspected militants also took away with them one INSAS rifle and one AR-M1F41 Assault Rifle of the SSB jawans, sources said. However, senior Police officials remained non-committal on the attack though they admitted that everything including a terror attack was under investigation and that two weapons were missing from the SSB camp, which appeared to have been snatched. Sources said that the SSB jawans were returning to their camp at Thathar, which was located just 200 meters from the NH after patrol duty at the site of construction of new tunnel at Banihal on the NH when the suspected militants opened firing on them at around 7.15 pm.

A soldier, identified as Sepoy Rajesh Khatri was killed and three others injured in a sniper fire by Pakistani troops at Keran sector along the LoC in Kupwara District. Sources said that Pakistan Rangers opened sniper fire at 5/9 GR unit of Army near Pimple post in Keran sector along the LoC. Army retaliated the fire and targeted the Pakistani posts and intermittent firing was going on in the area at the time of reporting.

The sniping of soldiers by Pakistani troops has increased this year (2017) along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. Sources said that Pakistani troops are frustrated after Indian troops this year foiled infiltration of militants from PoK along the LoC. They said that after continued failure following stepped up security along the LoC, Pakistani troops are resorting to such tactics. Sources said that they are also resorting to ceasefire violations to push in militants by providing them cover fire. They, however, said that the troops are on heightened alert and ready to foil Pakistani troops’ and militant designs.

Police recovered a hand grenade concealed underground near a bank building in Budgam District. “An old grenade buried underground near a bank branch at Ompora was detected by security forces this afternoon,” a Police official said.

Police arrested a HM militant, identified as Aadil Hussain alias Badam from Bijbehara in Anantnag District. A Police spokesman said that Aadil Hussain of HM was arrested by Police, Army and CRPF in a joint operation in Bijbehara today. However, a HM spokesman said that Adil was not the militant of the outfit.

September 20-21

In another ceasefire violation, Pakistani troops on September 21 night pounded major areas of IB in Ramgarh, Arnia and RS Pura sectors in Jammu and Samba Districts with 82mm mortars and heavy arms firing taking the number of civilians injured in the shelling last midnight (September 20) and tonight (September 21) to seven. Sources said seven civilians including a couple were injured in heavy mortar shelling by Pakistani Rangers on the IB in Arnia and RS Pura sectors last night as well as tonight while Pakistan also suffered heavy losses in retaliatory firing by the BSF. Large number of people in Ramgarh sector on September 21 night migrated to safer areas while many people from forward villages of Arnia and RS Pura sectors have already shifted to the houses of their relatives and other locations. SSP Samba Anil Magotra said that people from Jerha, SM Pura, Nanga, Samandhu, Dagg and surrounding villages of Ramgarh sector in Samba district have shifted to Thandi Khui, Ramgarh town and other places in view of heavy mortar shelling and firing by the Rangers at these places.

September 21

At least three civilians including a woman were killed and 30 others including two officers of the R&B Department were injured when suspected HM militants attacked the cavalcade of Public Works Minister and senior leader of ruling PDP, Naeem Akhtar, in Tral town of Pulwama District. The slain civilians were identified as Pinky Kaur (a Sikh woman student of Islamic University), 80-year-old Ghulam Nabi Trag and Mohammad Iqbal Khan. Naeem Akhtar, one of the closest aides of CM Mehbooba Mufti, had gone to Tral for inauguration of a civil works project in the town. PDP MLA of Tral Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, who was traveling in one of the cars, said the terrorists attacked the motorcade with a hand grenade and gunfire from automatic rifles. "The minister escaped unhurt but my bullet-proof car received several gunshots," Shah said. DGP, S P Vaid said, the target of the attack was the Minister. The assailants, he said, managed to escape in the melee caused by the grenade attack.

Soon after the attack, local youth came to the streets raising pro-Azadi and pro-Pakistan slogans and pelted stones on the SFs deployed in the Tral town for the Minister's security. To disperse the agitating mob, SFs used tear gas shells, Police claimed. More than two dozen people including one Police constable sustained pellet injuries, according to BMO of Tral sub-district hospital.

The J&K Police arrested two militants, identified as Arif and Ghazanfar; both are responsible for recent Banihal attack on SSB camp, from Banihal in Ramban District. Two service rifles, including an AK assault rifle and an INSAS rifle, which were snatched during the attack, have been recovered from their possession. At least one SSB jawan (trooper) was killed and another injured after militants attacked a camp of SSB in Banihal in Ramban District on September 20

The BSF in the night, launched major counter offensive against Pakistani Rangers along the IB targeting their Chappar, Harpal and Charwa sectors opposite Ramgarh, Arnia and RS Pura sectors in Jammu District in which nine Pakistanis including three Rangers and six civilians were killed and 26 others were injured while five posts and some bunkers were decimated. The strong retaliation from the BSF was necessitated as Pakistani posts in these three Sectors were raining mortars and bullets in civilian areas falling along the IB from Ramgarh to RS Pura, leading to migration and evacuation of the civilians in bullet proof bunkers.

September 22

Pakistan Army opened firing in civilian areas along the LoC at Khari Karmara in Poonch sector in Poonch District causing injuries to a civilian, identified as Mohammad Shoaib.

Pakistan resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing in entire Ramgarh sector and parts of Arnia and R S Pura sectors along the IB in Jammu District. In Hiranagar sector, many people shifted to safer areas late tonight anticipating firing from across. Authorities pressed bullet proof bunkers to evacuate civilians from Joura Farm in RS Pura, Arnia town, Jerda and SM Pur in Ramgarh and some other villages as Pakistani Rangers were pounding civilian areas with 82mm mortars and there was apprehension of civilian casualties. “As many as 727 civilians, majority of them women, children and elderly citizens were evacuated in the bullet proof bunkers and shifted to safer locations,” sources said.

DGMO Lieutenant General AK Bhat talked tough with his Pakistani counterpart Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza on the hotline stating that India reserved the right to retaliate appropriately to any incident leading to loss of lives of our troops in Pakistan shelling and firing. The talks were held at the behest of Pakistan DGMO.

A fresh statement issued through the official media of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, the Kashmir-based al Qaeda affiliate led by former HM leader Zakir Musa, has warned that it will not rest until it ‘liberates occupied Hindustan’. The release, while citing the 8th century example of Muhammad bin Qasim who allegedly killed the then Hindu king of Sindh and established the rule of Shariah there, appealed to all Muslims to sacrifice their comforts and join the battle to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate. "Al-Sindh' is the region in the Indian Sub-continent (in present day Pakistan) which was once ruled with Islamic Shariah by Muhammad bin Qasim who was the Army General of Umayyad Caliphate. Al-Sindh is the first part of land in the sub-continent to implement Shariah. The caravan started from Al-Sindh 1400 years (ago). It will not stop until it liberates occupied Hindustan & joins the Army of Eesa(AS) in Shaam," said the statement put out on Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind's official Telegram channel Al Hurr media on September 21st night. Incidentally, intelligence sources said that while the statement was indeed issued via Al Hurr media, the official media network of Ghazwat ul Hind, its source could not be verified.

Chairman of APHC Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that the separatist leadership will extend full support to meaningful dialogue meant to resolve Kashmir issue. Addressing a gathering at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar, Mirwaiz said that all stakeholders need to sit together if Centre wants to resolve Kashmir issue through dialogue. “If they (Centre) wants to resolve Kashmir issue through dialogue then it is imperative that all stakeholders sit together. And GoI needs to adopt a political approach instead of military policy. If that happens, we will render our full support so that this long pending issue is resolved,” said Mirwaiz. The APHC chairman said that they want end to hostilities and better Indo-Pak relations. “We want better relations between India and Pakistan so that all issues, including Kashmir are resolved peacefully”, he said.

September 23

Two BSF personnel and five civilians were injured when Pakistani troops targeted Indian BOPs and hamlets in Jammu, Samba and Poonch Districts. Three civilians in Satowali village of R S Pura sector were injured in the Pakistani shelling and another villager was injured in Treva in Arnia sector. In Ramgarh sector in Samba, two BSF personnel suffered minor injuries in the Pakistani firing, the officials said.

Over 500 people were evacuated by the police from a few border hamlets targeted by Pakistani troops on Friday night and have been housed in a camp. Over 20,000 people have also fled their homes and hearths in Arnia and R S Pura sectors in the past few days, the officials added. “At least 32 villages in Ramgarh, Arnia and RS Pura sectors have been badly affected by shelling forcing large number of people to desert their houses and taken shelter in safer areas-either in the houses of their relatives or in the premises of religious and social organizations and relief camps set up by the administration,” sources said.

A senior BSF official said 20 BOPs were affected by Pakistan’s shelling and firing along IB last night. He added that the BSF responded very effectively and gave befitting response to the Rangers. The shelling stopped at around 4 am at all three Sectors.

The ED filed a charge sheet against Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah and a suspected hawala dealer in connection with a 2005 money laundering case filed against him for alleged terror financing. The final report, filed before Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, also named the alleged hawala dealer Mohammed Alsam Wani, who is in judicial custody along with Shah. The case dates back to August 2005 in which the New Delhi Police’s Special Cell had earlier arrested Wani.

September 24

Army killed three JeM fidayeens (Suicide Squad) in Kalgi area near the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District and prevented last year’s Uri Brigade headquarter type attack in which 19 Army personnel were killed. Early in the morning, SFs rescued a family where one of the militants was hiding and later the militant was killed in the gun battle. Another militant was hiding in the Masjid and he was later killed and third one was killed in the evening. Three AK series rifles, 10 AK magazines, 10 grenades, one UBGL and other war like stores were recovered from their possession.

GoC 19 Division of Army Major General RP Kalita said that they had inputs for long that militants are trying to carry out fidayeen attack in Uri this month. “We were already alert. Last night, we got information about presence of three terrorists in Kalgi area of Uri and we launched an operation that resulted in the encounter. There were 19 houses in the area and we tried to avert any collateral damage and in the evening we neutralized all the three terrorists”, said Major General Kalita. “They seem to be newly infiltrated and must have come two nights before they were trapped in the village. We have recovered three bodies and weapons and operation is over. However, we will continue searches of the area to look for other items they must have been carrying”, the GoC said. However, sources said that Army had inputs that militants were planning a major attack on Army installations in Uri area for long and they had planned it for the month of September.

Three SF personnel were injured in a grenade attack by militants in Sopore town of Baramulla District. The grenade lobbed by the militants inside a SF’s vehicle in Sopore town could have led to more casualties but an alert Special Police Officer saved many lives by throwing away the explosive. Three security personnel, including two SPOs and one CRPF trooper suffered minor injuries in the grenade blast. “The alert SPO threw away the grenade to a safer place, thus saving the lives of his colleagues and civilians. The grenade was hurled by militants inside the security forces’ vehicle,” a Police spokesman said.

Army’s 47 RR busted a militant hideout in the forest area of Chak Kigam Handwara area of Kupwara District. A large cache of explosive material and ammunition, including one anti aircraft gun and other heavy arms were recovered from the hideout. The weapons recovered included one anti aircraft gun, one RPG, one LMG, one AK 47 rifle with 3 magazines, two pistols with 4 magazines, one IED, one RS Kenwood and one dagger.

Police arrested the third militant who was allegedly involved in attacking SSB camp at Thathar, identified as Aqib Wahid from Nowgam in Anantnag District. With the arrest of Aqib Wahid, son of Abdul Wahid Najar of Kaskoot, Banihal, all three militants involved in September 20 attack on SSB camp, have been apprehended. According to SSP Ramban, Mohan Lal, the arrested militant is a B Sc Part III student of Anantnag Degree College and he was held from Nowgam by a Police party from Ramban after successful raid on a hideout.

September 25

Army recovered body of another militant in Kalgi area near the LoC in Uri sector of Baramulla District, taking the number of militants killed in the operation to four. Earlier, Army on September 24 killed three fidayeens (Suicide Squad) in the operation and prevented last year’s Uri Brigade headquarter type attack in which 19 Army personnel were killed. Army on September 25 said that they recovered body of another militant from Kalgai area of Uri taking the number of militants killed in the operation to four. The operation was launched on September 24 and it was resumed on September 25 morning following reports that more militants were hiding in the area.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the LoC could be repeated, if necessary, seeking to send a stern message to Pakistan. He said cross-border infiltration will continue because camps across the LoC, from where terrorists are launched, are still operational, and warned that the Indian Army is ready to “receive” them and keep dispatching them to their graves. “The strike was a message we wanted to communicate to them and they have understood what we mean…That things could follow up, if required,” Rawat said

Kashmir witnessed a shutdown over the NIA’s move to summon KTMF president Yasin Khan and Kashmir University scholar Aala Fazil to New Delhi for questioning in an ‘illegal funding case’. Several supporters of Yasin Khan held a silent sit-in in Lal Chowk in Srinagar against his summoning. The NIA had asked Yasin Khan to present himself before the NIA on September 25. “We would continue our peaceful protest until Yasin sahab leaves the NIA headquarter,” said a protesting trader. The shutdown call by traders, supported by separatists, impacted the daily life in the Valley.

The ‘chairman’ of the APHC-M, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said, “The NIA is resorting to coercive and intimidating tactics against people of Kashmir”.

The NIA continued with its raids in Kashmir Valley. Police sources said two youth, one from Ganderbal and another from Baramulla, were questioned regarding their involvement in stone pelting.

September 26

Army killed a most wanted Kashmiri militant, Abdul Qayoom Najjar alias Jan Sahab alias Abid alias Wazir alias Qyoom Chacha and foiled a major infiltration attempt in Lacchipora area of Uri in Baramulla District. Sources said that a group of JeM militants attempted infiltration from Zorawar Post of Lacchipora in Uri sector during the night and alert troops spotted them at around 3 am on September 26. The troops challenged the infiltrating group of militants leading to an encounter in which one militant who was later identified as Qayoom Najjar was killed. The other militants of the group including his long time associate, Imtiaz Kandu fled away taking advantage of terrain and darkness. One AK-47 rifle, 4 AK magazines, several rounds of AK ammunition, one Chinese pistol, six pistol magazines, one matrix sheet, IED making equipment, one grenade, one GPS, one night vision, dry fruits, Pakistan made medicine, Pakistan and Indian currency, one stick and one rucksack were recovered from the spot.

Qayoom Najjar was a resident of Mumkak Sopore area of Baramulla District and was one of the longest surviving Kashmiri militant ‘commanders’ carrying a reward of INR10 lakh on his head. Najjar, had joined militancy at an age of 16. He was arrested in 1992 and later released. After his release, he recycled into the militancy in 1995. Though for many years, Najjar was a militant, but he always aspired to become a top commander after killing and arrest of top HM commanders, Najar was the senior most active commander and thus the de-facto operational chief of HM. Qayoom until 2015 was affiliated with HM but he broke away from the outfit and formed his own Lashkar-e-Islam which carried out series of attacks on mobile towers and killed several former militants and Hurriyat activists for their alleged links with SFs. Later in 2015, he crossed over to Pakistan and met HM ‘supreme’ Syed Salahudin but failed to patch up with his former boss. He, however, later joined JeM and had come to Kashmir to revive the outfit but was killed while sneaking in.

