Nine Kashmiri Pandits have been killed by militants in Jammu and Kashmir in the past three years, the Centre told Parliament on Wednesday.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai made the statement in the Rajya Sabha in response to a question by Congress MP Rajmani Patel.

The minister said that one Kashmiri Pandit was killed by militants in 2020, and four each in 2021 and 2022. The numbers for this includes one victim from Kashmiri Rajput community, the minister said.

“The Government has a policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and the security situation has improved significantly in Jammu and Kashmir,” Rai claimed. “There has been substantial decline in terrorist attacks from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021.”

The minister also told the Rajya Sabha that the Centre reimbursed funds worth Rs 2,814.095 crore to the Jammu and Kashmir government towards security-related expenditure for the police.

On July 20, the Centre told the Rajya Sabha that militant attacks in Jammu and Kashmir have substantially declined since August 5, 2019. No Kashmiri Pandit has migrated out of the Valley over the last three years, it had claimed.

However, in October, reports of Kashmiri Pandits migrating from the Shopian district surfaced after Ashwani Kumar Bhat, whose brother Puran Krishan Bhat was killed by militants on October 16, said that his family will never return to Kashmir.

However, the Shopian administration had immediately refuted the claims.

A group of Kashmiri Pandit employees recruited under the prime minister’s rehabilitation package in 2008 have also been holding protests since May. They have been demanding that they be relocated to safer places outside the Valley.

The protests began after Rahul Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit, was shot dead in his office in the Chadoora area of Budgam district on May 12.