Ninety-six civilians were killed in Jammu and Kashmir after Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which had given the special status to the former state, was revoked in August 2019, the Centre told Parliament on Wednesday.
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government had abrogated Article 370 on August 5, 2019. Jammu and Kashmir was split into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
On Wednesday, during the Winter Session of Parliament, Congress Rajya Sabha MP Digvijaya Singh had asked the Centre how many civilians, members of the security forces and militants had been killed in Jammu and Kashmir after its special status was scrapped.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said between August 5, 2019, and November 30, the number of militants killed was 366 and 81 members of the security forces had also died in Jammu and Kashmir.
Another Congress MP Amee Yajnik asked the central government about the steps taken to protect civilians in the Union Territory from militant attacks.
Rai said that the government’s measures to protect civilians included operations against militants, identification and arrest of their supporters, action against members of banned organisations and intensified night patrolling.
Rajya Sabha member and Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader KM Suresh Reddy sought to know how the government was protecting migrant workers in Jammu and Kashmir.
In October, several civilians, including migrant workers, had been shot dead by militants in the Union Territory. Amid the spate of killings, the police had moved migrant workers to security camps.
Rai told Reddy that a strong “security and intelligence grid” had been put in place in Jammu and Kashmir for the safety of migrant workers.
“In addition, day and night area domination, patrolling and proactive operations against terrorists are being carried out in the areas where migrant workers work/reside,” the minister added. “Besides, road opening parties are adequately augmented at strategic points to thwart any terrorist attack on migrant workers in Kashmir.”
Civilian deaths rose, Army fatalities fell
Since, August 5, 2019, on an average there have been more than three casualties per month in militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir as compared to over two almost five years before that, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday, citing data from the home ministry.
Meanwhile, there were nearly two Army casualties on an average per month since August 5, 2019, compared to close to three reported five years ago, according to the newspaper.