Police said that Najjar was active since 1999 and ex-filtrated to Pakistan in 2015 and was returning to take command of HM. The killed commander was despatched by UJC ‘commander’ Syed Salahudin to revive the HM whose commanders of North Kashmir Pervaiz Wani alias Mubashir and of South Kashmir Yasin Yatoo had got killed recently. Police said his return was also necessitated because of wiping out of HM from North Kashmir. “He was involved in dozens of killings of civilians, police and security forces”, Police added. Police said that he was behind the killing of then HM ‘Commander’ Abdul Majid Dar who had entered into dialogue process with Government of India in year 2000. “The killed terrorist was also involved in number of IED blasts carried out by HM in North Kashmir in Sopore, Pattan, Handwara and Baramulla. He briefly fell out with HM/Hurriyat leadership in 2015 when he orchestrated multiple attacks on mobile towers and killing of some civilians affiliated with Hurriyat. He was recalled to base camp in Muzaffarabad, PoK to sort out the differences”, Police added.

SSP Imtiaz Husain said that Najjar was involved in over 50 killings and his killing is a major relief for security agencies. “He was involved in the killing of 50 civilians and security force personnel and was most dreaded terrorists in the history of Kashmir. It is a major success and we are thankful to army for neutralizing him. If he would have managed to infiltrate it would have been big problem for us as he had huge network in Baramulla district. He was sent to take the command of Hizb in Kashmir after killing of top Commanders of the outfit. His killing is relief for us and people”, he said.

Army foiled an attack by Pakistani BAT near the LoC in Keran Sector of Kupwara District. The attackers were forced to retreat to PoK without causing any damage on the Indian side. “A BAT action was attempted by seven to eight armed intruders (from PoK side) today at 1.00 pm in the area of Keran Sector of Kupwara. The armed intruders came near own posts,” Army sources said. They said the BAT intruders were supported by nearby Pakistani posts with mortar shelling and small arms firing.

SFs arrested a suspected OGW of militants, identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Najar and recovered arms and explosives from his possession in Waripora village of Handwara area in Kupwara District. Two hand grenades, one pistol, one pistol magazine and eight rounds were recovered from his possession.

September 27

Militants shot dead a BSF constable, Rameez Ahmad Parray and injured his four family members in Hajin area of Bandipora District. A group of three to four militants barged into house of Rameez Ahmad Parray, a BSF constable posted at Rajasthan and presently on vacations, at Parray Hajin and thrashed and threatened him. The militants then left the house and came back again. Second time, they fired upon the BSF constable and his brothers Mumtaz and Javed Ahmad, his father Ghulam Ahmad and aunt Habla Begum. The injured were referred to hospital but Rameez succumbed to injuries.

A civilian, identified as Mushtaq Ahmad, who was among 30 persons injured in Tral grenade attack (Pulwama District) on September 21, succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS Soura in Srinagar, taking the death toll in the attack to four. As SATP reported earlier, at least three civilians including a woman were killed and 30 others including two officers of the R&B Department were injured when suspected HM militants attacked the cavalcade of Public Works Minister and senior leader of ruling PDP, Naeem Akhtar, in Tral town of Pulwama District on September 21.

Soon after people learned about the death of Mushtaq, shopkeepers downed their shutters in Tral and observed a shutdown. The deceased was working as salesman and was father of two.

A complete shutdown was observed amid restrictions in Sopore town of Baramulla District against the killing of Valley’s longest surviving militant ‘commander’ Qayoom Najjar in an encounter on LoC on September 26 while infiltrating into Kashmir. Najjar was buried last night and authorities had imposed restrictions in Sopore town to prevent any protests. All the Education institutions were closed as precautionary measure. An official said that the restrictions in Sopore will continue on September 28 and schools and colleges will also remain shut as a precautionary measure.

Two civilians were injured as Pakistan Army resorted to heavy mortar shelling in Poonch (Poonch District) and Bhimber Gali (Rajouri District) sectors along the LoC. Official sources said that Pakistan army, after a lull of few days, again resorted to ceasefire violations by firing and shelling, targeting civilian areas in Balakote, Shahpur and surrounding villages in Poonch District at 8.15 am. The Indian side retaliated effectively, leading to heavy exchanges that continued till 10.30 am.

The civilians, who had started working in the fields and children, who had gone to schools, were virtually trapped but the authorities shut down the educational institutions falling within the firing range and shifted students back to houses carefully. However, students of Government Primary School, Basooni were trapped inside for some time in view of continued shelling and firing by Pakistani troops. They too were rescued later and shifted to their houses. By the time, the civilians could rush back to their houses, two of them, identified as Shamim Begum and Reyaz Ahmad were hit by splinters of mortars at village Dharati in Balakote sector and injured. They were evacuated by security personnel and people from the spot and admitted in the hospital.

SFs busted a major hideout of HM and recovered a huge cache of arms in Thanna Forests of Dessa area in Doda District. Recoveries made from the hideout included two AK-47 rifles, two UBGLs, two Chinese pistols, two Chinese grenades, four RPG rounds, 300 rounds of AK-47 and certain other items. However, no arrests were made from the spot. “Security forces continued their persistent operations to keep Doda district safe and sanitized from terrorists as well as their support infrastructure. Recovery of war like stores from Thana forests of Dessa will deal a severe blow to nefarious designs of terrorists to revive militancy in the area,’’ sources said.

September 28

J&K Police said that killing of a BSF constable and targeting his family is desperation on part of militants after success achieved by SFs against them. IGP, Nitish Kumar said that after huge successes achieved by SFs, militants are desperate to act. “So, there is so much desperation among terrorists to do something and you might be knowing that security forces in recent days achieved major successes at different places in north Kashmir, be it at Kupwara, Uri or at Sopore area. So we have achieved success in all areas and lots of terrorists have been killed and apprehended. As a result there is desperation and I will say that they choose a soft target. Martyring a jawan who has come home on leave is a shameful, dastardly and cowardly act and not only this but also injuring family members. They didn’t spare even his 50-year old aunt”, he said. Kumar said that LeT militants are involved in the killing of the BSF jawan. “Name of Lashkar-e-Toiba has come to fore after talking to injured and probe that we conducted. Around 3-4 militants carried out this attack and one Mehmood Bhai, a Pakistani resident, was accompanying them”, he said.

One person, identified as Gulzar Ahmad Shah was arrested along with FICNs worth of INR 29,000 from Srinagar city. "Police Station Shaheed Gunj received information that the man was trying to spend the notes near Jahangir Chowk," a Police spokesman said.

September 29

JKLF Chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested in Srinagar. JKLF sources said that a Police party reached the uptown Abi Guzar area of Srinagar and arrested Malik and another JKLF leader, Bashir Ahmad. Both have been shifted to the Srinagar Central Jail.

The BSF and Pakistan Rangers held a flag meeting along the IB in Suchetgarh sector of R S Pura in Jammu District while issues like sniping and ceasefire violations were discussed. “On the request of Pakistan Rangers from 1100 hrs to 1245 hrs, a Sector Commander level Flag Meeting was held between Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers on International Border in Suchetgarh area,” official spokesman said.

The spokesman said during the meeting, BSF objected on dastardly acts of snipping of two BSF soldiers - Late Constable Brijendra Bahadur and Constable K K Appa Rao on 14 September and 25 August 2017, respectively while performing their duty on forward duty points along the border security fence by Pakistan Rangers and further carrying out unprovoked cross border firing and shelling on a number of Indian border villages targeting innocent civilian and their properties. “BSF conveyed strong protest with message that such provocative acts will not be tolerated and are unacceptable by BSF and shall be responded with equal and more measures,” he added. The spokesman said that besides discussion on number of other issues related to border management, BSF strongly objected for allowing movement of armed intruder in close vicinity of International Boundary during night time for infiltration attempts into India from Pakistan territory. “During discussion, Pak Rangers assured for taking required measures to maintain peace at border with request that BSF should also restrain as much as possible in counter measures to see that minimum civilian loss caused on Pak side,” he added.

September 30

The BSF unearthed a 14-feet-long tunnel near the zero line in Arnia sector in Jammu District which was being dug from the Pakistani side, scuttling a major infiltration bid and a possible terror attack. IG of BSF, Jammu Frontiers, Ram Awtar said an area domination party noticed the suspicious movement of nearly a dozen armed people near the zero line who fled after seeing the uniformed men. “The unfinished tunnel, dug from the Pakistani side, approximately having three-feet height and two-and-a-half feet width on the slope of bank at Dhamalla nullah (stream) ahead of border fence was detected by the alert BSF jawans this morning,” Awtar said.

The BSF patrolling party commander got suspicious and launched a thorough search and survey operation of the area which led to the detection of the tunnel and recovery of ‘war-like stores’. Among the items recovered from the location included a US-made compass, two magazines, 60 rounds of ammunition, a hand grenade, four pairs of shoes, polythene bags, sharp-edged weapons, four sleeping bags, batteries cells and number of eatables including chicken, chapattis and curry etc and other items, most of which were carrying the marking of Pakistan, Awtar said. These items were reported to have been used by the militants during digging of the tunnel. Terming the tunneling activity as a “nefarious act” of Pakistan, the IG BSF said timely action by the BSF foiled a major attack on the Indian soil.

October 2

The Army foiled a major infiltration attempt by a group of 4-5 militants in Tanghdar sector of Kupwara District and killed three militants. Sources said that troops had laid ambush at Nadgali Post area in Tanghdar sector after inputs that 4-5 militants are trying to infiltrate into the sector. They said that the Army had laid ambush and after seeing suspicious movement in the area, they fired at the group leading to an encounter. Army said that they have recovered three dead bodies and three weapons so far besides war like stores. Sources said that Police had passed on information to the Army that last night (October 1) a group of four militants had infiltrated in Tanghdar sector and Army traced this morning (October 2) them in Balcharian village. They were challenged leading to a gun battle in which three militants were killed. Sources said that four Army personnel including an officer were also injured in the encounter. They have been removed to hospital for treatment.

Army foiled another infiltration bid along the LoC in Torna area of Rampur sector of Baramulla District, killing two militants. A senior Army officer said that 21-Sikh regiment of Army deployed at Torna had laid ambush ahead of fence after inputs of infiltration attempts by highly armed militants. He said that the troops deployed on the forward posts fired at the infiltrating militants after they saw suspicious movement during the night. Two dead bodies of militants and two AK-47 rifles were recovered in the morning (October 2) during the search of the area. The searches were going on and the other members of the group may have fled back to PoK under the cover of darkness, report said.

Pakistani troops violated ceasefire along LoC near Keri and Digwar areas of Poonch sector in Poonch District, killing two children and injuring 12 others, apart from causing damage to several houses and other structures. Sources said that Pakistani troops started heavy shelling using 82mm mortars and firing with automatic and semi-automatic weapons targeting Shahpur, Kirni, Kasba, Digwar, Malti, Bigial Dara, Terwan and surrounding villages, located close to LoC in Poonch sector at 6.30 am when the people had just started moving out of their houses towards the fields and other places with the onset of Sun. “The people were trapped in the fields and other places as Pakistani troops used heavy mortars and firing, directly aiming the civilian population living close to the LoC,” sources said, adding that two children-a boy and a girl-were killed as mortar shells exploded inside or close to their houses while a dozen other civilians were injured, four of them seriously.

The Indian Army retaliated shelling and firing very effectively to silence the Pakistani guns and save the civilian population from any further damage. Pakistan claimed that one of its Army jawans and two others were killed while three jawans were seriously injured at Neja Peer, falling opposite Digwar village of Poonch, in PoK in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops.

In the evening, Pakistan army again fired two sniper shots on a forward BSF post in Rajouri sector of Rajouri District, which injured constable R Ramachari. Sources said Pakistani troops targeted the BSF post with sniper shots around 6.15 pm. The injured jawan has been hospitalized.

CM Mehbooba Mufti has expressed grief and anguish over the killing of two children in cross-LoC shelling in Poonch District. In a statement, she said: “it is very unfortunate that the children became victims of fire power when they were yet to understand nuances of politics”. She directed the district administration to ensure specialized treatment to the people injured in the shelling.

A Police personal, identified as Aashiq Hussain, who was posted as Munshi in Awantipora Police Station of Pulwama District was shot dead in Padgampora village of Pulwama District. According to report, Hussain had gone to Padgampora village to attend marriage and militants barged into the house and fired at him. They fled leaving him in a pool blood. He died on the spot. Senior Police officers reached the spot and a massive hunt has been launched against his killers.

Two policemen were injured in a grenade attack by militants on a nakka party in Baramulla District. Official sources said that militants hurled grenade on a checkpoint established by Police at Juhama in Baramulla at around 1850 hrs. They said two Policemen were injured in the attack, adding both were rushed to a hospital, where their health condition is stated to be stable. They said the militants managed to escape under the cover of darkness. However, a search operation has been launched in the area to nab the militants. Al-Jehad militant outfit that was operating in Kashmir in early 1990s has claimed responsibility for the attack. They have circulated posters in some areas of Baramulla claiming that they have hurled grenade at SF in the evening.

J&K Police said that it arrested two persons and recovered FICN worth of INR 92,000 along with the electronic items used for counterfeiting the currency in Srinagar. A Police spokesman said that during the investigation of the case, a printer used for counterfeiting, a laptop, stamp papers, ATM cards, papers and cheque books were recovered from the possession of Abdul Rouf at Rajbagh in Srinagar city. “Pertinent to mention here that during the investigation of the case, Rs 92,000 fake currency notes have been seized so far and two persons arrested,” he said.

October 3

JeM militants carried out a pre-dawn fidayeen (suicide) attack on a BSF camp near the high-security Srinagar International Airport in Srinagar District, in which an ASI of BSF was killed and three other SFs personnel were injured. Three militants were also killed in the exchange of fire with SFs. BSF officials said an ASI of the force was killed in the attack on the 182nd Battalion camp. Two BSF jawans (troopers) and a Policeman were also injured in the attack, the officials said. The attack took place at 4.00 am, they said. JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack.

While addressing a press conference after eliminating the three fidayeen, Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Muneer Ahmad Khan said that the attackers entered the BSF camp by cutting the fence between Friends Colony and Gogoland. “They cut the fence and taking advantage of darkness entered administrative block and GOs Mess. One of them was eliminated outside the building. They were wearing Army uniform and two of them were later killed in a brief gun fight”, said Khan. “The operation was delayed to ensure zero collateral damage as there are residential houses near the camp. The operation which started at 4 am ended at 1 pm,” he said. Khan said that JeM is responsible for the attack. “The group is from JeM and they have taken responsibility as well”, he said. “They had infiltrated in July-August from Shakkarpur in Jammu. Three of them were killed in Pulwama when they attack Police Lines last month. They are now left with 6-7 members and we are looking for them and we will eliminate them”, he said. The IGP said that the JeM is a threat as they are known for doing such type of attacks. “We will deal with them differently”, he added. Khan said that the OGWs network of Jaish has been identified and they know who provided them logistics for reaching the airport and DPL Pulwama.  “We have started acting against them”, he added.

