540 detained across Kashmir following surge in civilian killings

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Srinagar: Following the recent spike in the attacks on civilians by the militants, the Jammu and Kashmir police department in collaboration with the intelligence agencies has detained around 540 people across Kashmir to break the chain of violence in the valley.

Official sources told The Kashmir Walla that in the past few days 540 people, many of whom having affiliation with banned Jamaat-e-Islami, stone throwers or people on the suspected list of Over Ground Workers (OGW) have been detained as a part of the investigation to break the chain of attacks in the Valley.

Around 70 youth have been detained in Srinagar – the capital city that witnessed six civilian killings in a week, 45 in Ganderbal, 46 in south Kashmir that include 40 youth belonging to Shopian only. Similarly, in Kralpora and its adjoining area in Budgam district around 20 to 30 people have been detained in the past one week.

In Shopian district, areas from where people have been detained by the police include Jamnagar, Kapren, Chitargam, Memendar, Trenz, Pahnoo, and Moloo.

Similarly, in Kulgam many Tehreek-e-Hurriyat cadres have been summoned by the police for the investigation in the past week.

Sources said around a dozen people have been detained in Bijbehara belt as well.

“Most of the youth detained in Srinagar belong to the downtown area, which has a history of stone throwing and involvement in other immoral activities,” a police official, on anonymity, said.

Official sources said that before being eliminated, militant Abbas Sheikh had succeeded in creating many sleeper cells in the city, which seems to be getting active lately.

Security has been beefed up and checkpoints have been established at several locations across the city following the civilian killings.

A senior police officer, on the condition of anonymity, said that the arrests were made to find a link between the recent attacks on the civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.

“As of now we haven’t found any link with the recent attacks in the city. But, efforts are on,” the officer said.  

Since 2 October, seven civilians, including four from the minority communities, have been killed in the valley, of which six of the killings took place in Srinagar district only.

Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said that a total of 28 civilians have been killed by militants in 2021.

Out of 28, five persons belong to local Hindu and Sikh communities and two persons are non-local Hindu labourers, while 21 are Muslims.

Taking cognisance of the spurt in the civilian killings, Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday called a high level meeting at the north block in New Delhi on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the media reports, Government of India (GoI) has sent its top counter-militancy experts to the Valley to aid the local police neutralise the militants.

The killing spree in the past one week in Kashmir has jolted the government.

The Resistance Front (TRF), a new militant outfit, which according to the police is an offshoot of the Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit, has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks in the city.

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha condemned the killings and said that a “befitting reply” will be given to the perpetrators involved in the attack.

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