2016 TURMOIL & KILLINGS
Civilian killings, political controversies & longest shutdown in history of J&K pushed Kashmir to edge during 2016 as the government led by Mehbooba Mufti, the first ever female chief minister of the state, struggled to deliver during its first year in office
|| NEYAZ ELAHI
BUREAU CHIEF CENTRAL KASHMIR:
2016 turned out to be yet another year drenched in blood as it witnessed killing of 371 persons a majority of them civilians. The year also witnessed the longest ever shutdown of over five months in Kashmir history. Kashmir saw Mehbooba Mufti taking over as the first woman chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, shortly followed by mass uprising against Indian rule after the killing of Hizb’s poster boy Burhan Wani. During the five month long uprising at least 96 civilians were killed and over 15000 injured in action by the security forces on the protestors. This year during the scores of gunfights between Indian armed forces and pro-freedom militants at least 144 militants, 63 army men, 11 CRPF, 18 policemen, eight BSF personnel and one SSB man were killed apart from 126 civilians who lost their lives in different incidents of violence. Most of these civilians fell to the bullets of force personnel. The year also witnessed NIT row, death of Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, controversies over setting up of Sainik colonies and exclusive colonies for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. A recap of the year that was:
January 1: A division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court stayed a single bench order directing the state’s constitutional authorities to hoist the state flag on official buildings and vehicles; At least 10 laborers were charred to death and four others injured in a massive overnight fire in Chanderkote area of Ramban in Jammu province. Jan 7: Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed (79) who was admitted in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) New Delhi passed away Jan 9: Governors Rule imposed in Jammu and Kashmir after ‘griefstricken’ Mehbooba Mufti refused to take oath. Jan 11: Let militant from Zewan Sajad Ahmed alias Shada was killed in a gunfight at Gusso area of Tailbal Hazratbal. Jan 15: Pulwama limped back to normalcy after 16 days. The town had observed shutdown after administration didn’t allow locals to erect ‘Martyrs War Memorial; Eleven people including two women and a minor were killed and 31 others injured after a passenger bus skidded off the road and rolled into a deep gorge near Keya Top, some 28 kilometers from Ramnagar town of Udhampur district in Jammu province. Jan 16: A policeman Shakoor Ahmed Parrey decamped with four service rifles from the residence of a top police officer in Bijbehara. Jan 17: False rumors of deaths due to pulse polio immunization triggered panic across Kashmir. Police later on arrested the rumor monger and booked him under Information Technology Act; The body of a missing barber Ghulam Mohammad Hajam of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district was recovered from Charsoo village of Awantipora sparking protests in the area. Jan 19: Amid silent protest the people along with the family members of Manzoor Ahmad Dar, a chemist of Rawalpora Srinagar, who was subjected to enforced disappearance in 2002 offered funeral prayers in absentia for him;
Jan 20: A local Hizb militant Shariq Ahmed Bhat of Brow Bandana, Awantipora was killed in gun battle with Indian troopers, triggering violent protest which left one civilian Parvaiz Ahmed Guroo resident of Naina dead and four others injured after government forces opened fire to disperse the protesters in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Jan 25: Normal life was hit in Handwara town of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district following a general strike against the coldblooded massacre of 21 civilians allegedly by the Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel on 25 January 1990. Jan 26: A local militant Mushtaq Ahmed Haroo of Pushwara Khanabal was killed in a mid night gunfight at Kalhal Kokernag area of South Kashmir’s Islamabad district; A complete shutdown was observed on the eve of India’s 67th Republic Day across Kashmir. Jan 27: A complete shutdown was observed in frontier district Kupwara against the cold-blooded massacre of 27 civilians including three policemen allegedly by the soldiers of 31 Indian Medium Regiment on 27 January 1994. Jan 29: A Pakistani militant whom police identified as Abu Usman alias Zarar was killed in an encounter in Lohar Mohalla Lolab in Kupwara district. January 30: Two more militants were killed in Lolab encounter, a day after a foreign militant was killed at Lohar Mohalla Lolab in Kupwara district.
