Dec 26, 2008

India - Violence down by 40 p.c. in J&K, says DGP

Shujaat Bukhari

SRINAGAR: Maintaining that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir was fast changing, Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda on Thursday said violence had shown a remarkable decline by 40 per cent in 2008.

He said 800 militants were still active in the State and Pakistan was continuing with its attempts to push in more but the effective control along the borders had defeated their designs.

Interacting with journalists here, Mr. Khoda said that in spite of the agitation during the Amarnath land row, the situation had witnessed phenomenal change. The recent elections concluded without any major incident through a seven-phase long process.

He said in the 2002 elections 909 incidents took place but this time only 101 incidents were reported. Similarly 48 political activists including a minister were killed in 2002 but this year not a single political killing took place.

The DGP said the number of militancy-related incidents had also gone down drastically.

“The number of incidents has remained below 700 and in the past it has never been less than 1000.”

Compared to 164 civilian deaths in 2007, 89 were killed this year. The highest number of civilians killed was 1413 in 1996.

Mr. Khoda said 102 top militant commanders were killed by the security forces. “In all 350 militants were killed during the year” he added.

“For the first time, this year also witnessed the best ever performance of the police and security forces on the human rights front, as no complaint of custodial disappearance was reported” he said. However, there was one report of custodial death — of Ghulam Hassan Malla, resident of Chotipora Shopian. The investigation of the case is being pursued vigorously.

To a question, Mr. Khoda said that 300 of the 800 militants active in the State were foreigners.

He said lesser infiltration was witnessed. “Our vigil is effective and whosoever tries sneak in is being eliminated.”

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