Operation against militants, who are suspected to be holed up in forests continued in Rampur sector of Uri area in Baramulla District on second consecutive day after two infiltrators, as reported earlier by SATP, were shot dead on October 2 along the LoC. In reply to a question with regard to identity of two slain infiltrators, the Commanding Officer of 21 Sikh, Col Ashutosh Mehta said that they have not recovered any such thing or paper from militants by which their outfit affiliations could be established. Asked about the number of militants that were part of the group which attempted infiltration, he said: “We think it was a group of three militants and two have been gunned down while searches are on for another one. The operation is on.”

An Army trooper was killed as Pakistani troops again violated CFA on the LoC and resorted to heavy firing in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch District. Official sources said Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked firing on Indian Army posts in Krishna Ghati sector at 12.50 pm along LoC in Poonch district, which was retaliated effectively by the Indian side, leading to heavy exchanges. Exchange of shelling and firing continued for about half an hour. While one Indian trooper was killed, there were no other casualties or damage in today’s firing on the LoC, sources said, adding that Pakistani troops were also reported to have suffered extensive damage in retaliatory firing by the Indian troops but exact details of the enemy losses were yet to pour in.

October 4

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Pakistan has a "convoluted history" with terrorism. Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US administration is being very clear and firm in what it expects from Pakistan and is using all aspects of the government to bring about the change, working internationally. "There are a number of lines of effort being put together now in Secretary of Treasury's office, Secretary of State's office, my own office, the intel agencies. We are also working with Secretary General Stoltenberg to ensure that NATO's equities are brought to bear," Mattis said. Certainly, India has a role to play as a neighbour, and potentially a very strong economic benefit to Pakistan, if Pakistan can find a way to carry out its international responsibilities and end any kind of safe haven inside their country, he noted. "There's a great deal that Pakistan can benefit economically, diplomatically, financially for its government; economically for its people; by finally sensing that the tide has shifted against this," Mattis said.

Three Army jawans (troopers), identified as Naik Ripple Mapa, Naik Lijanthung Lotha and Sepoy Kiyeka Zhamio were injured in fresh round of mortar shelling and firing by Pakistan rangers along the LoC in Poonch sector of Poonch District.  Sources said that a mortar shell fired by Pakistani troops fell close to a forward Army post in Poonch sector on October 4 morning causing injuries to three troopers, who were manning the post. Army personnel evacuated the injured and shifted them to hospital.

In Poonch sector, forward villages of Digwar, Terwan, Malati, Bigial Dara and surroundings witnessed intense shelling from 8 am to 12.30 pm while villages in Balakote sector including Balakote, Balakote Forward, Panjni, Suhala, Dabbi, Kanga, Sandot and Gulad Top were shelled during wee hours of October 4 morning. Bhawani and Lam in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district received few mortar shells in the afternoon. Authorities ordered closure of educational institutions once again in the areas falling within the range of mortar shelling and firing in Balakote and Poonch Sectors. The panic-stricken people mostly remained confined to their houses in majority of villages falling on the LoC in Poonch District, which bore brunt of the shelling.

Sources said India has been giving very strong and effective response to shelling and firing by the Pakistani troops and there have been reports that Pakistan army has suffered heavy losses, both in terms of casualties and infrastructure. Some forward posts and bunkers of Pakistan have been decimated.

DG of BSF KK Sharma warned Pakistan against its aggression in Jammu and Kashmir and said as long as it doesn’t behave, attacks like that on BSF camp near Srinagar Airport will continue. Speaking to reporters after participating in the wreath-laying ceremony of a killed BSF officer, KK Sharma said “As long as our ‘friendly neighbour’ does not behave, I think we will expect to have many more attacks”, he said. Sharma said that the attackers were targeting arms and ammunition stored at the BSF camp. “Fidayeens cannot be stopped from coming, so the response is important. Without causing collateral damage and without causing much harm to our own forces, we were able to neutralise. BSF has done a good job,” he said.

While three JeM militants were killed by BSF at Humhama camp near the Srinagar Airport on October 3, Police said the dead infiltrators were part of a group of seasoned and trained jihadis who had crossed over sometime in August, and they are bracing for more attacks. A senior intelligence officer said around 16 armed JeM terrorists had infiltrated into the Indian side. While some spread out into Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian districts of south Kashmir, three to four terrorists are believed to be in Srinagar alone. IG-Kashmir range, Munir Ahmad Khan said the group of three terrorists, who carried out the Humhama Fidayeen attack, were from the same group that struck DPL Pulwama on August 26, in which eight security personnel and three militants were killed. "Four terrorists were killed in Uri on September 25. Six to seven of them are still at large and could carry another attack," IG Khan said, adding that SFs are on high alert. Sources said the terrorists had infiltrated from two places and four more jihadis are on their radar.

According to intelligence reports, October 3's attack was carried out by 'Afzal Guru Squad', which had started out of Pulwama district and sought shelter in residential buildings in Srinagar before attacking the BSF camp. Sources said the terrorists' initial target was the Srinagar airport but they changed their plan because of the strong security arrangement there. Plus, porous fencing on the BSF camp's rear side made it a relatively easy target. IG Khan, however, denied reports of damaged fencing and said the terrorists carried out the attack by cutting the barbed fence around the camp.

According to a senior Police officer, there are nearly 70 terrorists, mostly Pakistanis, operating in north Kashmir's Baramulla, Bandipora and Kupwara Districts. On September 28, four Pakistani LeT terrorists had barged into the home of BSF officer Mohammad Ramzan Parray at Bandipora's Hajin area and killed him, while injuring three of his family members. Police suspect these four terrorists might have sneaked into Srinagar city. "We suspect the terrorists may have come to Srinagar from north Kashmir. We're trying to track them down," said an intelligence officer.

October 5

Army thwarted major terror attack on an Army Unit location in Akhnoor town in Jammu District, as they detected movement of the militants well in time and recovered large quantity of explosives and other material including an IED, which the militants had planted near the Unit. Sources said during area sanitization process, SFs recovered large quantity of explosive material and other items from the spot which included one fully installed IED, two mines, Army combat dresses, identity cards, sharp-edged weapons, sensitive route and other maps and various incriminating stores, which clearly indicated that the militants were planning a terror attack on “sensitive and soft targets” in Akhnoor.

Immediately after recoveries were made, Army and Police launched massive search operations in Akhnoor town and surroundings including the routes leading to the border with Pakistan to track down the militants responsible for planting the IEDs near the Army Unit. Though searches continued, there were no reports of any arrests. SFs said that alert and vigilant troops of Army observed suspicious movement close to an Army Unit location near Akhnoor market in wee hours of October 5 morning and immediately activated the “response mechanism”, wherein entire area was cordoned off and massive search operation was conducted. SSP Jammu Vivek Gupta said that Police have initiated high mechanism of alert after the reports.

Reliable sources, however, said since movement of the suspects was observed close to the Army Unit, the possible target of the militants could be the same Unit but in view of high degree of alert being maintained by the troops, the attack was thwarted and militants failed in their nefarious designs.

Police foiled a rifle snatching bid by two to three unidentified persons in down town area of Srinagar city in Srinagar District. The youth tried to snatch the SLR of a constable Fayaz Ahmad of IRP 2nd Battalion outside Jamia Masjid Srinagar at around 4.45 pm. However, he resisted and foiled the attempt. The youth later fled from the spot. Soon after the incident, a joint team of SOG, Police and CRPF arrived at the spot and started searches to nab the youth who tried to snatch the rifle.

This is the second incident of its kind in less than 24-hours as some youth snatched a rifle from an IRP constable who was guarding Khankahi Moula shrine in down town on October 4 evening.

October 6

Militants shot dead at former militant, identified as Rafiq Ahmad bhat alias Dada in Tral town of Pulwama District. In the incident, Dada sustained serious bullet injury and was immediately shifted to nearby hospital where from he was shifted to Srinagar for specialised treatment. However, doctors at SMHS declared him brought dead.

A SPO, identified as Mohammad Altaf Khan and his 11-year-old son, Waqif Altaf were injured in a militant attack at Hanjin village of Kralgund in Handwara area of Kupwara District. According to Police, the militants barged into the house of Mohammad Altaf Khan and fired indiscriminately in which Altaf and his minor son Waqif Altaf were injured. Soon after the incident, a joint team of Police, SOG, Army and CRPF arrived on the spot and launched searches to nab the militants.

Authorities in Srinagar had imposed restrictions in Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safa Kadal, MR Gunj, Kralkhud, Maisuma and Rainawari Police Station areas of the city to foil protests which were called by separatists.

Pakistan has violated the CFA over 600 times so far this year (2017), the highest in the last one decade, a UMHA official said. “Pakistani troops have opened fire on Indian territories more than 600 times till September 30. Eight civilians and 16 security personnel were killed in the firing”, a UMHA official said. It is the highest number of ceasefire violations in nearly a decade, the official said.

There were nearly 450 ceasefire violations in 2016 in which 13 civilians and as many security personnel were killed. The truce between India and Pakistan along the IB, the LoC and the AGPL in Jammu and Kashmir had come into force in November 2003.

UHM Rajnath Singh ordered constitution of a high-level five-member Committee comprising officers from UMHA and J&K Government to study problems of border people on LoC and IB in the State to help Centre as well as State Governments take immediate steps to minimize their problems in the wake of heavy mortar shelling and firing by Pakistan. Sources said that a decision to constitute the high-level team was taken after Rajnath Singh, who had visited Nowshera sector of Rajouri District during his four-day J&K tour from September 9 to 12, listened to the plight of border migrants, who had shifted to Nowshera town in the wake of Pakistan shelling. Later, more people had to desert their homes from Arnia, Ramgarh and RS Pura sectors on the IB following shelling and firing, though they had returned after few days. Sources said the UMHA had asked the team to study problems faced by the people living on LoC and IB including their peace time as well as shelling time requirement and steps the Centre and State Governments can take for safety and security of the border dwellers, who become victims of shelling as they had to migrate repeatedly, which seriously affect their livelihood as well as studies of the children.

Two persons arrested for allegedly providing logistical and material support to terrorists infiltrating from Pakistan into Jammu and Kashmir for carrying out subversive activities were sent to judicial custody by a Delhi court for a month. District Judge Poonam A Bamba sent Zahoor Ahmed Peer and Nazir Ahmed Peer to jail after they were produced in the court by the NIA which submitted that they were not required for further custodial interrogation. Both the accused, residents of Wahama in Kupwara District, were arrested on September 19 by the NIA from Jammu in connection with a case registered in July 2016.

Police in Jammu and Kashmir had arrested a Pakistani national, Bahadur Ali, from Handwara in Kupwara District in July 2016 and allegedly seized a large quantity of incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, from him. The case was later handed over to the NIA. The two accused allegedly provided material and logistical support to Ali and his associates soon after their infiltration into Indian territory, the NIA said. Both the accused were local supporters of Ali and had visited Pakistan thrice and met terrorists from HM and LeT and were still in their contact, it was alleged.

October 7

A CRPF officer, identified as ASI Anwar Ali was injured as militants fired upon a CRPF party near Malpora in Mir Bazaar area in Kulgam District in the evening. Soon after the incident, a joint team of SFs launched hunt to nab the attackers. No militant outfit so far has claimed responsibility for the attack.

SFs launched a cordon-and-search operation at Bellow village of Pulwama District during which violent clashes erupted while a local house was damaged after catching fire. A joint team of Police, Army and CRPF laid a cordon-and-search at Bellow village following inputs about the presence of some militants. Soon after the cordon, locals took to streets and pelted stones on SFs. SFs also fired tear smoke shells to disperse them. Meanwhile, house belonging to one Ghulam Ahmad Dar caught fire during the clashes.

SSP Pulwama Mohd Aslam Choudhary said the search operation was launched following inputs about the presence of some militants. After hours of clashes, SFs called off the search operation as no militant was found in the area.

The demonetisation has resulted in a sharp reduction in insurgent and terror activities in J&K where stone throwers were no longer active in the last 8-10 months, said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. The Finance Minister said following the demonetisation, there has been sharp reduction in insurgent and terror activities in States like J&K and Chhattisgarh. The terror funding itself has gotten squeezed, Jaitley said. “You are having terrorist incidents (now), but the fact that you were finding 5,000-10,000 stone throwers being provided with money by the terrorist organisations, why is it that in the last 8-10 months it has not happened?”, he asked.

October 8

Report said that the shutdown was observed by traders in old town of Anantnag District for the second consecutive day amid violent clashes against alleged Police excesses. All the markets of old town of Anantnag were shut on the call of United Traders Association, an amalgam of local traders, against what they alleged Police highhandedness. They alleged that several shopkeepers were detained by Police on October 6 during stone-pelting clashes while a senior Police officer posted at Saddar police station also abused them. The traders said that they will not end their protest till the officer is transferred from the area. During the shutdown on October 8, clashes between local youth and SFs erupted in parts of Anantnag town during which Police used teargas canisters. Police have denied all the allegations of traders.

After a lull of couple of days, Pakistan in the night again violated CFA at Khari Karmara and Digwar areas of Poonch sector in Poonch District. However, there were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage on the Indian side. Official reports said Pakistan army fired few mortars and resorted to firing on forward Indian posts and villages at Khari Karmara and Digwar areas of Poonch sector at about 11 pm. The Indian side retaliated.

J&K Police arrested another militant involved in the terror attack on the SSB camp in Banihal Tehsil of Ramban District on September 20, taking the total number of arrests to four, a senior Police officer said. "Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Verinag in south Kashmir, was arrested in connection with the 20 September attack on the SSB personnel which left a head constable dead and another injured," said SSP, Ramban, Mohan Lal.

Earlier, Gazanfar Iqbal Khan and Mohammad Arif Wani, both residents of Banihal, were arrested on September 22 in connection with the attack and two service rifles, including an AK assault rifle and an INSAS rifle, snatched during the attack, were recovered from them. A third terrorist involved in the attack, Aquib Wahid of Banihal, was arrested on September 25 and a pistol along with some ammunition was recovered from him.

"The questioning of the trio led to the arrest of Ahmad who provided the weapon to them," Lal said. "Some more arrests are expected in the coming days as their interrogation is still going on," he said. He said HM had recruited the Banihal youth to set up a base in the otherwise peaceful Chenab Valley.

A Junior Commissioned Officer of the Army, identified as Subedar Rajkumar was killed after he suffered a bullet injury in Drang village of Khag Tehsil of Budgam District. Defence spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that Subedar Rajkumar received a bullet injury when the Army patrolling party came under fire on October 8th night in general area of Drang. The fire was returned. However, one Army man was killed in cross-fire.