Feb 4: Army claimed that it killed three unidentified non-local militants in Khosa Mohalla area of Hajin town of Bandipora district. Feb 6: Cop turned militant Mufeed Bashir of Zadoora died in an encounter at Gundipora Pulwama. Feb 11: A complete shutdown was observed to commemorate 32nd hanging anniversary of Muhammad Maqbool Bhat. Restrictions were imposed in areas falling under the jurisdiction of five police stations of old Srinagar city to thwart possible protests. Feb 1 3: Two Army personnel a nd fi ve militants were killed, while two others, including an officer, were injured in the encounter with militants in Marsari village of Chowkibal border area in Kupwara district. Feb 14: A militant Adil Ahmad of Banderpora, Pulwama was killed in an encounter at Kharpora area of Kakapora. During the post encounter protest, two students including a girl were killed and 15 other civilians injured when police and army allegedly used bullets and tear gas shells on them. They were identified as Danish Farooq Mir son of Farooq Ahmad, resident of Ratnipora Pulwama and Shaishta Hameed daughter of Abdul Hameed, resident of Lelhara, Kakapora. Feb 16: P ulwama and Kishtwar towns observed shutdown against the civilian killings in Kakapora. Feb 20: Two CRPF personnel were killed and 10 others were injured when militants attacked their convoy near Sempora Pampore. Militants entered into EDI building and in the ensuing two day’s gunfight two Army Captains Tushar Mahajan and Pawan Kumar and an Army soldier Om Prakash were killed. An EDI employee Abdul Gani who was a gardner was also killed. Three non-local militants were also killed in the gunfight. Feb 27: Kashmir shuts to protest against crackdown on JNU students and the arrest of former Delhi University professor SAR Geelani who has been accusing of organizing pro-Afzal Guroo event and coxing people to raise anti- India slogans.
March 3: Three local militants were killed in an encounter at Mirmohalla Dadsara in Tral town of Pulwama district. They were identified as Asif from Dadsara, Ishaq alias Newton from Laribal and Ashiq from Chersoo. Tral and Awantipora tehsils observed shutdown against these killings. March 6: A Hizb militant Dawood Sheikh of Reshipora Qaimou Kulgam was killed during an encounter with Indian troopers at Buchroo Kulgam. March 9: Two LeT militants including Abu Oshaka were killed in an encounter at Padgampora Pulwama. March 1 3: S uspected m ilitants injured a civilian Jahangir Ahmed Dar at Kareemabad Pulwama after barging into his house and firing volley of shots in his legs. March 1 8: A rmy c laimed t hat it killed two militants in Bhatmohalla Handwara during a midnight operation. March 19: Suspected militants shot at a shopkeeper Mudasir Wani in Pulwama injuring him critically. March 30: Unidentified gunmen shot dead a woman Hameeda Begum wife of late Ghulam Hasan Dar at Noorpora Tral.
April 3: A policeman Muhammad Shafi was injured after suspected militants attacked a police party in Muran Chowk of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. April 4: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed took oath as the first female Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir along with 22 Ministers—11 from PDP and 11 from BJP—bringing to an end the 84 days spell of Governor’s rule in Jammu and Kashmir, which was imposed in the State on January 8 after the death of the then Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. April 5: Gun fights between militants and government forces raged in twin districts of North and South Kashmir. At Gudora Pulwama a Hizb militant from Bilal Ahmed Bhat of Karimabad was killed while in Sheikhpura area of Lalpora Kupwara district another militant was shot dead by Indian troopers. April 6: Cop turned militant Naseer Ahmed Pandit and his associate Waseem Ahmed Malla were killed during a gunfight at Vahil village of South Kashmir’s Shopian district. April 9: Protests rock Kapran-Verinag after death of aged man Abdul Gani Naik during Army raid. Pulwama observed shutdown against the death of two militants. April 12: Two youth Nayeem Qadir Bhat of Handwara and Muhammad Iqbal of Buhama Kupwara were killed after Army fired on protesters in Handwara against molestation of a teen age girl; Kashmir shuts to protest over harassment of Kashmiri students studying in different parts of India. April 13: Elderly woman of Langate Raja Begum who was hit by an Army bullet during protest in Handwara died in hospital. Another youth Jahangir Ahmed of Dragmulla Kupwara died after he was hit by a tear-gas shell at Drugmulla where protest sparked after the body of Muhammad Iqbal was brought there for last rites. Kashmir shuts over Handwara killing. April 15: Spontaneous shutdown in Kashmir amid protests and clashes, restrictions