The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday (December 12) stated that the number of terror related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in 2018 have nearly doubled with state recording 587 incidents till now. The year saw 238 terror operatives being neutralised by security forces in the state till December 2, 2018.
In terms of sheer numbers, this is maximum success for security forces for a given year in the last decade. But, the penultimate year of Narendra Modi government has shown that despite pressure from security forces the number of terror incidents are on the rise.
As many as 86 security personnel and 37 civilians also lost their lives.
In 2017, the year of the much touted “Operation All Out”, there were 329 incidents of terrorist violence in the state in which 200 militants were eliminated while 74 security personnel and 36 civilians were also killed in these incidents. In 2016, the year when Hizb Commander Burhan Wani was killed, there were 322 terror related incidents in which 150 terrorists were gunned down while 82 security force personnel and 15 civilians lost their lives.
The Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir, however, pinned the blame on Pakistan for state-sponsored terrorism. In a written response to an unstarred question, he said, “The level of terrorist violence in hinterland of J&K is linked to infiltration from across the border and action against terrorists.”
Many have raised questions on Centre’s muscular policy in J&K.
According to a recent interview, Lt Gen AK Bhatt, General-Officer-Commanding of the Indian Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps is said to have told a daily that the military can only have a limited role, with solutions critical for resolving the larger Kashmir issue lying in the realm of politics – good governance, and political engagement as witnessed during the Vajpayee years.
While security forces maintain that number of stone-pelting incidents have gone down significantly, the minister informed Rajya Sabha that there are 759 incidents of stone-pelting recorded so far this year. Replying to a written question, Ahir said, “There are instances of stone-pelting during anti-militancy operations in J&K. The state government has reported that 759 cases have been registered against stone pelters in 2018.”