By Chaitanya Mallapur
Mumbai: There was a 64 percent rise in terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir over three years to 2017, providing some perspective to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) decision to call off its three-year alliance with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Over 800 terror incidents have been reported in the state over the three years ending 2017 – up from 208 in 2015 to 342 in 2017 – according to an IndiaSpend analysis of government data.
As many as 744 people died in these three years: 471 terrorists, 201 security forces and 72 civilians, the data show.
It was amidst this scenario eight months ago that Union home minister Rajnath Singh said the situation in the conflict-ridden state was "improving". "I don't want to claim that everything is completely fine but things are improving, this I can say with firm belief," Singh had said on 11 September, 2017.
The state saw the most terror incidents in 2017 since 2010, which saw 488 incidents. Jammu and Kashmir witnessed the fewest terror incidents (170) over the last 28 years in 2013. Since then, incidents have more than doubled over the last four years to 2017.
The PDP and the BJP formed a coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir in March 2015. Since then, armed encounters between militants and security forces have increased by 53 percent over the preceding three years, IndiaSpend reported on 18 May. In 247 encounters recorded from 2015 to 2017, 439 militants (including 156 Kashmiris) and 200 government forces (including 109 army personnel) were killed.
The rift between the two parties widened following the central government's decision to resume anti-terror operations in the state after Ramzan, NDTV reported on 19 June.
"We have taken a decision, it is untenable for BJP to continue in alliance with PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, hence we are withdrawing," Ram Madhav, BJP national general secretary, said.
We have taken a decision, it is untenable for BJP to continue in alliance with PDP in Jammu & Kashmir, hence we are withdrawing: Ram Madhav, BJP pic.twitter.com/NWsmr7Io9e
— ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
Terrorism, violence and radicalisation have risen and fundamental rights of the citizens are under danger in the Valley. #ShujaatBukhari's killing is an example: Ram Madhav, BJP pic.twitter.com/0T0HLurWVu — ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
Keeping in mind larger interest of India's security and integrity, fact is that J&K is an integral part of India, in order to bring control over the situation prevailing in the state we have decided that the reigns of power in the state be handed over to the Governor: Ram Madhav pic.twitter.com/RauqGYtAQn — ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
The withdrawal of support by the BJP led to the resignation by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. "I am not shocked," Mufti said on the withdrawal of BJP from the alliance. "We didn't do this alliance for power. This alliance had a bigger motive - unilateral ceasefire, PM's visit to Pakistan, withdrawal of cases against 11,000 youth."
With the chief minister resigning, the state is likely to be under Governor's Rule. This is the eighth time Governor's Rule is being imposed on the state. The PDP won 28 of 87 seats in the 2014 state Assembly elections with the BJP coming second with 25. By quitting the government, the BJP is now in power in 19 of 29 states.
Jammu and Kashmir saw most terror incidents in 1995
The state saw the most terror incidents (5,938) in 1995 in which 1,332 terrorists were killed and 1,031 civilians and 237 security forces lost their lives. In 2001, the state saw most (2,020) terrorist deaths and maximum security forces (536) lost their lives.
Source: Lok Sabha 1; 2 Note: The data in Parliamentary Standing Committee report on terror incidents in J&K from 1990 to 12 March, 2017 do not tally with the total given in the table. We have sent an email to the ministry of home affairs on 18 June, requesting clarification on the data. We will update the copy as soon as we receive any response. We have used data from 1990 to 2016 from the parliamentary report, and data for 2017 from a Lok Sabha reply dated 13 March.
More than 70,000 terror incidents have been reported in Jammu and Kashmir over the last 28 years ending 2017, in which 22,143 terrorists were killed and 13,976 civilians and 5,123 soldiers lost their lives. The state was rocked by a series of killings last week: Journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead on 13 June, and rifleman Aurangzeb Khan of the Indian Army was kidnapped and killed on 14 June.
The United Nations released a report on 14 June, alleging violations of human rights and abuses by India in Jammu and Kashmir. The central government had called for a Ramzan ceasefire on 16 May, asking the security forces not to launch anti-terror operations during the period in a move to reduce violence and tension in the state.
However, 60 terror incidents and 39 deaths – including six civilians, nine security personnel and 24 terrorists – were reported in the state during the ceasefire, Deccan Herald reported on 17 June.
No respite from stone-pelting
As many as 39 incidents were reported during the first 16 days of Ramzan in May 2018 as against 195 incidents last year, Hindustan Times reported on 6 June. Between January and April this year, 245 incidents of stone pelting on central reserve police force were reported, in which 71 security personnel were injured.
As many as 4,799 stone pelting incidents were reported in Jammu and Kashmir between 2015 and 2017, IndiaSpend reported on 18 May. Over 4,000 first information reports against 14,315 stone pelters have been registered during the last three years in the state, according to this reply to the Jammu and Kashmir legislative council on 7 February. Comments have been coming in from political leaders on the sudden withdrawal of the BJP from the coalition government.
I have told Governor that since no party has the mandate to form government, he will have to impose Governor rule in the state: Omar Abdullah, National Conference on BJP called off alliance with PDP in #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/Tln9psdQC1 — ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
Whatever has happened is good. People of J&K will get some relief. They (BJP) ruined Kashmir & have now pulled out, maximum number of civilian & army men died during these 3 years. That question does not arise (on forming alliance with PDP): GN Azad, Congress pic.twitter.com/rcfVelHdnT — ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
We tried our best to run the govt with BJP. This had to happen. This is a surprise for us because we did not have any indication about their decision: Rafi Ahmad Mir, PDP Spokesperson on BJP pulling out of an alliance with PDP in #JammuAndKashmir pic.twitter.com/6laodyNY97 — ANI (@ANI) June 19, 2018
The author is an analyst with IndiaSpend.
Updated Date: Jun 20, 2018 12:45 PM