BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav, announcing the BJP’s decision to pull out of an alliance with Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, June 19, said: “There were two major objectives when we joined the alliance – peace and progress in the state. Terrorism, violence and radicalisation have risen and fundamental rights of the citizens are in danger in the Valley. Shujaat Bukhari’s killing is an example… We discussed the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, and how much we’ve achieved since forming the government in the state. After a meeting with BJP’s Amit Shah, we decided that we cannot continue with PDP in the state.”
A telling refutation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that demonetisation had stamped out terrorism, the statement underlined the failure of the state government on this front. An analysis by IndiaSpend said there was a 64% rise in terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir over three years to 2017.
Over 800 terror incidents have been reported in J&K over the three years ending 2017 – up from 208 in 2015 to 342 in 2017 – according to the 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.
Ironically, it was amidst this scenario that home minister Rajnath Singh said on September 11, 2017, that 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.”
The state saw the most terror incidents in 2017 since 2010, which saw 488 incidents. J&K 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.
J&K 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.
More than 70,000 terror incidents have been reported in J&K 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.
As many as 4,799 stone pelting incidents were reported in J&K between 2015 and 2017, IndiaSpend reported on May 18, 2018.
Over 4,000 first information reports against 14,315 stone pelters have been registered during the last three years in the state, according to a reply to the J&K legislative council on February 7, 2018.
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.
After the PDP and the BJP formed a coalition government in Jammu & Kashmir in March 2015, armed encounters between militants and security forces have increased by 53% over the preceding three years, IndiaSpend reported on May 18, 2018.
This was hailed as an uncompromising tough stand against militancy. In 247 encounters recorded from 2015 to 2017, 439 militants (including 156 Kashmiris) and 200 government forces (including 109 army personnel) were killed.
The Central government called for a Ramzan ceasefire on May 16, 2018, 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 J&K during the ceasefire, Deccan Herald reported on June 17, 2018.
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 June 6, 2018.
J&K was rocked by a series of killings last week: Journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead on June 13, and rifleman Aurangzeb Khan of the Indian army was kidnapped and killed on June 14.
The rift between the two parties widened following the central government’s decision to resume anti-terror operations in the state after Ramzan, before the commencement of Amarnath Yatra. Both parties, uncomfortable with the alliance, wanted an opportune time to part ways and keep their voters happy. The BJP pulled the plug to go in for Governor’s rule – effectively Central rule – timing it to bring the end of this phase as close to 2019 Lok Sabha elections so that the state elections can be held together with, or after, that.