in Old Srinagar City and curfew in Handwara against four civilian killings; A class 11th student Arif Hussain Dar of Avora Kupwara was killed and other three youth were critically injured after 47 RR of Indian Army opened fire on protesters in Natnusa Kupwara. April 16: Kashmir Valley observed shutdown for the fifth consecutive day against the civilian killings. April 17: Handwara and Kupwara reeled under curfew after civilian killings. Unidentified gunmen injured a shopkeeper Khursheed Ahmed critically at Hef Zainpora Shopian after they fired upon him. April 19: Army post in Handwara was razed to ground after killing spree. April 2 1: T hree u nidentified n onlocal militants were killed in Putshai area of Lolab in Kupwara district during an Army operation. April 26: Torch bearer of Independent Kashmir Amanullah Khan passed away in Rawalpindi Pakistan. April 27: Shopkeeper Khurshid Ahmad Lone, son of Abdul Rehman of Hefshirmal Zainapora who had been shot at by unidentified gunmen on 17 April succumbed to his injuries. April 29: T he body of an unidentified militant was found near encounter site in Kanthpora Lolab of Kupwara districts. He was killed in a brief exchange of fire with Indian forces. Amid pro-freedom slogans thousands participated in his last rites.
May 6: An army soldier was killed in Keran Sector after militants fired upon him during an infiltration bid. May 7: Three militants were killed in an encounter at Panjgam Pulwama. They were identified as Ishfaq Dar of Dogripora, Ishfaq Baba of Tahab and Haseeb Ahmed Pala of Bandana Sangam. A civilian was also injured after a grenade went off near the encounter site. The militant killings sparked shutdown, clashes and protests in the district. May 8: Suspected militants snatched four rifles from policemen in Adijan Kulgam. May 11: An Army jawan from 21 RR Om Veer slipped to death after falling from a ridge in Rajwar forests of Handwara town during an anti-militancy operation. A police driver Ghulam Nabi Sheikh belt number 787 sustained injuries after suspected militants lobbed a grenade at SSP old office building in South Kashmir’s Anantnag (Islamabad) district. May 16: A militant from Batapora Tangmarg Bilal Ahmed Bhat was slipped to death in Poonch district during an anti-militancy operation; Suspected militants shot dead a civilian Manzoor Ahmed Pala of Batapora Wanpora Kulgam. May 17: Two militants were killed in two separate encounters in Shopian and Kupwara district of Kashmir. Unidentified militant was killed during a gunfight in Zunereshi Chowkibal area of frontier district Kupwara while a Hizb militant Farooq Ahmed Sheikh of Nazimpora Shopian was killed at Pehlipora. May 21: After a daylong gun battle Army claimed that it killed five unidentified militants in Chek Dragmulla area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. An army man Naik Pandurang was also killed during the encounter; Kashmir shuts to commemorate the death anniversaries of Mirwaiz Farooq and Abdul Gani Lone. Government foiled Eidgah rally and imposed restrictions in old Srinagar city. May 23: Twin militant attacks in Srinagar city left 3 cops dead. At Zadibal Hizbul Mujhadeen militants shot dead an Assistant Sub Inspector Ghulam Muhammad Bhat (1035/S) son of Ali Muhammad a resident of Surigam Lolab and Head Constable Nazir Ahmad M ir ( 231/S) s on o f G hulam Muhammad a resident of Chak Sar Marg Handwara; In the second strike, militants shot at constable Muhammad Sadiq Sheikh of Sogam Lolab, who was posted as personal security guard to chairman of J&K Pasmanda Tabqajaat (downtrodden classes) Muhammad Abdullah Chatwal, at Tengpora Batamaloo Bypass road. In a brief encounter police claimed that it killed two militants including Jaish commander Saifullah at Saraibal area of Srinagar city. May 25: A policeman Reyaz Ahmed was killed in militant attack in Manghama Pulwama while militants managed to snatch service rifle of a PSO Shabir Ahmed of NC District president Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir. May 26: Claiming that it foiled an infiltration bid and killed three militants, Army Thursday said that it has launched a massive combing operation across the border in Naugam sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district to flush out hiding militants. An army man was injured after militants hurled a grenade at Kakpora Army camp; Kashmir shuts against the government proposal to set up Sainik Colony, separate Pandit colonies. May 27: A militant and an Indian army man from 2 RR were killed in gunfight in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district. In Khonchipora Kunzar Tangmarg two Hizb militants Adil Mir of Bratkalan Sopore and Mehrajuddin Bhat of Indergam Patan were killed. The troopers blasted house in which the militants were present.