UHM Rajnath Singh said that Indian soldiers along the India-Pakistan border had been neutralising at least five-six terrorists every day and that he has asked them to give a fitting reply if Pakistan opened fire. Singh said that he had ordered Indian soldiers not to fire at their Pakistani counterparts first, but give them a fitting reply by “firing countless bullets” if Pakistan opened fire.

October 9

Three militants of HM including ‘district commander’ Zahid Malik alias Zahid Mir were killed a fierce encounter in Shopian District. The other two militants were identified as Irfan Abdullah Ganie and Asif Ahmad Paul. A joint team of 43 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search at Gatipora village in Kellar at around 4 pm. During the searches, the hiding militants opened fire triggering an encounter. Three militants were killed in the gunfight and all the bodies along with three AK rifles were recovered from the site.

An Army soldier, identified as Vijay Kumar was injured in a mine blast on the LoC in Mendhar sector of Poonch District. The Army personnel evacuated him from the site of blast in an injured condition and rushed him to the hospital. He had sustained splinter injuries in the mine explosion, reports said. The Army jawan was part of the patrol party along LoC in Mendhar sector when he stepped over the mine, leading to a powerful blast in which he was injured.

A five-year-old boy, identified as Sipti Hyder was injured in a stone pelting incident in Pulwama District. A Police spokesperson said that the boy was injured in stone pelting by miscreants at Pahoo bridge in Pulwama, He said the injured was immediately taken to a hospital.

The ‘Chief operational commander’ of JeM, Khalid Ahmad alias Khalid Bhai alias Shahid Showkat, was killed in a gun battle in Ladoora village of Sopore area of Baramulla District. Acting on a specific input regarding the movement of JeM ‘chief operational commander’ in Ladoora area of Sopore, Police laid an ambush at Woveri Mohalla Ladoora. Khalid fired upon the naka party which was retaliated, ensuing an encounter. He was injured but managed to escape from the spot and entered into a residential house. The SFs immediately cordoned off the house and in the meanwhile CRPF and Army also joined the operation. During search, the JeM commander fired again upon the search party. The fire was retaliated and in the ensuing encounter, he was killed.

Khalid Ahmad, who is a Pakistani national, was the mastermind behind the fidayeen (suicide) attacks in Jammu and Kashmir including recent attack on BSF near Srinagar Airport (October 3, 2017) and District Police Lines Pulwama (August 26, 2017) and on 46 RR Army Camp in 2016 at Khajabagh, Baramulla (October 2, 2016). A Police spokesman said that, “Khalid alias Shahid Showkat was constantly exploring the opportunities to kill the security forces/ police personnel and to attack police/ security establishments in the State. He was motivating youth and poor boys to join his outfit for execution of grenade attacks against monetary benefits on behalf of Pak based JeM commanders.” The spokesman said that he was involved in a number of civilian killing cases and many fidayeen attacks in Kashmir valley. “The terrorist was involved in the recent attack on one SPO namely Altaf Ahmad Khan at Hajin Handwara in which the SPO along with his son and father got seriously injured”, he said.

October 10

Suspected militants fired at a convoy of 132 Battalion of CRPF at Sanatnagar Bypass in Srinagar. The CRPF men fired back. However, militants managed to escape without causing any damage. SFs launched searches in the area against the militants who attacked the CRPF.

Army foiled a major infiltration bid of militants along the LoC in Keran sector of Kupwara District. A Defence spokesman said that Army deployed in forward posts in Keran noticed movement of a group of militants who were trying to infiltrate. The troops challenged them leading to a gun battle. However, during the search of the area, no militant or body was found. “An infiltration bid was foiled by the Army in Keran sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district last night,” the spokesman said. The spokesman said during the searches this morning, soldiers recovered two AK rifles, four magazines, 60 rounds, one pistol and other war-like stores. Sources said that 5-6 militants tried to sneak in but fled back under the cover of darkness when troops challenged them. Massive searches have been launched in the area to ensure that no militant managed to sneak in. Army said that over 150 militants are waiting on the launch pads for infiltration ahead of winter but troops are on high alert to foil their attempt.

Army arrested a Pakistani national, identified as Mohammad Hanif Bhat from the LoC in Shahpur sector of Poonch District. Mohammad Hanif Bhat, a resident of Mujhat Raiya in Narowal District of Pakistan, was about 50 years old and was held near the fencing. However, no recoveries were made from him. He was being questioned as to how he reached close to the LoC.

October 11

Two Army personnel and two LeT militants were killed while three SFs personnel were injured in an encounter between SFs and militants at Hajin area of Bandipora District. The slain LeT militants were identified as Ali Bhai and Nasrullah. "Terrorists opened fire on a joint party of 13 RR of Army and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police laying siege to Rakh (Paribal) area of Hajin today morning following inputs about the presence of about eight terrorists in the area," Defence spokesperson based in Srinagar said. "As the forces were closing in, the hiding terrorists fired upon them around 5 am, resulting in injuries to jawans. Two Garud personnel were martyred in the action. They were operating with the Army for operational experience and training," he said, adding, "Two terrorists were also gunned down and their weapons recovered."

Police arrested two Police personnel and an OGW who supplied ammunition to HM militants in Shopian District. Police said that a naka party of Police arrested Adil Ahmad Negroo near Circuit House Shopian in suspicious conditions and recovered 20 live rounds of AK-47 from his possession on October 9. “He is a strong OGW of active militant Waseem Wagay alias Saifullah and Ishfaq Thoker alias Abrar of HM outfit,” Police said. “On questioning, the said person revealed that he and his friend namely Mudasir Ahmad Mir of Okay Kulgam had received 40 rounds of AK-47 from one constable Shabir Ahmad Malik of Amshipora Shopian and posted in District Ganderbal”. Police said that Constable Shabir Ahmad Malik was arrested. “He further revealed that he had received the said 40 rounds from Constable Nazir Ahmad Najar of Kulgam who is currently posted in Kot DPL Shopian,” Police said. Shopian SP Shriram Ambark Dinkr said that both the policemen have been arrested and further investigation is on.

October 12

A soldier and a civilian porter were killed as the Pakistani army opened fire on Indian positions on the LoC in Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch District. Sources said five soldiers were also injured in the ceasefire violation. The Defence PRO said the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked firing with small arms and automatics and the Indian Army retaliated strongly. The firing stopped in the afternoon. The slain soldier has been identified as Sepoy TK Reddy (21) from Obulapuram village of Andhra Pradesh. The porter has been identified as Mohammed Zahir (22), a resident of Kalali village in Rajouri District of Jammu and Kashmir.

Two girls suffered injuries after militants lobbed a grenade towards Rani Beauty Parlour near Shaheed Park in Pulwama District. Confirming the incident, Pulwama SSP, Mohammad Aslam Choudhary said the grenade was aimed at the parlour and two girls working there were injured. The SSP said the parlour was also damaged. He said some youth later assembled at Shaheed Park and threw stones on SFs, forcing the Police to fire tear smoke shells. Reportedly, posters of militant outfits had surfaced in and around the beauty parlour, asking it to shut down or face dire consequences.

Militants had robbed a J&K Bank branch at Marhama in Sangam area of Anantnag District.

October 13

In second incident of its kind within 24 hours, militants raided another bank and decamped with nearly INR 2 lakh in Shopian District. Police sources said that three masked militants at about 11.20 am barged into Ratnipora branch of Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Shopian and decamped with a cash amount of INR 1,93,000. Sources said that the militants also beat up peon of the bank and managed to escape before arrival of the SFs. A Police official said that the militants involved in the robbery have been identified as Mohammad Abbas Bhat, Ishfaq Thoker and Zubair Turray. He said the trio is associated with HM and have been identified on the basis of “human and technical intelligence”.

A JeM militant, Gulzar Ahmad Dar, who targeted Public Works Minister, Naeem Akhtar, in Tral on September 21 killing three civilians and injuring 30 others, was arrested by SFs from Naristan village in Tral in Pulwama District. One Chinese pistol was recovered from his possession.

Police said that Dar joined JeM after hurling a grenade upon motorcade of R&B Minister at Bus Stand Tral in which 3 civilians were killed and 30 persons including 7 CRPF and 2 Police personnel were injured. Police said that during sustained questioning, Dar admitted that he had hurled grenade on the instructions of JeM ‘commander’ Mufti Vikas, resident of Pakistan and Noor Mohammad Tantray, resident of Darganie Gund, Tral in Pulwama District. “Pertinent to mention here that the said terrorist was earlier active with JeM outfit in 2014 and he has lobbed a grenade at bus stand Tral in which five persons lost their lives on 5th of December 2014. A case FIR number 121/2014 under Section 307/RPC, 2/5 explosive substance already stands registered in Police Station Tral. He was arrested and released after 2 years in January 2017”, Police said. During questioning, Dar admitted that his four associates, all foreign militants, are hiding in a hideout in Pastuna forest Tral area of Pulwama District. SFs immediately launched a search operation in the forest area. During searches, militants hiding in the hideout fired upon the search party. The fire was retaliated but taking advantage of the dense forest, they managed to escape from the hideout.

Clashes erupted during cordon and search operation launched by the SFs in Vijpara locality of Hajin in Bandipora District. The residents pelted stones on the SFs during the operation. SFs fired dozens of tear smoke shells and pellets, triggering clashes.

October 14

Two LeT militants, including its ‘district commander’, Waseem Ahmad Shah alias Abu Usama Bhai and his associate Nisar Ahmad Mir were killed in an encounter, while a civilian was killed in the clashes that followed in Litter village in Pulwama District. According to sources, SFs cordoned off Litter village in after inputs about the presence of militants in the village. The militants were hiding in the house of former militant Pintu Malik and when the SFs encircled the house, the holed up militants opened fire on the SFs resulting in an encounter lasted for over an hour in which two militants were killed.

One civilian, identified as Gulzar Ahmad Mir was also killed and four others were injured as clashes broke out between protesters and SFds in Litter area of Pulwama District after killing of two LeT militants. SFs used teargas, pellets and fired some gun shots in which one civilian was killed and four others were injured. The slain was hit by a bullet and succumbed in hospital. However, a Police spokesman said that the civilian was hit during cross firing.

Large number of people attended the funeral of both the militants in their respective villages. Major parts of Pulwama and Shopian Districts observed shutdown. The authorities also downgraded mobile Internet services to 2G in both the Districts. Police said that the day passed off peacefully.

A Police constable, identified as Khurshid Ahmad Tak was killed after militants opened indiscriminate fire on Police vehicles at DH Pora area of Kulgam District. A Police spokesman said that a Police team on duty for medical  camp, comprising the AST team and a bunker vehicle while returning from duty was fired upon by the hiding militants at Nandinarg crossing in DH Pora area of Kulgam District. “The police party retaliated and due to brave retaliatory action, Police foiled the attempt of weapon snatching conspired by the militants,” he said. The spokesman said that during attack, driver of the AST vehicle Khurshid Ahmad Tak got injured in the firing of the militants. “Despite being injured, he displayed conspicuous act of courage by successfully taking the vehicle out of arch of fire and saved life of others. He attained martyrdom in the process,” he said.

The spokesman denied that the attack was on cavalcade of MLA Noorabad. “The news item regarding the attack on the Honorable legislator Noorabad is incorrect and is denied,” he said, adding that perpetrators behind this attack have been identified as Gulzar Paddar group and Umar Majid Ganie group of HM. “In this connection investigation was also set into motion,” he said.

For third consecutive day, Pakistan Army violated CFA along the LoC in Poonch District targeting civilians in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil in which three children, all from a family, were injured after a mortar shell exploded inside their house. “Several civilian areas were heavily shelled by Pakistan from 6.30 pm till late tonight. Indian side retaliated effectively to silence the Pakistani guns,” sources said. Sources said Pakistani troops started firing mortars and bullets with automatic and semi-automatic weapons directly targeting civilian areas including Balakote, Balakote Forward, Tarkundi, Langiot, Kanga, Sandiot, Khanetar, Dhar Galoon and surroundings in Balakote sector of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district at 6.30 pm. Three children of the Police constable, who were injured in mortar explosion, have been identified as Tahira Naseeb (16), Tariq Naseeb (14) and Rafiq Naseeb (8). Sources said condition of Tahira was serious.

SFs busted a militant module with the arrest of three militants - two from the LeT and one from the HM - from Kulgam area of Kulgam District. IGP Muneer Khan said that “On October 14, two terrorists with the intention to snatch weapons of personal security guards of a protected person fired few rounds at Kund in Qazigund area. But they had to beat a retreat due to hue and cry raised by locals.” He said on receipt of this information, a joint party of the Police, Army and the CRPF established a check point and nabbed the two militants, who were riding on a motor cycle. “They were identified as Khursheed Ahmad Dar and Haziq Rather. One pistol, some ammunition and a live grenade were recovered from their possession. They belong to LeT,” he added.

IGP Muneer Khan said an OGW of militants, Rameez Yatoo, who works in a medical agency in Kulgam, was arrested. “Arms and ammunition were recovered from his home. He had helped the militants in carrying out the attack on the Police vehicle at Damhal Hanjipura on Saturday (October 14) in which one cop had lost his life,” the IGP said adding the attack was carried out by militants of HM.

The IGP added that the number of militants in Kashmir has come down due to continued successful operations. “As far as the number is concerned, again the number of militants has certainly decreased after continuous successful operations. The militants who are in field we will face them and what is the strategy for them we will formulate that but our main concern is recruitment. We want that there should be no further recruitment. And I have been telling you this thing that previously also and I reiterated today that we target the leadership of militants and one of the reasons for that is these leaders are more involved in recruitments for their cadres and that is our concern”, he said. Khan said the offer of surrender to local militants still holds good and there has been excellent response to their offer. “There has been excellent and tremendous response to our appeal which we made last time. As far as coming and surrendering before us is concerned, it is not important and necessary and mandatory that we disclose every surrender. We have to keep certain things up our sleeves and disclose the things at appropriate time because we have to see and care for security of surrender (militant) as well”, he said.

October 15

Pakistani army, in another violation of CFA, resorted to indiscriminate unprovoked firing targeting forward Indian posts and civilian areas on LoC in Keran sector in Kupwara District. Indian troops also retaliated, sources said. A SF trooper was reportedly injured in the Pakistani firing, they said, adding that the casualties suffered by Pakistani troops was not immediately clear.

SFs launched a massive search operation the woods to foil any infiltration attempt from PoK under the cover of Pakistani troops firing.

October 16

A PDP worker and former Sarpanch, identified as Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh was killed by HM militants in his house at Huomhuna village in Imam Sahib area of Shopian District while one of the militant was killed by the sons of PDP worker in the scuffle. Sources said that at least three HM militants barged into the house of Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh in the night. As the militants called out PDP worker, his sons accompanied him but militants shot Sheikh wounding him critically. Sons of the PDP worker snatched rifle from one of the militants in scuffle and fired from it killing a militant of HM, identified as Shoukat Ahmad Kumar of Trenz Shopian. Sheikh was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Senior Police and Army officials reached the spot and massive searches have been launched against the other two militants, who managed to escape from the scene.

