At least 62 rifles, six pistols and 182 magazines were looted by militants and unruly mobs from security personnel in Kashmir last year.
According to the figures released by J&K’s Home department, which is headed by State Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, 16 incidents of weapon snatching/looting took place in the Valley between January 1 and December 31, 2006.
Of the 16 weapon snatching/looting incidents, 13 incidents took place in four south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Anantnag, Pulwama and Shopian while two incidents took place in central Kashmir’s Budgam district and a single incident took place in Srinagar, it states.
The first weapon snatching incident in 2016 took place on May 8 at Adijan in Damhal Hanjipora in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district when militants snatched 2 Insas rifles and 2 SLR rifles from policemen guarding minority Kashmiri Pandit community in the area. The last weapon snatching incident of the year took place on October 17 in Dooru area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district when militants snatched 3 SLR rifles, 9 magazines, 480 rounds, 1 Insas Rifle, 5 magazines, 200 rounds, 1 carbine, 2 carbine magazine and 60 rounds of carbine from policemen guarding Lower Power Transmitter Station in the Deviash village.
In 11 of the 16 weapon snatching incidents, militants were directly involved while in five other cases, the weapons were snatched by the unruly mobs.
According to official figures, 62 rifles were snatched from security personnel during the 16-weapon snatching incidents.
Of the 62 weapons snatched, 19 were AK-rifles, 22 were SLRs, 18 were Insas rifles, a carbine, .303 rifle and Pika gun. “Besides six pistols and a Tasar gun were also snatched from the security personnel or police stations,” revealed the statistics.
The data further reveals that 12 AK magazines, 34 magazines of SLRS, 131 magazines of Insas and four carbine magazines were also snatched from the security personnel by the militants and unruly crowds last year.
The biggest weapons loot took place at Damhal Hanjipora in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on July 9, a day after killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces.
“The unruly crowd forcibly entered into Police Station building at Damhal Hanjipora and looted large cache of arms and ammunition and set the police station on fire. Five Insas rifles, 11 AK-47 rifles, 7 SLR rifles, 1 Taser gun, 6 pistols, 1 Pika gun, 3 UBGL throwers, 10 LMG magazines, 117 Insas magazines, 2484 Insas rounds, 299 AK rounds, 4 AK magazines, 1863 SLR rounds, 1 Carbine magazine, 268 rounds of carbine ammunition, 5 pistol magazines, 133 pistol rounds and 189 Pika rounds,” the official statistics revealed.
It stated that one Insas rifle, 3 AK rifles, 2 Insas magazines, 55 AK rounds, 74 SLR rounds and 4 Pika rounds have been recovered
The militants also attacked residences of two PDP leaders – PDP Rajya Sabha MP Nazir Ahmad Laway at Chawalgam in Kulgam district on August 31 and PDP leader Sheikh Javed Ahmad at Boni Dialgam in Anantnag district on September 18. At both the places, the militants snatched four rifles each from the policemen.