June 3: Three BSF personnel were killed and 7 others injured after Hizb militants attacked their convoy at Gorivan area of Bijbehara in South Kashmir’s Islamabad district. The deceased were identified as Giresh Shukla, Dinesh Giri and Mohinder Ram. June 4: Two policemen were killed after militants attacked a police party at KP road Islamabad. The deceased were identified as ASI Bashir Ahmed and Constable Reyaz Ahmed. June 5: Police claimed that unidentified militants attack a police party near Ram Munshi Bagh police station injuring two cops during late hours. June 13: The shootout between CRPF and militants resulted in the death of a militant and a civilian at Kud in Udhampur district. The militant was identified as Tanvir Sultan Sheikh a resident of Bemina Srinagar while the slain civilian woman was identified as Mamta Devi of Ranibagh Jammu. Three CRPF personnel and two civilians were seriously injured in the attack and were shifted to Udhampur hospital. Family however contested police claim saying that Tanvir was not a militant. June 15: An Army signalman Ajay Singh Chowdary and a militant was killed in Machil sector of Kupwara district. June 16: Four militants and an Army man were killed in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district. June 17: Two Hizbul Mujhadeen militants were killed in a fierce encounter in North Kashmir’s Bomai Sopore town of Baramulla district . Police identified the slain militants as Imtiyaz Ahmed Lone son of Abdul Khaliq of Ussan Pattan and Altaf Ahmed Mir son of Abdul Rashid a resident of Bratkalan Sopore. June 19: A Lashkar-e-Toiba militant Abu Qasim of Pakistan was killed in an encounter at Ladho Pampore in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. June 23: At least six militants were killed in two different encounters at Lolab and Drugmulla area of frontier district Kupwara. Three militants were killed in Lolab and three in Dragmulla. The identity of these militants could not be ascertained; Twin grenade attacks on police parties at Amargarh and Model Town Sopore created panic in the town.June 24: A militant was killed in an encounter at Wadarbala Handwara. June 25: Eight CRPF personnel and two militants were killed after LeT militants attacked a CRPF bus in Pampore. 22 other CRPF personnel were injured. Two militants were killed in Uri in an encounter. June 26: A police man was killed after a teargas shell bursted in his hand in Pampore. June 28: A Hizb militant from Sopore Sameer Ahmed Wani was killed in an encounter at Nagri Dragmulla Kupwara sparking violent protests in Sopore and Kupwara. Another unidentified militant was killed in Lolab Valley during a gun fight. June 30: Two LeT militants Manzoor Ahmed of Kakapora and Abu Ayan of Pakistan were killed in an encounter at Malawari Newa area of Pulwama district.