Stating that Pakistan was encouraging cross border terrorism against neighbours as a State policy, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu urged the world community to isolate States that sponsored terrorism. ”Our neighbour has made a state policy to aid, fund and train terrorists,” Naidu said in his address at the  33rd raising day of the NSG at the Manesar Garrison in Gurgaon in Haryana. Naidu said it was high time that the international community put up a joint front against the menace. He stressed on the fact that terrorism knows no religion or boundaries and nobody should be allowed to get away with acts of violence in the name of ideology. The Vice-President emphasised on the importance of information and its confirmation over other aspects such as arms and ammunition in anti-terror related operations, as intelligence forms the basis of how the counter action has to be executed. 

October 17

The house of PDP worker and former Sarpanch, Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh, who was killed on October 16 by HM militants, was set ablaze by a mob in Shopian District. Around 200 youth from Trenz village of Shopian District after completing last rites of Showkat Falahi, a HM militant, killed on October 16 in a scuffle after militants killed Ramzan, marched to Homun village of Nagbal in Shopian and set the house of the PDP worker on fire. The youth first sprinkled petrol on the house of the slain PDP worker and then set it on fire. The house and two cow sheds were gutted in the blaze and Police immediately reached the spot. The family of Ramzan had fled away in the morning after completing his last rites.

SFs cordoned off Parray Mohalla of Hajin area of Bandipora District. However, the operation was called off after youth pelted stones on SFs personnel during the operation. The operation was launched in the wee hours in Parray Mohalla Hajin area in wee hours after receiving inputs of the presence of militants in the area. As the SFs personnel were laying siege around the area, youth threw stones at the SFs and they fired teargas to disperse them triggering clashes.  The operation was later called off.

The GOC Victor Force Major General B S Raju said on the sidelines of a function in Anantnag District that SFs are tacking decisive action against the militants so that peace returns to the area. “Our main aim is to take decisive action against the militancy so that common masses and students don’t face any hurdle in their routine work. If we go with the speed with which we were going then hopefully peace will return soon in this area”, he said.

A court in New Delhi extended till November 14 the judicial custody of seven Kashmiri separatists arrested on various charges, including receiving funds from Pakistan to sponsor terror activities and stone-pelting in Jammu and Kashmir. During the in-camera proceedings, District Judge Poonam Bamba extended the judicial custody of Aftab Hilali Shah alias Shahid-ul-Islam, Ayaz Akbar Khandey, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Nayeem Khan, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Raja Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Bashir Ahmad Bhat alias Peer Saifullah.

On July 24, the NIA had arrested the seven on charges of criminal conspiracy and waging war against India. Altaf Ahmad Shah is the son-in-law of hardline APHC leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Islam is a close aide of moderate APHC leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Khandey is the spokesperson for the Geelani-led APHC.

October 18

Seven civilians were injured as Pakistani Army violated the CFA by firing unprovoked along the LoC in Rajouri District. Some vehicles were also damaged as the shells landed in the forward villages close to the LoC.  “Pakistan Army on Wednesday [October 18] morning at around 0745 hours initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from in Bhimber Gali sector along the Line of Control (LoC),” defence spokesman said. He said that the firing was still on last reports came in adding that,” Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively to the provocation”.

A teacher, identified as Aijaz Ahmad Lone was found dead with slit throat in Wathoo village of Shopian District. Aijaz Ahmad Lone was found dead under mysterious conditions near Lar Maadan Stadium in Wathoo area in the morning. He was a resident of Gatipora village of the District. Sources said that last evening (October 17) he got a phone call from the militants as he was also working as OGW with HM for last few years. He was severely beaten up by the militants and then his throat was slit.

It may be mentioned here that three militants of HM including ‘district commander’ Zahid Malik who were killed in a fierce encounter in Shopian District of South Kashmir on October 9 were hiding in his house. As SFs launched a cordon-and-search at village Gatipora in Kellar area of Shopian on October 9, the militants hiding in the house of Aijaz fled and took shelter adjacent house belonging to his father. All the three militants were later killed by SFs and his father’s house was damaged in the encounter.

Militants shot dead a SPO, identified as Haleem Gujjar at Gutro in Tral area in Pulwama District. He was fired upon by militants inside his house. He was critically injured and shifted to nearby hospital where doctors declared him as brought dead. The SPO was posted at Aripal Tral with SOG and had gone home. Sources said that two militants barged into his house and entered his room and fired at him indiscriminately. They left him in a pool of blood and fled from the spot.

Special Director General of CRPF, S N Srivastava, said that SFs have achieved major successes this year against the militants. “See, the CRPF has made sound arrangements for carrying forward operations and we have formed strategy plan on how to fight militancy and for the safety of our jawans. We are working accordingly (as per plan) and we are happy that we have been successful in our plan to a large extent and we have achieved lot of successes in our operations”, he said.

A day ahead of Diwali festival, Pakistan army created a war-like situation in three sectors of Balakote, Mendhar and Manjakote in twin border Districts of Poonch and Rajouri, directly targeting the civilian population with heavy mortars and automatic weapons, injuring eight civilians including a two year old infant. Three vehicles parked by the people inside their houses were extensively damaged after being hit by mortars. An electric transformer was among the infrastructure that suffered damages in Pakistan shelling that started around 7 am and continued for nearly three hours, sources said. Indian Army retaliated Pakistan’s shelling and firing very effectively at all the places in three Sectors along LoC causing heavy damages on Pakistan side. A number of forward Pakistani posts and bunkers were reported to have been destroyed in retaliatory shelling by the Indian side. Pakistani troops were also reported to have suffered casualties, both fatal and non-fatal in massive counter offensive launched by the Indian troops.

Sources said Pakistan army started targeting civilian areas, located near the LoC, in Balakote and Mendhar sectors of Poonch District at 7 am with 82mm mortars and heavy fire arms. Simultaneously, they violated ceasefire in Manjakote sector of Rajouri District, bordering Balakote sector of Poonch, at 7.30 am, leading to panic among the border dwellers. Intense mortar shelling was reported in Langiot, Balakote, Balakote Forward, Basooni, Darati, Suhala, Panjani, Goi, Gulad Top, Sandiot, Tarkundi and Kanga in Balakote and Mendhar sectors while Mangal Narh and Khori Narh villages were worst hit by shelling in Manjakote sector for almost three hours. Five civilians were injured in Balakote and Mendhar sectors and three in Manjakote sector after mortar shells fell inside their houses.

October 20

Militants lobbed a grenade at the residence of a MLA of the ruling PDP, Aijaz Mir in Zainapora village in Shopian District. The grenade landed in the premises near the security picket, outside the house, and exploded. However, there was no report of any damage to life or the property. The Policemen deployed for security duty fired several rounds in the air following the blast that created panic in the village. Soon after the incident, SFs rushed to the spot and conducted searches. A Police officer said that no damage was caused due to the mysterious blast. “It was a mysterious blast. We are ascertaining what happened actually. No damage has been reported. But security men posted there have fired several round in air,” he said.

October 21

A group of militants in the evening barged into the house of a PDP worker, Mohammad Ashraf Peer at Dadsar Tral in Pulwama District and ransacked his house. They also threatened Peer of dire consequences for his association with the PDP. They also fired in air after they came out of the house.

RR and 183 CRPF and SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police cordoned off Monghama village in Pulwama District after reports about presence of two HM militants hiding inside the village. Sources said that two HM militants Zahoor Ahmad and Mohammad Zahid were hiding in the village when troops cordoned it off. Both of them are locals and Zahoor was with Territorial Army and early this year he fled from an Army camp along with a weapon to join militancy. However, as the cordon of the village was laid at around 1.30 p.m residents pelted stones on the SFs, who, in return, fired teargas to disperse them and the ding dong battles continued for four hours. The operation was later called off at around 5.30 p.m.

An Army porter was killed and a teenage girl and a woman were injured as Pakistani troops violated CFA along the LoC in Kamalkote sector of Baramulla District. An Army official said that Pakistani troops deployed opposite to Shanker Post in Kamalkote sector of Uri in Baramulla District resorted to unprovoked firing on the post held by 12 Dogra Regiment of the Army at around 1130 hours on October 21. An Army porter identified as Mohammad Abbas, 18 year old Nasreena Bano and 40 year old Asifa Begam of Mariya in Kamalkote were injured in the Pakistani firing. The injured were shifted to Uri Hospital for treatment and Mohammad Abbas succumbed to injuries while condition of the two other injured is stated to be out of danger. Indian Army personnel gave befitting reply to the CFA violation of the Pakistani troops in Kamalkote sector and the firing between the troops of two sides continued till 1400 hours.

The Army officials said that Pakistani troops are desperate as they have failed to infiltrate militants into Kashmir due to tight vigil along the LoC. They said that the militants are desperate for infiltration ahead of winter. He said that the CFA violation was aimed at giving cover to the militants for infiltration.

October 22

A woman was killed and another one injured as militants fired on them at Seer village of Tral in Pulwama District. Militants barged inside a house in Seer Jagir in Tral and fired at the women present there. Among them, 18-year old girl, identified as Yasmeena was killed and another one identified as Rubeena was injured. She was shifted to SDH Tral where from she was referred to SMHS hospital for further treatment. SFs immediately reached the spot and massive searches were launched against the assailants.

Militants shot dead a street vendor, identified as Shakir Ahmad, resident of Uttar Pradesh in Arwani area of Anantnag District.

One militant was killed in an encounter with SFs in Handwara area of Kupwara District. Acting on a specific information regarding presence of three militants including top LeT ‘commander’ Abu Maaz in Hajin area of Kralgund in Handwara, Army’s 9 Para and SOG Handwara launched a cordon-and-search operation at around 5 am. The militants hiding in the area opened fire on the troops, triggering an encounter. A Pakistani militant was killed and his identity is being ascertained. The two other militants including Abu Maaz managed to escape but SFs have launched a massive operation against the two militants. However, no contact was established with them so far, report said.

A CRPF officer, identified as Ali Mohammad was injured after militants lobbed a grenade on the house of a NC leader and former legislator Mohammad Ashraf Bhat. The security guards also retaliated by firing but militants managed to escape. SFs have launched a hunt to nab the assailants.

SFs cordoned off Kota Sernard forest area of Bandipora District and conducted searches as they had reports about presence of some militants in the area. Army’s 14 RR and SOG cordoned off the forest area after reports about presence of a group of two to three militants hiding inside the forests. Troops fired some warning shots. However, there was no response from militants.

Pakistan violated CFA in Kamalkote sector of Uri in Baramulla District for second consecutive day. Pakistani troops fired on Army posts in the sector in the morning. The Pakistani troops started firing at 10.50 am and continued till 11.20 am. The Army gave befitting reply to Pakistani ceasefire violations. However, there was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the firing.

October 22

Militants barged into the house of PDP Zonal president Farooq Ahmed’s house at Ashmji Kulgam in Kulgam District and vandalised the household items besides window panes in the night. Sources said Farooq somehow managed to flee from the house and militants before leaving the spot also fired three shots in air.

Soon after harassing the family of Farooq Ahmad, militants barged into the house of Sheeraz Ahmad, PDP Youth President Kulgam District, at Ashmuji Kulgam in Kulgam District. Militants vandalised his house too and Sheeraz jumped from window of the house to save his life.

October 23

A man, identified as Muhammad Maqbool Bhat alias Magge Khan was shot and injured by militants in Kellar area of Shopian District in the evening. Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, resident of Battmurran village of Kellar area of Shopian District was fired upon by militants near his house. He sustained bullet wounds in his leg and was rushed to nearby hospital where his condition is stated to be out of danger. Soon after the incident, SFs rushed to the spot and launched manhunt against the attackers.

Police said that they arrested two persons of border town of Teetwal in Srinagar and recovered ammunition from them. “At about 1800 hours, police while Naka Checking on NHW near N.R Colony Bemina, under Batamaloo police station apprehended two persons namely Shakoor Ahmad Ksokhar son of Sanyee Khee and Tanveer Ahmad Raja son of Abdul Rashid Raja, residents of Teetwal Karnah Kupwara and recovered 400 live rounds of AK-47 from their possession”, a Police spokesman said.

IG of CRPF, Ravedeep Sahi, said that attack on the families of the political workers and police men is frustration on part of militants after successful security operations against them. Sahi said that militants are targeting these unsecured people in frustration.  “The successes which security forces have achieved in recent past in our joint operations has led to control on militancy to a large extent but with this, there is also frustration among militants and that is why they attack unsecured people who are without security”, he said.

The IG CRPF said that the successes achieved by the security forces in these months is due to high level of coordination between Police, CRPF and Army. “Whatever is happening is their frustration, otherwise the operations of forces that have taken place in last few months have been well and we have achieved lot of success and number of militant commanders have been eliminated. There has been good coordination with JKP and RR and that is why we have achieved so much success”, he said. Sahi said that security forces will carry out area domination in the areas where militants are targeting the families of the political workers and police men. “One is personal security and apart from is area domination in general area like our patrolling, foot patrolling which is done by CRPF, police and Army and this is what would be our objective and we will carry out effective area domination in the areas where political activists reside”, he said.

IG CRPF Sahi said that there has been reduction in the stone pelting incidents since September. “We have seen in September there was reduction in stone-pelting but in October we have witnessed increase. But the reason has been mostly braid chopping and not encounters, if we particularly talk about central Kashmir. There has been more stone-pelting in Srinagar but it has nothing to do with operations. In operations, we have seen some reduction but has not ended”, he said. Sahi said that the security forces are ready for any challenge including from Fidayeen. “Our security forces are ready for every challenge and we have inputs about fidayeen attacks. We have adopted our strategy and we will work accordingly”, he said.

India and Pakistani troops continued to exchange fire along the LoC in Kamalkote area of Uri sector in Baramulla District for third consecutive day forcing closure of schools. “Intermittent exchange of firing took place between our soldiers and Pakistani troops along the LoC in the Uri sector (in the Kamalkote area) till 6.00 am today,” an official said.

October 24

Pakistani troops violated CFA along the LoC in Nowgam sector in Kupwara District. It is for the fourth consecutive day that Pakistan has violated the truce agreement along the LoC in the Kashmir valley. “Pakistan started unprovoked firing in Nowgam sector along the LoC at 9.30 am today,” an Army official said. He said Indian troops retaliated strongly to the Pakistani action and intermittent exchange of fire was going on till afternoon. He said no casualties have been reported in the ceasefire violation on the Indian side.

A militant of HM, identified as Arizoo Bashir Najar was arrested in Tral area of Pulwama District. A joint team of SOG of Police and CRPF, following a tip off, raided the area and arrested the militant. Arizoo Bashir Najar, a resident of Mandoora Tral, had gone missing on September 20 and later his pictures with AK-47 rifle surfaced on sections of social media. Arizoo was earlier arrested in January this year and remained behind bars for almost five months before released on bail.

