Indian security forces have martyred 62 freedom fighters in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) this year, a senior police official said on Sunday.
The occupied state’s police chief, Vijay Kumar, claimed some of the separatists killed this year had links with Lashkar-e-Taiba.
“The surviving rate of separatists has drastically decreased due to enhanced human, technical intelligence and focussed operations,” Kumar told Reuters.
Members of Hizbul Mujahideen were also among those killed, he said. He said 193 separatists were killed in 2021 and 232 in 2020.
Broad search and detention operations by Indian forces are common in the occupied region, which has had an armed resistance movement since 1989.
Rights groups say arbitrary detentions and killings by Indian troops are leading to a range of human rights violations.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019 withdrew Indian-ruled Kashmir’s autonomy in order to tighten his grip over the territory, provoking outrage in Pakistan.
The decision, the most far-reaching political move in one of the world’s most militarised regions in nearly seven decades, polarised opinion, with Kashmiri leaders calling it aggression against the state’s people.