Published on Countercurrents.org, by Syed Junaid Hashmi, 13 July, 2007.
2 excerpts: In a state where voices seeking withdrawal of security forces from civilian areas and giving the charge to the state police are being looked upon with suspicion, official reports of Union Ministry of Home Affairs and state home department when compared reveal that incidents of normal crime reported and registered in the year 2006 are 13 times more than the militancy related incidents.
Ministry of Home Affairs in its annual report maintains that 1667 militancy related incidents were reported in the year 2006. Simultaneously, state home department says that 23, 492 cases of crime were registered during the same year. Out of these cases, 21,825 cases were related to normal policing, as claimed by a senior police officer.
The number of cases related to normal policing is 13 times higher than militancy related incidents. Further, the reports add that the number was 22,684 during the year 2005 which included 1990 militancy related incidents. Officials say that the number of cases related to normal policing was 10 times higher than the militancy related incidents.
The report of ministry of home affairs further says that when compared with north-east where Naxalite violence claimed 521 lives of the civilians during the year 2006, the number has been 389 in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a decrease of 30 percent from the year 2005 …
… However, politicians say that the end to the bloodshed in the state seems as unlikely as it was at any given point since the dramatic escalation of the militancy in 1989 but they maintain that security forces should be relocated from the civilian areas and control of the civilian areas be handed back to the state police.
They say that measures like the bus link and other CBMs may go a long way in removing some of the chronic mistrust between people on the two sides of Line of Control (LOC) but cannot change the internal dynamics, unless political-will to take brave decisions in favour of the local populace does not prevail over all the other issues of lesser importance. (full text).
Writer is a Journalist, presently associated with Jammu and Kashmir’s highly reputed and largest circulated daily “The Kashmir Times”. Contact him.