A day after UHM Rajnath Singh announced dialogue on J&K and designated retired IB Director Dineshwar Sharma as the Special Representative for talks, the NIA arrested Syed Shahid Yousuf, son of HM ‘chief’ Syed Salahuddin, in connection with a 2011 terror funding case for allegedly receiving money from his father. Syed Salahuddin, a resident of  Budgam District in Kashmir is operating HM outfit from PoK and fanning militancy in Jammu and Kashmir by sending armed terrorists to the State, apart from hawala money to fuel unrest in the Valley.

While announcing the talks and appointing Dineshwar Sharma as the Interlocutor, the Centre Government had made it clear that there would be no let-up in NIA raids against separatists and others, who were receiving hawala money to boost terrorism and unrest in the Kashmir valley. The Centre has also stated that ‘Operation All Out’ against the terrorists would go on uninterrupted. Sources said that 42-year-old Shahid, at present working as Village Agriculture Extension Assistant in the Agricultural Department of the Jammu and Kashmir Government, posted at village Soibugh, Budgam, was summoned to the NIA’s headquarters in New Delhi on October 24th  morning and was arrested after questioning. He will be produced before a designated NIA court on October 25 for taking Police remand during which he will be subjected to questioning for his links with Aijaz Ahmad Bhat alias Aijaz Maqbool Bhat, a HM member, originally resident of Solina Payeen, Srinagar, now residing in Saudi Arabia, who was reported to have sent funds for terror financing in Kashmir.

Sources said Shahid used to receive funds through a US-based international wire transfer company from Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, who is also an accused in the case but was absconding and putting up in Saudi Arabia. Shahid was “one of several Indian contacts of Bhat” who had been in telephonic contact with him for receiving money transfer codes,” sources said. The NIA claimed so far he had received a total of nearly INR 4.5 lakh through eight international wire transfers The case, registered by the NIA in April 2011, relates to the transfer of money from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir through hawala channels via Delhi, which the agency believed was used in funding terrorism and secessionist activities.

October 25

A  Policeman, Asher Hussain, was shot at and injured by militants in Shopian District in the evening. Militants fired upon Asher Hussain, Personal Security Officer of National Conference leader Shabir Kullay, when he (Asher Hussain) was at petrol pump to refill his vehicle.

SFs conducted series of search operations in Shopian, Pulwama and Anantnag Districts. The searches were extensively conducted in at least 20 villages of Shopian District. The villages that were cordoned off include Sugan, Heff, Shirmaal, Nagbal, Barbugh, Chitragaam, Turkawangam, Maldeera, Kashew, Kadgam and Nullayposhwari. The SFs conducted searches for residential house and orchards. This time, unlike past, there was no stone-pelting from local residents on SF personnel involved in the search operation as the siege was strict, sources said. “As you know militants targeted several civilians, political workers and Government servants in South Kashmir since past week and there are reports with Army about huge presence of militants in this area. So, CRPF, police and Army launched a search operation in around 20 villages,” said Brigadier Harbeer Singh of 12 Sector Rashtriya Rifles.

After conducting searches for nearly 10 hours, the operation was called off at 2 pm in the afternoon as no contact was established with the militants. The SFs also launched cordon and search operations in Chandgam village of neighbouring Pulwama District. The operation was conducted after SFs received inputs about the presence of two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) militants. However, as the searches were underway, the local residents took to streets and pelted stones on SFs. Police fired teargas and used pellet shots guns to disperse the protesters. The operation was called off in the evening without any contact with militants.

In Bellow village of Pulwama District, Army had to open aerial gunshots after some youths pelted on soldiers. There were minor clashes in the village but later situation normalized. The SFs also launched a cordon and search operation in Lisser village of Kokernag in Anantnag District as it suspected presence of some militants. However, no militant was found in the village and the operation was called off.

The DIG, (South Kashmir Range), S.P. Pani said that they have got many leads about recent “sensational” incidents that occurred in the Tral area of Pulwama District. The DIG told reporters that with the arrest of HM militant Arizoo Bashir on October 24 in a joint operation, there has been various revelations. “We have come to know lots of things with this arrest and most importantly, we have come to know about the involvement (of persons) in recent two-three sensational incidents in Tral. We also have come to know about Arizoo’s involvement (in many cases) and the investigation is on…we have got some leads with this arrest and all the cases have been detected,” he added.

The NIA claimed that Syed Shahid Yousuf, son of HM chief Syed Salahuddin, had admitted he received funds for subversive activities in the Kashmir valley. Yousuf, who was sent to seven days of custody to the agency for further questioning, had also given the names of overseas HM members involved in fund-raising for the terror outfit, an unnamed NIA spokesman said. The NIA claimed during questioning he “admitted to having received funds from cadres of the Hizbul Mujahideen on the direction of his father, Mohammed Yusuf Shah alias Syed Salahuddin, for fomenting terrorist activities in the Valley”. The NIA said he also “revealed the names of his associates abroad who were linked with the Mujahideen and involved in raising, collecting and transferring funds from other countries to India”. This was being verified and investigated, the NIA said. As reported earlier, the NIA on October 24 arrested Syed Shahid Yousuf in connection with a 2011 terror funding case for allegedly receiving money from his father.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat declared that appointment of an Interlocutor by the Centre Government will have no impact on the ‘Operation All Out’ launched by Army in Kashmir to eliminate and apprehend the militants and their top ‘commanders’. Asked whether the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as Kashmir Interlocutor would impact the Army’s operations in the troubled State, he said, “My one word answer is no, it will not.” Responding to a question on whether Sharma’s appointment meant that the tough policy on Kashmir was not working, Gen Rawat said, “I do not think so. What is in your mind is not correct.

The policy of the Government has worked. The Government is speaking from a position of strength.” He said incidents of cross-border infiltration had come down and the overall situation in the State had improved significantly in the last few months. “In January, you had asked me whether the situation has deteriorated in Kashmir, whether we have lost Kashmir. Now you analyze where is Kashmir?”, he asked. “We have killed terrorists on the Line of Control because of which the situation has improved.”

The Army Chief also stressed that Army keeps on getting reports of Uri and Pathankot like attacks by the militants. Gen Rawat said security of installations in hinterland is becoming a cause for concern. “We are getting report of Uri and Pathankot like attacks well in depth”. He said the Army was looking at Electronic Warfare (EW) system to keep an eye not just on border but in hinterland also. This would help in maintaining strict vigil on the militants and neutralizing them.

October 28

A J&K Police Constable, identified as Isfaq Ahmad Dar is suspected to have joined the militant LeT in what could be the third such switch by a security personnel in the Valley this year. Police ordered a probe after Isfaq Ahmad Dar, last week announced on social media that he has joined the LeT, a Pakistan-based militant outfit blamed for several terror attacks in India. A photograph of Dar holding an AK-47 assault rifle was also widely circulated on social media and messaging apps in the Valley over the past few days. “There are reports we are trying to confirm. The matter is being investigated,” State Police chief SP Vaid said on October 28. He added that police are yet trying to “know the facts”.

October 29

A Police constable, identified as Zahir Abbas was killed in an encounter at Mir Mohalla village in Hajin area of Bandipora District. SFs received intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in Mir Mohalla village. As searches were being conducted, the militants started firing at the SFs, triggering a gun battle. Later two militants escaped from the spot

There have also been reports of youths pelting stones on the SFs to disturb the ongoing operation.

October 30

SFs launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) at Rawalpora village in the Khansahab area of Budgam District. An unnamed official said that the SFs launched the operation after inputs about the presence of militants. However, the CASO was ended peacefully after several hours.

October 30

Pakistan initiated talks with its DGMO Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza speaking to Indian DGMO Lieutenant General AK Bhatt seeking peace on the borders while as India maintaining that Pakistan was brazenly aiding and abetting infiltration attempts by the militants and targeting civilians directly during CFA violations on the LoC in J&K. According to sources, Pakistan DGMO, in a sudden and unscheduled move, sought talks with the Indian DGMO over hotline on October 30th afternoon to which India agreed. "Request for the talks was made by Pakistan. It was an unusual and unscheduled move. However, India agreed for the talks after which both the DGMOs spoke for nearly 20 minutes in which the situation along Indo-Pak borders, mainly the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, largely figured," sources said, adding that Pakistan, which has suffered heavy losses in retaliatory shelling and firing by the Indian side, called for peace on the LoC and urged India to exercise restraint.

October 31

A 13-year-old girl, identified as Gulnaz was injured when the Pakistani army fired from small arms in forward area of Karmara along the LoC in Poonch District. "There was ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops today [October 31] along the LoC in Karmara belt of Poonch", official sources said, adding that the firing only lasted 15 minutes. The injured girl was admitted to a district hospital.

Kupwara Police achieved a major breakthrough by busting a militant network that was trying to revive Al Badr outfit in Jammu and Kashmir by sending youth across the LoC to PoK for arms training. Police arrested two youths, identified as Danish Ghulam Lone and Suhail Ahmad Bhat who were trying to cross the LoC to enter PoK for arms training through border District of Kupwara. They also arrested four OGWs who were facilitating their ex-filtration. The interrogation of these arrested youth has revealed that a militant Ishfaq Paul who is in Central Jail is trying to revive the Al-Badar in Kashmir. The two youth, who railed from Pulwama, were motivated by HM 'commander' Riyaz Naiku to join militancy and sent by him to meet Ishfaq Paul in Central Jail before they left for PoK and were arrested by Police near the LoC. Police is investigating from the four arrested OGWs whether they have been successful in sending any youth to PoK for arms training so far or not.

SSP Kupwara, Shamsheer Hussain said that based on specific information, Police's SOG cordoned off Manigah village of Hyhama area in Kupwara District. "During search of the area, two youth were found moving suspiciously and were nabbed," the SSP said. "Some incriminating documents including the map of areas adjoining to LoC and some posters of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were also recovered from the possession of the arrested youth. During preliminary interrogation, they disclosed that they were motivated by one active Hizb militant namely Adnan operating in Pulwama area for joining the militant ranks and exfiltration to PoK for obtaining arms training," said the SSP.

Eight days after UHM Rajnath Singh announced 'sustained dialogue' on Jammu and Kashmir and appointed former IB Director Dineshwar Sharma as Centre's representative, the Kashmir separatists dismissed the talks offer as futile exercise. The three top separatist leaders of Valley including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a joint statement, said the Government of India is continuously refusing to acknowledge Jammu and Kashmir as a dispute which, they said, is 'basic premises' for talks. "In principle, the (separatist) leadership always advocated and supported sincere and productive dialogue as a means of conflict resolution over Jammu and Kashmir. What it inherently entails from all participants to dialogue is the basic acknowledgment that there is a dispute that has to be resolved. But Government of India continuously refuses to accept this basic premise and the reality on the ground," said the separatist trio in the statement. The decision to dismiss the talks offer was taken after a joint meeting of Geelani, Mirwaiz and Malik at former's Hyderpora residence in Sri Nagar.

November 1

SFs launched an operation against top LeT 'commander' Abu Maaz in Handwara in Kupwara District. SoG of Handwara Police and 21 RR of Army in the evening cordoned off Harnipora Shailhall in Handwara after reports that Abu Maaz was present in the area. However, the operation was later called off as he was not found in the village.

Syed Shahid Yousuf, son of HM 'chief' Syed Salahuddin, was sent to judicial custody by a Delhi court in a 2011 terror funding case. District Judge Poonam A Bamba sent the accused to custody till November 27 after he was produced before the court on expiry of his seven-day custody of the NIA. The NIA had earlier alleged that the accused had links with proscribed terrorist organisation like HM. The NIA said the case was registered on the basis of information regarding funds from Pakistan being sent to Jammu and Kashmir through hawala channels via Delhi to fund terrorism.

Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden closely followed developments in Jammu and Kashmir and the trial of Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks case, indicated the documents seized during the 2011 US raid on a Pakistani compound that killed the Osama bin Laden. The Central Intelligence Agency on November 1st released 470,000 additional files seized in May 2011 when US Navy SEALs burst into the Abbottabad compound and shot dead Laden. The files include Laden's sons wedding video and diaries left by the Saudi-born militant. The documents revealed that Laden closely followed news related to the arrest of LeT operative Headley and was a regular reader of some of the top Indian publications.

November 2

At least five CRPF personnel were injured in a militant attack on the vehicle of SFs in Anantnag District. Militants opened fire on the vehicle of the 96 Battalion CRPF at Lazibal in Anantnag District at 8.30 am, a Police official said. He said three CRPF jawans (troopers) received bullet injuries while two others were injured after getting hit by broken glass panes of the vehicle. An operation has been launched to track down the assailants. LeT militant outfit has claimed responsibility of the attack.

President of BJYM, youth wing of the ruling BJP, Gowhar Ahmad Bhat, was killed by militants in Shopian District. Police recovered the throat slit body of Bhat from Kiloora village with visible torture marks on body parts.

Two Army personnel and a militant were killed in an encounter at Samboora area of Pulwama District. Army's 50 RR, SOG and CRPF acting on a tip about presence of four militants in village Samboora, Pampore cordoned it and as SFs were conducting searches and fired some warning shots towards a suspected spot, the hiding militants opened fire on troops, triggering an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, a militant was killed and he has been identified as Waqas Ahmad. Three soldiers were also injured in the gun battle and two of them later succumbed to injuries. The other three militants managed to flee from the village under the cover of darkness. The operation has ended and SFs recovered one AK-47 rifle and one UBGL from the site.

One live hand grenade was recovered by Police after it was found lying on the roadside near Old Bridge adjacent to DC office in Main Town of Kupwara District. The grenade was detected by Police on the roadside and BDS was immediately summoned who later recovered the device.

Army's 19 Mahar posted at Asha Post in Gulmarg sector during searches of forest area at Kuthyali Dokh in Drung area of Tangmarg busted a militant hideout and recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition. The recovery included one AK 47 rifle, 147 rounds of AK ammunition, one Pistol, three hand grenades, six Wireless sets, one UBGL thrower, one UBGL, one MLG round, one stamp of Jammu and Kashmir LeT unit, stamp of District 'commander' LeT, one solar panel and one walki talki.

One BSF jawan was killed in Pakistan's firing on the IB in Samba sector in Samba District. Also, two Rangers were killed and their two to three posts were decimated in retaliation from the Indian side to the ceasefire violation. Sources said that the Pakistani Rangers resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation on the IB in Samba sector at 9.30 am today targeting a BSF patrol party. The Rangers targeted the patrol party with heavy fire arms and mortars in which BSF constable Tapan Mondal was seriously injured and later succumbed to his injuries. Sources also said the two Pakistani Rangers, who had sustained multiple splinter injuries in retaliatory firing by the BSF, have succumbed to their injuries and there were reports that another Ranger was injured. Three posts of the Rangers have been completely destroyed in retaliatory firing by the BSF.

November 3

Army troops of 57 RR killed a militant while foiling a major infiltration bid along the LoC in Macchil sector in Kupwara District. Srinagar based Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Macchil sector killing a militant. "One militant was killed and a weapon was recovered," the spokesman said, adding the operation was on.