July 5: A militant was killed in Rajwar Handwara. July 8: New face of Kashmir militancy Burhan Wani along with his two associates Sartaj Ahmed and Parvez Ahmed was killed in Bumbdora Kokarnag area of South Kashmir’s Islamabad district. The death of Burhan put Kashmir on boil causing wide scale protests, shutdown and clashes prompting authorities to impose curfew, halt Amarnath yatra and suspend mobile internet service. More than 90 people mostly teenagers were killed during the five month long protests. July 11: Two militants and an Army man were killed in Nowgam Sector of Kupwara district. July 23: An army man was killed during an encounter when according to Defense Spokesperson they tried to foil an infiltration bid. July 26: Army claimed that four militants were killed and one was apprehended during a fierce gunfight in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district in Kashmir while one militant was apprehended. July 29: Abdul Ahad Ganie of Qumroo Arizal Budgam died on spot while his 12 year old son Karmran was critically injured when their bike rammed into a barbed wire laid to block the road; A Tehreek-e-Hurriyat activist and a book-seller Fayaz Ahmed Rather son of Muhammad Ramzan Rather was shot dead by unidentified persons in Rafiabad Sopore. July 30: Two militants and two army man died in an encounter in Nowgam Sector in Kupwara district. July 31: Two Army men were killed in land mine blast in Kargil. Aug 1: A militant was killed in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district.
Aug 6: A militant was killed in Nowgam sector of Kupwara district. Aug 12: A policeman Manzoor Ahmed and a civilian Farooq Ahmed Dar were killed when militants opened fire on the cop at Chansar village of Kulgam district. Aug 15: Five militants were killed in a gunfight with Army in Uri Sector of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district while two militants and a CRPF Commandant of 49 Battalion Pramod Kumar was killed in an encounter at Nowhatta Srinagar. Aug 17: Two Army men and a cop were killed after militants attacked their convoy at Khawja Bagh Baramulla. The slain were identified as police constable Pritpal Singh, Sepoy J.Gosh and Sepoy Shakti Singh. Four security personnel including a police driver were wounded in the attack. Aug 21: Army claimed that it killed three militants in Tanghdar sector of Kupwara district. Aug 26: A police constable Khurshid Ahmed Ganie was shot dead by suspected militants in Qoil Pulwama after he was coming out from his home. Aug 30: A soldier Rajender Singh of 2 Raj Rifles was killed and another injured in Jammu district in a gunfight with infiltrating militants.
Sep 8: Four army men were injured after militants attacked their convoy near Wudipora Kralgund area of Langate constituency of Kupwara district. Sep 11: Eight militants and a cop were killed in three separate encounters in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district while two different gunfights also broke out in Poonch district of Jammu region. Five militants were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowgam Sector of Kupwara district. A policeman was killed and two others, including an officer, injured as forces engaged in twin encounters that also left 3 militants dead. Sep 12: A hospital employee Bilal Dar of Malaknag Hazratbal died while 14 others including four cops sustained injuries in a grenade blast at Sherbagh area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Sep 14: A police Rouf Ahmed from Mujgund area succumbed to his injuries. He had suffered injuries during an encounter in Nowhatta area of old Srinagar city on 15 August. Sep 18: At least 19 Army men were killed and four militants lost their lives in a fierce gunfight in Uri in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district. Sep 21: An army man was killed during a gunfight in Nowgam sector in North Kashmir.
October 2: Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Sarpanch Fayaz Ahmed at Kandizal Kakapora area of Pulwama district. Militants attacked an Army Camp in Janbazpora Baramulla killing one BSF man. Oct 6: Army said that it killed 7 militants in two different encounters in Handwara and Nowgam areas of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Three militants were killed when they tried to attack on a base of 30 RR in Langate area while four militants were killed in Nowgam sector when according to Army militants tried to infiltrate in this part of Kashmir. Oct 7: A policeman Nazir Ahmed from Kulgam was killed while another cop and a civilian was injured after militants Oct 11: During a 60 hours gunfight at EDI Pampore 2 militant were killed. Oct 12: A People’s Conference worker Ghulam Nabi Khoja was shot dead by militants at Kralgund Handwara. Oct 14: A Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) man was killed while eight others seriously injured in a militant attack in Zakura area on Srinagar outskirts. Oct 15: A soldier from Rajputana Rifles was killed in a sniper shot at Mehnder sector of Rajouri district. Oct 21: A built riddled body of Arwani Bijbehara youth Shamim Patloo was recovered in Kujar Kulgam. He was abducted by unidentified gunmen from his hometown a few days back. Oct 23: A BSF man Gurnam Singh succumbed to his injuries after he was injured in Pakistan firing at Kathua border. Oct 24: A BSF Constable Susheel Kumar.was killed and three others injured on Monday as India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire and shelling in several sectors along the International Border in Jammu district; Militants attacked the house of PDP leader and R&B Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri at Veer Bijbehara. The guards of Veeri responded and exchange of fire continued for 10 minutes creating panic in the area. Oct 27: A soldier from six Ghadwal Sandeep Singh was killed while another soldier Pradeep Bhandari was injured while foiling an infiltration bid along the border in Tangdar sector. Oct 28: An army man Mandeep Singh was killed and while militants attacked them in Machil sector. A militant was also killed during the gunfight. Oct 29: A BSF man, Nitin Subhash, was killed after the troops of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil sector in Tangdhar sector; Unknown gunmen shot dead a woman Zainab alias Zooni wife of Muhammad Yousuf at Naina Pulwama. Oct 31: An Indian Army soldier was killed in Rajouri area of Jammu and Kashmir during cross-border firing.
