At least 59 civilians have been killed and 168 others injured in militancy-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019, the home ministry data up to March, 2021 shows.
The data also suggested that no civilians were killed in a law and order situation since the abrogation of Article 370 in the newly formed Union Territory. However, 53 civilians were injured in law and order situations, including 29 from Awantipora alone during the same period.
Among all districts, Kulgam and Pulwama reported maximum civilian deaths of 15 and 12 in militant attacks between August 2019 and March 2021.
Parliament scrapped Article 370 on August 5, 2019 that removed the special status granted to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and also paved ways to split it into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
“Terrorists deliberately target civilians to put pressure on security forces. Despite the attempts of terrorists, the number of civilian deaths in terrorist violence and cross firing has decreased post abrogation of Article 370,” the latest home ministry data said.
In the past few weeks, attacks on civilians by the militants have increased. Three civilians, including a prominent Kashmiri Pandit chemist, were shot dead by suspected militants in Jammu and Kashmir on October 5.
Two civilians were attacked in Srinagar in separate incidents on October 2, leading to the death of one of them. The same day, militants also attacked a CRPF bunker.
A non-local labourer was killed on September 17 by militants in the Nehama area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam. An off-duty policeman was also shot dead on the same day.
Last month, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Dilbag Singh said militants have been looking for soft targets to create disturbance in the region.
BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir spokesperson Altaf Thakur had said in August that at least 23 BJP activists were killed in J&K in the last two years. “In past one year alone, nine deaths of BJP leaders and workers were reported in Kulgam district alone,” he said in a tweet.