Shopian Police have identified the killers of Gowhar Ahmad Bhat, President of BJYM, youth wing of the ruling BJP, who was killed in Shopian District on November 2, as Hamas, resident of Pakistan, Umer Nazir, resident of Malikgund and affiliated to the LeT, Ishfaq Thoker, resident of Paderpora and Zubair Turay, resident of Shopian and affiliated to the HM. Police have announced cash reward for the persons whose information will lead to their arrest or killing.

GOC Victor Force, Major General BS Raju, said that after failing to take on SFs, militants in desperation aimed at soft targets like killing of BJP youth president. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Budgam, Major General Raju said that SFs will take necessary actions against militants to restore peace in South Kashmir. "Two to three such incidents have taken place in recent past. We are given to believe these are acts of desperation by the terrorists. They are not able to make any concerted action against the security forces. So obviously they are looking at weaker targets and I am given to believe that police is taking necessary action against the perpetrators of these crimes and we as Army and other security agencies will continue to take all necessary actions against the militants so that people of South Kashmir can live in peace", he said.

Major General Raju further said that there are around 115 militants in South Kashmir, majority of them locals and this year they have already neutralized 80. "There are around 115 militants in south Kashmir and out of them, 99 are local and 15-16 are foreign terrorists. And the actions that we have taken since past 6-7 months; we have neutralized nearly 80 terrorists including top leadership. We believe this will continue and as soon as number of terrorists would decrease, the situation will improve", Major General Raju said. Adding to it, the Major also said that the situation in South Kashmir is much better. "And, I want to say this that apart from these one-two political killings, the situation in South Kashmir is much better. The stone-pelting and random acts initiated by terrorists have also decreased. So, as the winter season sets in, our actions would be more effective and peace shall return", he said.

The GOC said that security forces are in the process of neutralizing the JeM militants. "There are indeed members of Jaish in South Kashmir and the process of neutralization of the Jaish cadre began yesterday (at Samboora) and we intend to act particularly against the Jaish", he said, adding, there are 10-15 JeM militants in South Kashmir. "Definitely there is some strength of JeM and we are given to believe that there could be some 10-15 people in south Kashmir. We look at all them as terrorists and we will be taking action to neutralize them", he said.

Major General Raju also said that recruitment of the militants is a concern but efforts are being made to stop it. "New recruitment of militants is definitely a cause of concern. A lot of stakeholders need to work in a concerted manner to ensure that new recruitment is put in check. I would put the onus on the parents to ensure that they are able to take care of their children and I would put the onus on village elders, to the Moulvis in the villages and towns to ensure that they get right message across to the young people. I would like to put the onus on teachers and principals of schools and colleges where these people study so that they are able to bring sense into them that this is not the route that is going to take them anywhere and of course, the role of the security forces to ensure that they conduct operations in such a manner that would not alienate the population and the youth", he said. The GOC further said that Zakir Musa group has been given much attention but its strength is not more than 8-10 people. "I think Zakir Musa phenomenon hasn't caught that much of attraction as it appears to be. We are given to believe that the strength is not more than 8-10 people who are with him", he said. On the picture of Hizb 'commander' Sameer Tiger holding M4 weapon, Major General Raju said, "That is also a weapon and that also fires same bullet which an AK 47 fire. So we believe it won't make any impact."

November 4

One Policeman was killed while another injured after terrorists fired on a Police team in Pulwama District. "Terrorists fired upon a naka party of police near Police Station Rajpora in Pulwama, resulting in injuries to two of our personnel - Abdul Salam and Munir Ahmad," DIG of Police S P Pani said. He further said both the injured personnel were taken to Army's 92 base hospital, where Salam succumbed to his injuries.

Militants hurled a grenade on SOG camp at Imam Sahib in Shopian District. However, no one was injured in the attack and entire area was cordoned off to arrest the militants responsible for the attack.

RS Pura Police arrested three persons with fake currency worth INR 44,000 in Jammu District. According to a Police official, after getting specific information a joint naka was laid at Bhatyari, Bishnah by Bishnah Police and DSB officials. He said during naka checking, one Scooty was intercepted and all three riders were thoroughly checked and during checking, INR 10,000 fake currency was recovered from one Harmeet Singh of Sanjay Nagar Jammu, INR 12,000 from Mohinder Kumar alias Baba of Chak Bala, RS Pura and worth INR 22,000 fake currency from Ramesh Kumar alias Doctor of Chak Bala, RS Pura. All the recovered fake currency was in denomination of INR 500 and INR 2000 notes.

November 5

Two unidentified militants were killed as the Army foiled an infiltration bid along the LoC in Uri sector in Baramulla District. The infiltration bid was foiled in Uri sector, when troops noticed suspected movement during the night hours. "The group was challenged and militants opened fire, triggering a gunfight. So far two militants have been killed in the gunfight and the operation is on," Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said. The identity and the group affiliation of the slain militants could not be established immediately.

Militants hurled a grenade on SOG camp at Imam Sahib in Shopian District. However, no one was injured in the attack.

SFs launched a CASO at Monghama village in Pulwama District after reports of presence of some militants in the village, including Zahoor Ahmad, a Territorial Army man, who fled from Army camp in North Kashmir three months ago and joined militancy. However, clashes erupted between protesters opposing the CASO and SFs which lasted for about four hours in which four protesters were injured. The CASO was later called off. Similar clashes also erupted at Murran Chowk in Pulwama, though no injury was reported on either side.

Army operation at Lashdat in the Macchil sector, near the LoC, in Kupwara District continued for third consecutive day.

November 6

Three JeM militants and a soldier were killed while two soldiers were injured during an encounter at Aglar Kandi village of Pulwama District. Two AK-47 rifles and a pistol were recovered from the debris of the house, where the encounter took place. One of them slain militant was identified as Waseem of Drubgam in Pulwama while two others were from Pakistan. A civilian Tariq Ahmad Bhat, son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Aglar Kandi, was also injured when clashes between locals and SFs erupted in the area amid encounter.

SFs busted a militant hideout in the forests of Najwan in the Kangan area of Ganderbal District. Though no one was arrested, the SFs recovered cache of arms and ammunition.

IG of CRPF, Ravideep Sahi, said that militants may strike during the visit of Centre’s ‘Interlocutor’ to Kashmir. “There is an input. May be a grenade throwing. May be hit and run attack. There is indication that they may step up violence. Whenever, any such step takes place, which leads to peace, enemy will not want peace. So they may try to step up. It would be like grenade throwing, hit and run on standing CRPF and Police jawans,” he said. Sahi also said that militants do come to Srinagar but they have no permanent bases here.

Cross-LoC travel on Poonch (Poonch District, J&K, India)-Rawalakot (‘Azad Jammu and Kashmir’ in PoK) route resumed. The bus service, which has been named as `Paigam-e-Aman’ (message of peace), resumed after 17 weeks. However, no citizen from this side boarded the bus to visit PoK while 20 civilians reached Poonch from Rawlakote to meet their divided family members and friends, mostly in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.

Sources added that trade between businessmen of J&K and PoK was also likely to resume on November 7. Cross-LoC trade takes place from Tuesday to Friday every week. Senior civil officials from Poonch and PoK had held a meeting at the crossing point near the LoC on November 3, 2017, and reached a consensus to resume the suspended bus service and trade between the two sides. The trade, which works on the barter system, between the two parts of Kashmir started in October 2008.

November 7

Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat said that they will continue their operations in eliminating militants in Jammu and Kashmir. “We can easily understand from where these terrorists get support. It is clear that from beyond the border, they are getting assistance. The operation will continuously take place. If the terrorists attack the people, buildings, police stations or political entity, the Army will try to neutralise them as soon as possible,” the Army chief said, without naming Pakistan on recovery of a United States Army-issue weapon, appearing to be a Colt-manufactured M4 carbine, from site of encounter in which three JeM militants were killed on November 6. Reacting to the killing of militants the General said, “Our main aim is to end terrorism whether the terrorist is nephew of Masood Azhar or from other religion.” 

An unnamed senior UMHA official stated that one of the three terrorists killed by SFs in Pulwama District is believed to be Tallah Rashid, son of Abdul Rauf, the key conspirator behind the 1999 hijacking of an Air India plane and brother of JeM ‘chief’ Maulana Masood Azhar. The other killed militants were identified as Mehmood Bhai, the ‘divisional commander’ of JeM in the South Kashmir; and Wasim Ahmed Ganie. While the first two were in the category of ‘most wanted’ militants carrying cash rewards, the third was a local and had joined militancy in May 2017. A JeM ‘spokesperson’, identifying himself as Hassan Shah, sent a statement to local news agencies claiming that one of the slain militants was Tallah Rashid, the nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar.

IG (Kashmir Range) Munir Khan thanked the militant outfit for acknowledging the identity of the killed militant, and said the State police would like to request Pakistan to claim the body of the two foreign militants. “I am thankful that for the first time they have owned a Pakistani militant, that ‘yes, he is nephew of Maulana Masood Azhar’. Now, we will take up the matter through proper channels and we will very firmly request… Please claim the body and take it because they have owned it,” he said.

Major General B S Raju, who heads Victor Force and is responsible for security in South Kashmir and parts of Budgam and Bandipore, said Pakistan’s special forces use M4 carbine rifles and it is likely that they supplied the weapon to the JeM. The weapon is mostly used by the US Army in its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. “M4 Carbine is a US-made weapon, presently with a lot of armies in NATO and it is also with the Special Forces of the Pakistan Army. So we have reason to believe that this particular weapon was given by the Pakistan army to the JeM cadre. This clearly shows the complicity between the JeM and Pakistan and its nefarious designs in Kashmir,” he said.

The Army Commander said it was the first time that a US- made weapon was recovered in Kashmir. He added that there were reports that 10 such rifles were brought by terrorists who infiltrated from across the border recently. While the number of militants has not come down, the level or quality of militancy in Kashmir “definitely has come down”, Raju said. “The quality of people who are joining is definitely being compromised and the relative level of peace that is there in the environment is ensuring that the Government is able to function better… That is an important development,” he said. According to him, the presence of JeM militants in the valley is an indication that Pakistan thinks the “capacity and the propensity” of the HM to survive has reduced. “My understanding is that there is too much relationship between this and radicalisation… This void is being filled by JeM… So, this fundamentally tells me that the Valley wants peace and to get back to normalcy but is not being permitted by Pakistan,” he said.

November 8

A surrendered militant, Mohammad Masook, who had been absconding for past about a decade, was arrested by Police in the Chillad area of Arnas in Reasi District. SSP, Reasi, Tahir Sajjad Bhat said that Mohammad Masook, 41, son of Mohammad Ramzan resident of Chillad had surrendered in 2007 after giving up the path of militancy. However, he didn’t appear in the court in the FIRs registered against him during the period of militancy and had been declared as absconder by the court. Instead, Masook fled to Pulwama District, where he was reportedly working at a private place. He was arrested on November 8 when he returned to Chillad.

November 9

Militants shot at and injured a SPO attached with Traffic Police near the office of Deputy Commissioner Anantnag in Anantnag District. The policeman was shot while he was on his routine duties.

Personnel of Army’s 62-RR, 3 RR, Shopian Police along with SOG of J&K Police and CRPF launched cordon and search operation in 13 villages of Shopian District to flush out militants. The SFs cordoned off Kadgam, Barbugh, Chiterwich, Imamsahab, Hillow, Manihel, Amarbugh, Badimarg, Yamrch, Munad, Gofan, Woyen and D K Pora villages in Shopian district and conducted house to house searches and were looking for militants at suspected places. However, no one was arrested during the operation. It was first such major operation in the district in 2017 after the SFs launched Operation All Out in Kashmir against militants. Sources said that the operation was launched to prevent militants from attacking the political workers, SF personnel and their families.

Police arrested an OGW of HM, identified as Showkat Ahmad Lone, resident of Charsoo, in Kulgam District. “One pistol, pistol magazine and 4 pistol rounds were recovered from his possession”, an unnamed Police spokesman said. He also said that HM’s ‘operational chief’ Riyaz Naikoo had provided weapons to some OGWs for carrying out subversive activities in District Kulgam. “These OGW’s were roaming in the area from one place to another to seek a chance to attack on police security personnel”, he said. He further said that acting on this information, Kulgam Police launched a manhunt and arrested one of them, adding, “More arrests are expected in coming days.”

Pakistani troops violated CFA and resorted to firing on LoC in Shahpur Sector of Poonch District. In the firing, which last for five minutes, no casualty was reported.

November 10

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat that stone pelting in Kashmir has come down "to some extent". He that combined efforts of the Indian Army, BSF, CRPF, and the J&K Police has helped. "Solution to this can't be achieved overnight. Government, intelligence agencies, state administration all are making efforts. Will be successful if things go in this direction, can say this with belief," he added.

The Pakistani Army violated CFA along the LoC in Rajouri District. No casualty or damage was reported from the Indian side. Using mortars, automatics and small arms they targeted Indian positions as they resorted to unprovoked and heavy firing in Laam area of Nowshera sector in the evening, the Defence Ministry sources said. "Our troops retaliated strongly and effectively. Firing exchanges began at 5 p.m. and continued for two hours," the sources said.

SFs repulsed a militant attack on a Police post near general bus stand at Anantnag District. The militants resorted to indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons near the bus stand causing panic. People in the area ran for safety after hearing the firing. SFs and Police personnel immediately retaliated but the militants managed to escape under the cover of darkness.

November 11

SFs launched massive search operations in Pulwama and Shopian in south Kashmir. On specific information about the presence of militants, the SFs launched a CASO in about half-a-dozen villages, including Kanigam and Kasbaiyar in south Kashmir District of Pulwama, official sources said.

SFs continued their anti-militancy operations and in the process carried out cordon and search operations in over a dozen villages and towns across Jammu and Kashmir. The SFs cordoned off various villages of the twin districts of Pulwama and Shopian, including Bongam Kellar, Chakoora Bamno, Qasbayar, Kanigam, Maspuna, Aglar Kandi, Sugan and adjacent villages and launched searches. The search operation that was launched in early hours was then called off by noon in both Shopian and Pulwama Districts as there was no contact with any militant. The villages remained under tight cordon for several hours but there was no incident of stone-pelting from locals.

The SFs also carried out similar search operations in Kulgam and Anantnag Districts. The SFs cordoned off Laram village of Qazigund and Rampura in Kulgam District and carried out searches which ended peacefully. The cordon and search operation was also carried out at Maliknag in Anantnag District but it also concluded peacefully.

SFs also launched a cordon and search operation in Qazi Hamam Mohalla of old town in Baramulla District. During the operation, several houses were frisked but no suspect was arrested. The cordon and search operation was also carried out at Budnumbal village of border Kupwara

UHM Rajnath Singh said that in spite of Pakistan continuing with its antics and making efforts to break India, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir had improved significantly and that there was a decline in the incidents of extremism. Singh said, “Pakistan is continuing with its antics and making efforts to break us, but the co-ordination among our Army, paramilitary forces, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and intelligence agencies has been excellent.” He said there were 86,000 terror-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995, adding that over the last one year, the number of such incidents had come down to 300 in that state.

