Wahid Bhat | Srinagar
The year 2019 recorded the maximum number of stone pelting incidents in newly union territory Jammu and Kashmir, compared to the years 2017 and 2018, according to data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in response to a Right to Information (RTI) Act application.
There was a spike in the numbers post August, the month in which J&K’s special status was revoked, as it witnessed 658 such incidents, the highest in the year. The previous month of July saw 26 such incidents.
Jammu and Kashmir has been placed under unprecedented restrictions and a communication lock down since August 5 after the abrogation of article 370 and 35A of the Constitution besides divided Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
In the years 2017 and 2018, the number of stone pelting incidents stood at 1,412 and 1,458 respectively. Till November 30 last year, as many as 1,996 such incidents had been reported.
On November 19, while responding to a question by Member of Parliament Kanakmal Katara on the number of stone-pelting incidents reported after Article 370 was repealed, the MHA informed the Lok Sabha that from January 1-November 15, 2019, the police had registered 551 cases “relating to stone pelting/ law & order,” of which 190 were registered post August 5.
According to the MHA, in response to an RTI filed by Jammu resident Rohit Choudhary, the number of incidents of terrorist violence from January-November 2019 stood at 591, with the most number of incidents — 152 — reported in the month of September.
The MHA had informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on December 3 that “the incidents of terrorist violence have declined after August 5”.
“During the 115 day period, from August 5 till November 27, there have been 88 such incidents as compared to 106 such incidents from April 12 till August 4,” MHA said in a written reply.
The RTI reply shows that from January-July, the number incidents of terrorist violence stood at 282, while 309 incidents were reported from August-November.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah told ABP News last week that the situation was “under control” in J&K and routine activities were going on.
The RTI reply also said that 3,086 ceasefire violations or firing from Pakistan’s side had been reported along the Line of Control (LoC), with the most number — 398 — recorded in October.
There had been a drop in the number of militants killed, from 131 killed in January-July to 26 killed in August-November. The number of militants arrested stood at 109, with 47 arrested in the months of August-November.
Around 43,000 Central armed police personnel were deployed in J&K in run up to August 5, with the force strength surpassing the deployment seen in the 1990s. Around 7,000 personnel were pulled out in December.