SRINAGAR — July this year turned out to be the bloodiest month in Jammu and Kashmir as, on average, every second day witnessed a gunfight.
Data suggests that in July, J&K witnessed 15 gunfights in which 31 militants were killed. Among them, most were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Of 15 gunfights, four each were reported in Kulgam and Pulwama and one each in Anantnag, Srinagar, Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Shopian, Rajouri districts.
Notably, 31 killed militants include nine top commanders including Neeshaz Lone of Tral Pulwama, Aarif Hajam of Sadoora Anantnag, Ishfaq Ahmad Dar of Heff Shopian, Aijaz alias Abu Huraira (a non-local), Fayaz War of Sopore, Sharik Baba of Bandipora and Aamir Mir of Check-i-Choland Shopian — all of whom were associated with LeT — Mehrajudin Halwai of Kupwara, associated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, and Ismail Alvi alias Lamboo of Jaish-e-Mohammad.
Police termed the killing of the commanders a big success and said that they were involved in a series of militancy-related incidents.
A top official said that Lashkar has been almost wiped out mainly from south Kashmir and other than Reyaz Ahmad from Sethargund Kakapora, no local top commander of the organization is active now in the region.
On July 2, five militants including a top commander were killed in a 17-hour-long gunfight in Hanjan village of Rajpora hamlet of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
They were identified as Nishaz Hussain Lone alias Khitab (district commander LeT), son of Manzoor Ahmed Lone, a resident of Nageenpora Tral and active since 2018; Danish Manzoor Shiekh, son of Manzoor Ahmad, a resident of Sathergund Kakapora; Amir Wagay, son of Ab Gani Wagay, a resident of Hanjan Payeen; Manzoor Lone from Gurez and a foreign militant, identified as Abu Rehan alias Tawheed, a resident of Pakistan. All the killed militants were affiliated with LeT.
On July 7, a top militant commander of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen was killed in a gunfight with government forces in Handwara Tehsil of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Police identified the militant as Mehraj-du-Din Halwai alias Ubaid, a resident of Sopore in Baramulla district. He has been active since 2012.
On July 8, six militants were killed in three separate gunfights in south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Kulgam districts of Kashmir division and Rajouri district of Jammu division.
In Pulwama, two militants namely Kifayat Ramzan from Padgampora and Inayat Ahmad Dar Samboora were killed in a gunfight in Puchal area of the district, while in Kulgam, two militants identified as Shahbaz Ahmad Shah, a resident of Katrusu Kulgam, and Nasir Ahmad Pandith from Redwani Kulgam were killed in a brief gunfight in Zadora Kulgam.
On the same day, two unidentified militants were killed in Sunderbani area of Rajouri district.
On July 9, militants managed to give slip to forces after exchange of fire in the Redwani area of Kulgam. However, July 10 saw the killing of three militants in Sadoora Anantnag. They were identified as Basit Ahmad from Telwani Anantnag, Suhail Ahmad from Pulwama and Aarif Hajam of Sadoora. The trio was killed in a gunfight in Kwaripora area of Anantnag district.
On July 14, three LeT militants, identified as LeT commander Aijaz alias Abu Huraira, a resident of Pakistan; Javeed Ahmad Rather, son of Abdul Ganie Rather, a resident of Tahab Pulwama, and Shahnawaz Nazir Ganie, son of Nazir Ahmad Ganie, a resident of Samboora Awantipora, were killed in a gunfight in new colony area of Pulwama town.
On July 16, two militants identified as Irfan Ahmad Sofi and Bilal Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Natipora, were killed in a gunfight in Danmar Srinagar.
On July 19, top LeT commander Ishfaq Ahmad Dar from Heff Shopian and his newly joined associate, Majid Iqbal from Nowpora Imamsahib, were killed in a gunfight in Check Sadiq Khan village of Shopian district.
On July 23, a top LeT commander, Fayaz War, along with his associate, Shaheen Molvi of Cherpora Budgam, were killed in a gunfight in Warpora Sopore.
On July 24, three militants, including a commander, namely Shariq Baba from Bandipora, were killed in a gunfight in Shokbaba Amlar woods of Bandipora district.
On 25 July, police claimed to have killed a militant named Imran Ahmad from Batengoo Anantnag in Munad Yaripora area of Kulgam district. However, his family claimed that he was a civilian.
On July 26, a top commander of the LeT, Aamir Mir of Check-i-Choland in Shopian, was killed in a gunfight at Aharbal Kulgam.
On July 31, two unidentified militants including a top commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Ismail Alvi alias Lamboo, were killed in Tarsar forest area of Tral area of Pulwama.