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Has terrorism reduced in J-K as Amit Shah claimed?

October 29, 2021 08:30 IST

On his first visit to Srinagar post the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, Home Minister Amit Anilchandra Shah claimed that incidents of terrorism have declined and stone-throwing incidents too have ended in Jammu-Kashmir.
Syed Firdaus Ashraf/ digs out the facts.
Data: Hemant Shivsaran/

IMAGE: Union Home Minister Amit Anilchandra Shah at the inauguration of various developmental projects at the SKICC stadium in Srinagar, October 25, 2021. Photograph: ANI Photo

One year before the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government made way for Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi, things did not start on a smooth note regarding Jammu-Kashmir.

On February 9, 2013, Afzal Guru (the accused in December 2001 Parliament attack) was hanged to death, thus making everyone wonder what the future held for J&K as violence erupted in the state.

IMAGE: Afzal Guru, the accused in the December 2001 Parliament attack, was hanged on February 9, 2013. Photograph: ANI Photo

One change noticed that same year was the drastic fall in terrorist incidents in 2013 post Afzal Guru's death.

There were 170 terrorist violence incidents that year resulting in 53 soldiers getting martyred whereas 15 civilians and 67 terrorists were killed.

Terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir (2008 to 2013)
YearIncidentSFs killedCivilians killedTerrorists killed
2008 708 75 91 339
2009 499 64 78 239
2010 488 69 47 232
2011 340 33 31 100
2012 220 15 15 72
2013 170 53 15 67

Source: Annual reports of the ministry of home affairs

The first three months of 2014 saw 46 infiltration attempts in which four Indian soldiers were martyred and four civilians killed, with 24 terrorists being killed by the security forces.

Terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir (2014)
YearIncidentSFs KilledCivilians killedTerrorist Killed
**2014 46 4 4 24

Data till March 31, 2014

Source: Annual report of the ministry of home affairs

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi at an election rally at the Sher-i-Kashmir cricket stadium in Srinagar in 2014. Photograph: PTI Photo

Enter the Modi government in May 2014 and everyone thought a new chapter will be opened in Jammu and Kashmir.

Many were hopeful because Modi had openly stated that he would continue the peace process initiated by then prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Sure enough, Modi did something that took political observers by surprise. The Bharatiya Janata Party tied up with Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's Peoples Democratic Party and formed an alliance government in J&K in 2015.

Terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir (2014 and 2015)
YearIncidentSFs KilledCivilians killedTerrorist Killed
2014 222 47 28 110
2015 208 39 17 108

Source: Annual report of the ministry of home affairs

Though politics went on as usual, terrorism surfaced time and again.

In 2014, there were 222 incidents of terrorist violence in which 47 security personnel were martyred. 28 civilians were killed. 110 terrorists too were killed in 2014.

In 2015, 208 incidents of terrorist violence were reported in the state, with 39 security personnel being martyred and 17 civilians losing their lives.

108 terrorists were killed in 2015.

IMAGE: Burhan Wani was gunned down on July 8, 2016. Photograph: PTI Photo

On July 8, 2016, the Indian Army tracked down terrorist Burhan Wani and gunned him down in an encounter.

Wani was the poster boy of terrorism in the Kashmir Valley and would post his pictures on social media regularly and talk about his exploits.

Two months later, on September 18, 2016, an Indian Army brigade in Uri was attacked at 5.30 am in which 18 soldiers were martyred.

The army avenged the soldiers's deaths by the surgical strikes on September 28-29, 2016, destroying terrorist training camps and eliminating terrorists across the Line of Control in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

The statistics for 2016 to 2018 show the worst scenario in Jammu and Kashmir.

Terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir (2016 to 2018)
YearIncidentSFs KilledCivilians killedTerrorist Killed
2016 322 82 15 150
2017 342 80 40 213
2018 614 91 39 257

Source: Annual report of the ministry of home affairs.

IMAGE: A Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a Central Reserve Police Force bus in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on February 14, 2019, martyring 40 CRPF troopers. Photograph: PTI Photo

On February 14, 2019, in the worst terrorist attack in recent memory, 40 Central Reserve Police Forces soldiers were martyred when a terrorist carried out a suicide attack in Pulwama.

In retaliation, Indian Air Force aircraft struck terrorist camps in Pakistan, reportedly killing scores of terrorists waiting to cross the LoC.

After winning a decisive re-election in the summer of 2019, Prime Minister Modi took thedecision to abrogate Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The results were dramatic: By the very next year there was more than a 50 percent drop in incident of terrorist violence in the newly created Union Territory of Jammu-Kashmir.

IMAGE: Security personnel take position near the Line of Control in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir, August 12, 2019. Photograph: ANI Photo.
Terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir (2019)
YearIncidentSFs KilledCivilians killedTerrorist Killed
2019 594 80 39 157

Source: Annual report of the ministry of home affairs

In 2020, there was 244 incidents of terror attacks in which 62 security forces were martyred and 37 civilians lost their lives.

The ministry of home affairs Web site states that 168 terrorists were killed in 2020.

Terrorist violence in Jammu and Kashmir (2020)
YearIncidentSFs KilledCivilians killedTerrorist Killed
2020 244 62 37 168

Source: Ministry of home affairs

The ministry of home affairs Web site has not been updated for 2021.

Data maintained by the independent Web site South Asia Terrorism Portal, which keeps tabs on terrorist activities in Jammu-Kashmir, more or less matches home ministry records.

Datasheet: Jammu and Kashmir terrorist-attacks
YearIncidents of killingCiviliansSecurity forcesTerrorists/ insurgents/ extremistsNot specifiedTotal
2018 206 86 95 271 0 658
2019 135 42 78 163 0 418
2020 140 33 56 232 0 461
**2021 120 31 35 149 0 335
Total 601 192 264 815 0 1872

Data till October 25, 2021

Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, there were 206 killings in Jammu-Kashmir in 2018 which fell to 140 in 2020 and to 118 so far in 2021.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/