November 12

Amidst concerns raised from various quarters on radicalization of youth in J&K, including from Centre Government’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma and Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat among others, the UMHA has decided to set up two Special Divisions named Counter Terrorism and Counter Radicalization (CTCR) and Cyber and Information Security (ICS). “Each of the two divisions will be headed by an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary in the MHA,” official sources said. Sources said: “The CTCR division will exclusively deal with radicalization, the ICS will tackle cyber crimes including instigating the youth to take to terrorism and stone pelting in the Valley”. They added that the new UMHA division is being tasked not only to prevent youths from falling into the trap of various terrorist outfits across the country including the Kashmir valley but also launch online initiatives to counter the propaganda unleashed by various terrorist outfits including LeT, JeM and HM to give correct picture of the situation to the youth.

November 13

Two militants of HM were killed in a brief exchange of fire at Handwara area of Kupwara District. Militants fired upon a joint party of Police and Army near Galganzer, Zachaldara in Rajwar area of Handwara in the frontier District. The attack was, however, repulsed and both the militants were killed in exchange of fire. The militants have been identified as Toyib of Sopore and Ashiq of Palhallan in Baramulla District. They were affiliated with HM outfit.

SFs conducted a cordon and search operation in Hajin area of Bandipora District. The Army’s RR, Police’s SOG and CRPF personnel carried out an early morning search operation at Mir Mohalla in Hajin after receiving an input about presence of militants. The SFs conducted house-to-house searches and also cordoned off adjacent areas but no militant was found in the area. Later, the searches were called off. A cordon and search operation was also launched by SFs in Rangwar village of Lalpora in Kupwara District but it ended peacefully.

Kashmiri youth visiting Pakistan are being imparted training in cyber-communication and used as conduits for conveying specific instructions, a multi-agency body constituted by the Government to probe terrorism and smuggling of drugs across the Indo-Pak border found. Kashmiri youth, who are either studying in Punjab or involved in some business there, are being encouraged to visit Pakistan on valid visa documents, said a report of the agency that has members from the Punjab Police, BSF and the Army. It was underlined that a particular pattern with the Kashmiri youth visiting Pakistan was observed from the data of 2016. The frequent overstaying of visa period by Kashmiri youth was pointed out and it was observed that the database and details of Indians who have either under stayed or over stayed the visa period should be closely monitored and shared with all the concerned agencies.

In one such case, a resident of Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir was found carrying specific instructions from Saifullah Ghazi, a terrorist active in Rawalpindi, the report recorded. The youth was provided money to purchase a mobile phone and install BBM app in order to receive further instructions from his handlers in Pakistan which he was supposed to convey to his commander in Kulgam, the report said. The report expressed concern over the trend for it was done at the behest of JeM ‘chief’ Masood Azhar. The role of Azhar’s younger brother Talha Al-Saif has also come to light. It might be mentioned here that a petition pertaining to drugs and cross border terrorism is pending adjudication in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The agency has learnt about the involvement of banned Pakistani terrorist outfit JuD, which the report said, has increased its training activities all across PaK and PoK particularly after Eid. Over the period of two months, three to four reports of infiltration from Gurdaspur and Amritsar area have been received.

The Indian intelligence agencies were informed that JeM student wing, Al-Murabitun (AM) organised a second annual congregation for Jihadi indoctrination titled “Islamic and Training Convention” at Balakot from July 28 to 30 which was addressed by Talha Al-Saif. Besides, JeM inducted a batch of 12-13 students at Markaz Usman-o-Ali, Bahawalpur from July 10 to 21 in which 70 students from Peshawar, Manshera and Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated. Another JeM centre in Karachi was scheduled to conduct a Daura-e-Tarbiya course from July 21to 27.

November 14

Two encounters broke out between SFs and militants in Kulgam and Pulwama Districts. SFs launched a cordon and search operation in Nowbug Kund village in Qazigund area of Kulgam District after receiving specific information about the presence of militants in the area, a Police spokesman said. As the forces were conducting the searches, the militants fired upon them, triggering an encounter, he said. The firing was going on when last reports came in, the spokesman said. He also said another encounter broke out in Laam village of Tral in Awantipora area of Pulwama District after the militants fired upon a search party of SFs. Gunfight was going on, the spokesman said.

An Army soldier and a HM militant were killed and another two soldiers were injured in a day long encounter in the Nowbug Kund village area of Qazigund in Kulgam District. Acting on specific information, that six HM and LeT militants, including LeT’s ‘district commander’, Altaf Kachru, were hiding in the village the SFs cordoned off the village in the morning. As searches were launched, the hiding militants fired upon the SFs triggering an encounter. The intermittent firing continued throughout the day between the two sides in which one soldier and a militant were killed. The slain militant, identified as Muzamil Ahmad of Badroo Yaripora, Kulgam, was an Engineering Graduate, and was active since 2015. Searches were on against the rest members of the group and SFs suspected that they were still hiding in the forest area and had intensified the operation to track them down.

The SFs neutralized a militant hideout in the Lam forest area of Tral in Pulwama District. The hideout was busted after exchange of fire between militants and SFs. Sources said that SFs cordoned off Lam forest area after reports about presence of at least 3-4 militants of JeM hiding there. However, militants fired on the SFs and managed to escape. The searches against the group continued throughout the day.

The SFs in the evening launched a search operation in the Ahmad Nagar area of Srinagar after reports of two local militants hiding there. However, the operation was later called off after no militants were found there.

November 14-15

Two militants were arrested in Kund Nowbug village of Kulgam District in an operation launched. “One local militant Shamsul Waqar son of Mohammad Amin Teli of village Ganjipora, Kulgam was held by the joint team of Army, SOG and CRPF last night [November 14] while as another militant Aqib Iqbal Malik alias Tahir Bhai son of Mohammad Iqbal Malik of Ringath Kulgam was arrested today [November 15] in an injured condition when the joint team of security forces resumed the combing operation against the hiding militants”, an unnamed Police official said. Sources said that the injured militant Aqib Iqbal Malik received two bullets in his legs and had slipped out of cordoned area. He was arrested from a medical facility centre in the area where he was being treated. He was associated with HM. The other militant Shamsul Waqar alias Abu Saqib of LeT was arrested from near the Railway Station in Qazigund as, he after fleeing the cordoned area, was trying to board the train. One AK-47 rifle, one carbine, one AK and carbine ammunition were recovered from his possession. Sources said that the operation in the area is still going on and the joint teams have also launched searches in the adjoining Waltengo Nar village to trace out the two more militants, who are hiding in the area. As reported earlier, a local militant and an Army soldier were killed in the encounter in the area on November 14th, after which the SFs had launched their search operation.

November 15

Pakistani troops violating the CFA opened fire and shelled areas along the LoC in Poonch District. “Pakistan Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars from 0815 hours in Poonch sector along the LoC”, an unnamed defense spokesman said, adding the firing is still on. The Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively.

Reports indicate that a high-level meeting of Home and Defence Ministries decided that there will be no let up in the operations against militants despite the opening up of channel of dialogue by the Centre Government with the appointment of Dineshwar Sharma as Special Representative of the Government on Jammu and Kashmir. “The talks will go on. Dineshwar Sharma has completed his first visit to Jammu and Kashmir and would undertake another visit to the State after sometime during which he will also cover remote districts of Leh and Kargil. However, as the talks go on, the anti-militancy operations will also continue,” sources said, adding that this aspect has been made clear to all security agencies in the State. Instead, they asserted, the anti-militancy operations will be further stepped-up in the winter. Sources also said the Centre was satisfied with the impact the NIA raids had in choking terror funding in Kashmir as Intelligence inputs suggested that terrorists, separatists and OGWs were clearly running short of funds. “Lack of funding has contributed a lot in reducing violence in Kashmir,” they observed.

November 16

SFs arrested a LeT militant, Azad Ahmad Mir, from Kralgund area of Handwara in Kupwara District. SFs recovered one pistol, one magazine and five pistol rounds.

Special Director General CRPF-J&K, SN Srivastava said that very few educated youths have joined the militancy in Kashmir and it was not “worrisome phenomenon” even as he expressed confidence that `Operation All Out’ launched jointly by all security agencies would progress smoothly during winter also. “The operations against militants will continue in winter as well despite harsh weather conditions. We are not going to relent. All militants operating in the Valley have to be killed or arrested or they would have to surrender,” SN Srivastava said

IGP Kashmir Muneer Khan said that Pakistan is using social media to lure youth into militancy but Police have foiled their design by arresting several of them. IGP Muneer Khan, “There is a relentless social media campaign by Pakistan to lure the youth also. Most of them you will find college or school dropouts”. The IGP said youth in the age group of 15 years to 25 years are vulnerable to be exploited as they find it hard to differentiate between right and wrong.

Pakistan Army, violating the CFA, fired on forward posts along the LoC in Khour belt of Akhnoor Sector in Jammu District in the night.  The Indian troops retaliated. An Army trooper sustained minor injuries in the exchange of fire.

November 17

A Police officer, SI Imran Tak, and a militant were killed and a SPO was injured in a shootout in the Zakoora area of Srinagar in the evening. Reports indicate that the shoot-out ensued when a Police party which had gone in the area after receiving information about presence of militants in the area was fired upon by militants, who were travelling in a car. Out of the two Policemen injured in the firing, one (the SI) died later. A militant, identified as Mugees Ahmad Mir, son of Abdul Aziz Mir, of Parimpora, who was active since last many years, was injured in the shootout but managed to escape from the spot at Zakoora. However, he succumbed to injuries later and his body was recovered from nearby area. Mugee was presently affiliated with Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind led by Zakir Musa. One militant was also arrested from the spot besides some cell phones were seized.

Acting on specific information, the SFs busted a militant hideout in the forests of Naidgam, approximately 15 kilometers north of Kishtwar (Kishtwar District) and recovered arms and ammunition. The recoveries included two Chinese pistols with two magazines and five rounds, a .303 rifle with one magazine and 10 cartridges and one UGBL with five grenades were recovered.

College student and footballer Arshid Majid Khan ‘surrendered’ before security agencies, barely days after he had joined the LeT, officials said. His surrender was seen as a whiff of fresh air in South Kashmir which has witnessed large-scale recruitment of local youths by militants in the past. Unofficial estimates have put the figure of such youths at nearly 150 since July 2016. IGP, Muneer Khan said: “The question is has he surrendered. I said no. The question was has he been apprehended, I said no. Again at this time also, I would say neither has he surrendered nor has been apprehended. He has come to the family on his own. He went on his own to see how it tastes, he came on his own. And, of course, his father, friends were instrumental in bringing him back”, he said. LeT, however, said that Majid Arshad Khan was permitted to leave for his home on the request of his mother, since he was the only guarantor to his household.

Referring to State CM Mehbooba Mufti’s tweet, subsequent to Majid Khan’s ‘surrender’, dropping hints towards Rehabilitation Policy for the surrendered youth, sources said the State Government’s Home Department was drafting the Policy, which would be completely different from previous NC-Congress Government’s Surrender Policy for the militants. While Omar Abdullah Government’s Surrender Policy had focused on return of militants from Pakistan and PoK through four designated routes, the upcoming Rehabilitation Policy was likely to focus on surrender of local youths and ensure their rehabilitation. Omar Government had designated four routes including Uri-Muzaffarabad in Kashmir, Poonch-Rawlakote in Jammu, Wagah border in Amritsar District of Punjab and Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. However, not even a single militant returned from these four routes. Only Nepal border with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar was used by some of the militants to return along with their families, which have come up during their stay in Pakistan and PoK.

Also, Pakistan Army again resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing with automatic weapons at Shahpur, Khari Karmara and surrounding villages in Poonch District. There were no casualties or damage on the Indian side in Pakistan shelling and firing. However, casualties, if any, on Pakistan side couldn’t be ascertained. Indian side, according to sources, retaliated very effectively.

Authorities in India subsequently ordered closure of both Government and private educational institutions in shelling hit forward areas of Poonch District and suspended cross- LoC trade on Poonch-Rawlakote route through Chakan-Da-Bagh. Trade between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK takes place every week from Tuesday to Friday. Today (November 17) was last day of this week’s trade.

November 18

Six LeT militants including the nephew of 26/11 Mumbai attacks mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, and a Garud commando of the IAF were killed in an encounter at Chandergeer village in Hajin area of Bandipora District. SFs cordoned off and launched a search operation in Chandergeer village in Hajin area of the District, which resulted in an encounter with the militants hiding there. "Six terrorists have been killed in an ongoing encounter at Hajin," Srinagar-based Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said. An IAF Garud commando was killed and an Army soldier was also injured in the encounter, he said. "Nephew of Mumbai Attacks mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi was among six terrorists killed in J&K encounter," said DGP J&K, S. P. Vaid.

November 19

Unidentified persons from within a stone pelting mob lobbed a grenade at SFs near foot bridge in Parimpora area of Srinagar during the strike call called by separatists. The Parimpora area is tense since November 17 over the killing of local militant Mugees Aziz Mir in Zakoora shootout.

SFs arrested three JeM militants in Budgam District.  SFs recovered one SLR rifle, one pistol and grenades from the arrested militants.

Indian Army said that the top leadership of the Pakistan-backed LeT in the Kashmir valley has been wiped out with the killing of six militants in Bandipora District and 180 militants have been killed this year while 200 are still active. GOC of Srinagar-headquartered 15 Corps, Lieutenant General J S Sandhu, said in Srinagar during a press conference: “With the elimination of six of its commanders yesterday, the top leadership of LeT in the Valley has been wiped out.”

The Central Government has taken note of reports about global terror group Islamic State (IS) claiming an attack in the Kashmir Valley that left a Police officer dead, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh said adding that the future course of action would be adopted after taking an appropriate view. The Union Minister also said that the recent "back to back" successes achieved against terrorists in J&K was the result of the free hand given to Security Forces to wipe out the nearly three-decade-old militancy which is in its "last phase".

Reports said that even as Indian agencies and J&K Police verify the alleged Islamic State (IS) claim owning up the November 17 attack in Srinagar that killed a Policeman, officials doubt any direct involvement though they are concerned over the outfit's capability to attract self-radicalised recruits. "IS does not have a presence or any resources in Kashmir to carry out an attack, even though its online propaganda may be followed by the Valley's youth. It is more likely that an IS franchise or Pakistan-based elements influenced or owing allegiance to IS could be involved. However, this too needs to be verified", a senior intelligence operative said. The officer added that while the IS may not have planned, financed or deployed its men for such an attack, which it has claimed to be its first strike in J&K, the outfit may be seeing this as propaganda to rope in Kashmiri youth and promote their radicalisation. "As long as IS is making its presence felt in Pakistan, we are not bothered. But if these groups start getting to Kashmir, it is a cause for worry," the official said.

 

 

 

 

 
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