Rising Casualties: Forces to Receive Full Body Gear

SRINAGAR: To avoid causalities during “anti-militancy operations” and while maintaining law and order problem, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is going to make the security forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir better equipped.

Official sources said that the Ministry of Home Affairs was concerned that security personnel suffered causalities in the valley while fighting with the militants and against stone pelters. “In view of increase in attacks, the MHA wants security forces to be better prepared to deal with any situation without losing any lives or to get injured” sources maintained.

A senior MHA official said that the security forces are going to be better equipped to deal with the situation effectively. “The security personnel soon will be provided full-body protectors better armed to ensure their safety. Orders have been issued in this regard,” the official said and added that the funds in this regard have also been released.

He said that the step has been taken in view of that the security forces in the Jammu and Kashmir have lost so many men and hundreds got injured during the recent years.

According to the figures of the State Home Department, 3398 security personnel were killed by militants between 2001 to January 2017.

During 2002, 539 security personnel were killed and the number dropped to 384, 330 and 244 during 2003, 2004 and 2005 respectively. During 2015, the security forces suffered 39 casualties but the number rose to 84 in 2016.

The Army has suffered highest casualties with 1693 personnel being killed between 2001 and January 2017, comprised (309) in 2001, (240) 2002 and (46) in 2016. The JK Police suffered 629 casualties, (128) in 2001, (91) 2002, and (17) in 2016. Besides, 409 SPOs were also killed in 15 years.

305 BSF personnel were killed in these years, followed by the CRPF (228), VDCs (96) ITBP (15), SSB (8). The others who suffered casualties are ITBP, BECON, IB and the CISF.

Over the past three years, south Kashmir has become a breeding ground for militants with many youths joining their ranks. The number has gone up considerably following the killing of Hizbul Mujahidin commander Burhan Wani. According to reports, 31 local youths joined militancy in 2013, the number for 2015 jumped to 66. The number of youth having joined militancy has reached to 95 during the preceding year.

Further, the official said: “We are trying our best to change their minds. It is also the responsibility of the parents and society to guide their children. We have identified the children vulnerable to inimical propaganda and started counseling them in small groups so that these kids do not fall prey to militancy.” (KNS)

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