New Delhi: The Central Government on February 7 informed Parliament that the security situation had improved significantly in Jammu & Kashmir in the last few years.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today, Union Minister of State for Home, Nityanand Rai, said the government has a zero-tolerance policy against terrorism.
Multiple measures have been taken to protect the lives of civilians in Jammu & Kashmir.
Nityanand Rai said the number of security personnel killed in action has significantly reduced from 62 in 2020 to 31 in 2022. He added that civilian killings have also reduced from 37 in 2020 to 30 in 2022. He said that since 2020, a total of 108 civilians had been killed, while 135 security personnel also lost their lives during the same period.
Elaborating on the various measures being taken by the government to protect the lives of civilians, the Minister said that round-the-clock ‘nakas’ at strategic points had been set up. Moreover, he said, cordon and search operations have also intensified.
Nityanand Rai said that the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had imparted necessary training to over 900 Village Defence Guard members in collaboration with the Jammu and Kashmir Police in the hilly district of Rajouri.
In November 2022, government sources stated that there had been a perceptible change in the ground situation in Jammu & Kashmir since August 2019, when the controversial Article 370 was abolished, and the erstwhile state was bifurcated into two.
“Earlier parents used to feel proud if their ward/children joined terrorism/militancy. Now they say their ward is not a terrorist. They also appeal to the children to come out if they joined any terror outfit and return to the mainstream,” those in the know of things had said.
The government sources also claimed that since the abrogation of Article 370, the newly carved-out Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, is fast emerging as an industrial hub.
Officials say reasons for the same could be factors like significantly fewer crime rates in the UT province.
According to data available, while the UT of Jammu & Kashmir has a 216.7 rate per one lakh population, many states and those, particularly in the northern region, have higher rates of criminal activities as compared to Jammu & Kashmir. Himachal Pradesh in the neighbourhood has 280.2, Punjab 274.6, Haryana – 658.6, and Delhi – 1309.5.
Officials say one basic point being appreciated largely is that Jammu & Kashmir have adequate skilled manpower.
It has as many as 136 ITIs and Polytechnic colleges imparting technical skills. Jammu as a township holds the unique distinction of being the only Indian city where one has AIIMS, IIM and an IIT, sources said.