Nearly 4,800 incidents of protestors throwing stones were reported in Jammu and Kashmir between 2015 and 2017, the Home Ministry told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Over half of these – 2,808 – took place in 2016. The number of such incidents was 730 in 2015 and 1,261 in 2017, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said in reply to a question.

In response to another question in the Upper House, Ahir said 17 protestors and two security personnel were killed during protests using pump action guns in the three-year period. The government has come under a lot of criticism in recent years after severe injuries were reported because of the pump action guns.

Ahir said the Centre had accepted the recommendations of a committee set up in 2016 to explore alternatives to pump action guns, and was now using other measures such as chilli-based Pava shells and tear smoke shells to disperse protestors in the state.

On Tuesday, Ahir had told the Lok Sabha that only one instance of the influence of the Islamic State group has been reported in the Kashmir Valley – when some “miscreants” shouted slogans in support in Srinagar in November 2017.