NEW DELHI: More than 700 terrorists have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir over the last three years, according to the Union Home Ministry.
As many as 113 terrorists were killed by security personnel this year till June 16, Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy informed the Lok Sabha.
According to sources, most of the terrorists killed this year were locals.
In a written reply to a question on terrorist activities in Jammu & Kashmir, Reddy said 257 terrorists were killed in 2018, 213 in 2017 and 150 in 2016, taking the total number of those killed during the period to 733.
Also, 112 civilians have also lost their lives during this period in the state. Of them, 15 had died in 2016, 40 in 2017, 39 in 2018 and 18 between January and June 16 this year.
“The government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. Security forces are taking effective and continuous action in countering terrorism. This has resulted in a corresponding change in the number of such incidents, including casualties,” Reddy said in a statement that comes in the backdrop of Hurriyat leadership agreeing to hold a dialogue with the Centre.
Several mainstream political parties in Kashmir such as the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party have supported the resumption of dialogue, days after Governor Satya Pal Malik welcomed Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s readiness to hold talks with the Centre.
Reddy credited security personnel for the record number of killing of terrorists, saying security forces keep a close watch on persons who attempt to provide support to terrorists and initiate action against them.
Although statistics on casualties suffered by security forces was not shared, sources say the death toll of security personnel has reached 73, the highest since the corresponding period of 2005, when over 100 were killed.
Since June 12 alone, 10 security personnel, five of them CRPF men, lost their lives, and 10 others were injured in various attacks, including the fidayeen strike in Anantnag on June 12.