Nov 1: Eight persons including two women were killed and 18 including three army porters were injured in cross border firing on along the border and the Line of Control in Samba, Jammu, Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu region. Nov 5: A militant Waseem Ahmed Khandey was killed during an encounter in Shopian district. Nov 6: Two army men were killed in Pakistan cross border firing in Krishna Ghati Sector. Nov 7: A militant was killed in Wangum area of Shopian district. Nov 8: An army man was killed in cross border firing in Poonch sector. Nov 9: Two armymen were killed in cross border firing along line of control in Jammu sector. Two militants were killed in North Kashmir during an encounter at Rafiabad. The bullet riddled dead body of a civilian Zakir Ahmed Bhodu son of Ghulam Ahmed was recovered from Mehmoodpora Pattan. Nov 10: A militant was killed in Rampur sector of Baramulla district when a group of militants tried to infiltrate into this part of Valley. Nov 12: An Army man Harshid Batario was killed in cross border firing in Keran sector. Nov 14: Army said it killed a militant in Rajouri while foiling an infiltration bid. Nov 16: A Special Operation Group man Muhammad Rafiq was killed in an encounter in Yembarzalwari Marbal area of North Kashmir’s Sopore town. Nov 19: A militant Rayees Ahmed of Dangarmohalla Kakapora was killed in an encounter with government forces in Kakapora area of Pulwama in south Kashmir. Nov 21: A BSF man was killed in Pakistan firing in Rajouri sector. Nov 22: Two non-local militants were killed in Hajin area of Bandipora district in an encounter with government forces; Indian Army said that three of its soldiers were killed and one of them was beheaded by Pakistan army commandos in Machil sector of Kashmir. Nov 25: Two militants and an army man were killed in Tujjar Bandipora encounter. Militants killed two cops head constable Tanvir Ahmed and constable Jalaluddin in Kulgam. Nov 29: Seven soldiers, including two army officers, and six militants were killed in twin attacks in (Nagrota and Samba) Jammu division.
Dec 1: A civilian and a Congress worker Ajaz Ahmed Malik of Dooru Islamabad was shot dead by Army at Agno village. Dec 2: An employee of Fishery Department Asadullah Kumhar was killed in ‘cross firing’ in Chancher village of Kulgam district. Dec 8: A civilian Arif Ahmed Shah was killed near encounter site after Government Forces fired upon protesters in Arwani Bijbehara. Two charred bodies of alleged militants were recovered from Hasanpora Arwani after 42 hours long gun battle. Dec 14: A militant Engineer Basit Dar was killed in Marhama Bijbehara while a Pakistani militant Abu Bakar was killed in Bomai Sopore. Dec 17: Three soldiers were killed and two others injured in a militant attack on an army convoy on the Srinagar- Jammu Highway in Saffron town Pampore of Pulwama district in South Kashmir on Saturday. Dec 25: Unidentified gunmen shot dead 32-year old Nazir Ahmad Mir of Bahrampora Rafiabad outside his residence.
(Author is a senior Journalist who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)