Civilian deaths: ISI’s new pressure trap for security forces in J&K

Mounting pressure on security forces in Jammu and Kashmir through “deliberate” civilian killings is learnt to be a fresh trap of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) which is continuously involved in pushing terrorists through PoK-based launch pads along the Line of Control (LoC).

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has learnt from intelligence inputs that the motive behind the civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir is only to build pressure on security forces which has now been gaining sympathy of locals in the Valley after abrogation of Article 370 — which gave special status to the erstwhile state.

Seeking to counter the stratagem, security forces in the Union Territory are being regularly briefed by their commanding officers to not get in trap, and only follow the “zero tolerance” motto against terrorist activities.

A source, privy to the inputs received from intelligence wing, told IANS that the ISI has given clear direction to all its fresh batches of militants pushed in the Valley in the last one year to target civilians so that security forces could be put under pressure.

The ISI’s direction followed proper management of law and order in Jammu and Kashmir in which “there has been no incident of civilian deaths after abrogation of Article 370”.

“However, due to terrorist violence supported from across the border, terrorists deliberately target civilians to put pressure on security forces.

“Despite the attempts of terrorists, the number of civilian deaths in terrorist violence and cross firing has decreased post-abrogation of Article 370,” the source said.

A written document submitted in the Rajya Sabha by Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy also authenticated the fact that “terrorists deliberately target civilians to put pressure on security forces” in Jammu and Kashmir.

As per Home Ministry data collated between January 1, 2019 to February 28 this year, 78 civilian deaths were reported in Jammu and Kashmir during terrorist violence. Of them, 39 deaths were reported in 2019, 37 in 2020 and two this year.

Civilian killings in terrorist attacks have now been the major concern of the Central and the Jammu and Kashmir governments and it is learnt that a detailed plan has been prepared by the security forces to curb the menace and give befitting reply to the malicious motives of the ISI-led terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

During 2019 to February 28 this year, 40 civilians lost their lives in cross firing between armed forces and terrorists.

The next of kin of the civilians killed in the militancy related incidents are paid ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh. Further, they have an option either to be appointed to government service or take a further Rs 4 lakh cash compensation.

In respect of the persons who sustain injuries in such incidents, ex-gratia is provided at the rate of Rs 0.75 lakh (Rs 75,000) for permanent disability, Rs 0.05 lakh (Rs 5,000) for serious injury (hospitalisation more than 24 hours), Rs 0.01 lakh (rs 1,000) for injury (hospitalisation less than 24 hours), and Rs 500 for minor injuries.

In addition, under the MHA scheme, financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh is given to the family members in the event of death or permanent incapacitation of the victim as a result of terrorist, communal or Left-Wing Extremist (LWE) violence, cross border firing and mine or IED blasts on Indian territory.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at