08 May, 2021

Headshot Alley

Security forces’ body count rises in a spate of encounters after the Pulwama attack

Ruin Ops
Houses destroyed in the March 5 Tral encounter
Photograph by Javed Ahmad
Headshot Alley

The Valley is in the grips of a contin­uous cycle of violence since the ­Pulwama att­ack of February 14 in which a suicide bomber blew up 40 CRPF personnel. The number of enc­ounters has gone up and so have the death counts. In the five encounters since February 14, a ­total of 12 security personnel and 11 militants have been reportedly killed. These recent encounters rev­eal a concerning statistic for the forces: the proportion of men lost on their side is unusually higher if compared to the encounters that took place before the Pulwama attack.

Some of these encounters have been long-drawn affairs, increasing the disturbance in daily life in several areas of the Valley. The first encounter post the Pulwama attack took place just four days after, in Pinglan village on February 18. It was an 18-hour gunfight in which four army men and a policeman were killed. Among the four slain from the army was Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, 33.

Two Jaish-e-Mohammed militants were also killed. One was identified as a local: Hilal Ahmad Naik alias Rashid,...

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