Article 370 abrogation: Kashmiri youths joining terrorist ranks drop by more than 40%
After the abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government, official data has found that militancy activities in Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a sharp drop and the number of Kashmiri youths joining terrorist ranks declined by more than 40 per cent.
On August 5 last year, the Central government of India repealed Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two Union Territories —Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
Ever since the decision, the number of youths who joined militancy fell to 67 between January 1 and July 15 this year, compared to 105 a year ago, while terrorist related incidents declined to 120 from 188 during this period.
Infiltration attempts along the Line of Control (LoC), however, remain high as Pakistan-based terrorist groups continue to try to send more militants in the Valley.
The decline in militant activities could be partially due to lockdown measures announced by the Union government in March due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“As many as 136 militants were gunned down in the past seven months, higher than 126 a year ago”, officials said citing the data.
On the other hand, 35 security forces personnel have been killed in the line of duty since January 1 compared to 75 in the year-ago period. Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), which is believed to have the largest presence in the region, is said to have suffered the highest casualties of more than 50 militants including its commander Riyaz Naikoo.
Other militants killed in the Valley were from Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, Islamic State of J&K and Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind, the data showed.
While 22 civilians were killed after the removal of special status from January to mid-July, the number was 23 a year ago. Home minister Amit Shah informed Parliament last year that more than 41,000 people including locals and security personnel were killed due to terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
Out of 136 militants killed this year, 110 were locals and the rest were from Pakistan. There have been fewer improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and grenade attacks this year.
“The number of IED attacks this year was 21, less than 51 last year, while one IED attack has been reported this year, as compared to six in the year-ago period”, said officials.