Tuesday, June 19, 2018 | 8:44 PM

Indian home ministry says only 15 civilians killed in 2016, makes no mention of Burhan Wani

Friday, April 21, 2017

(Kashmir Reader) - The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has said in its report of the year 2016-17 that the number of soldiers killed was much higher than the number of civilians killed in Kashmir.

The report says that only 15 civilians were killed in 2016, compared to 82 soldiers who lost their lives. The report, a copy of which Srinagar-based English daily Kashmir Reader claims to have in possession, does not even mention the name of Burhan Wani, whose killing triggered a massive uprising in the Valley in which above 80 civilians were killed and hundreds blinded, maimed, and imprisoned by Indian forces.

The home ministry report portrays a rosy picture of Kashmir and makes it seem as if nothing unusual happened in the Valley.

“On April 8, based on intelligence inputs about presence of 2-3 militants at Kokernag in Anantnag, a cordon was laid by J&K Police along with 19 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) of Indian Army. During the ensuing encounter, three terrorists were neutralized. One of them was the commander of the notorious terrorist organization Hizbul Mujahideen which is part of the Pakistan based United Jehad Council. United Jehad Council is a united group of various terrorist outfits viz Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) etc which acts on advise of Pakistan and gives shape to terrorist incidents in India,” reads the report.

It said that after the killing of the three HM militants, violent protests started in Kashmir Valley, particularly in rural areas of south Kashmir. “During initial days of unrest, Hurriyat leaders were involved in fomenting the trouble in the shape of organizing protests and forcing the shopkeepers to shut their shops through their dictates of protest calendars. However, Police /CAPFs, in coordination with the civil administration of the state have been successful to a large extent to break the cycle,” the report says.

The report added that Pakistan has changed its strategy in Kashmir and is “radicalising youths” through social media.

“The year 2016 has seen a change in Pak tactics following a strategy of the superimposition of militancy over ‘civil resistance’ through radicalization by vested interest groups and social media,” the report says.

The entire focus of the report is on cross-border infiltrations and “Pak-sponsored terror”.

“The union government, in tandem with the state government, has adopted a multi-pronged approach to contain cross border infiltration, which inter-alia includes strengthening of the border infrastructure, multi-tier and multi-modal deployment along the International Border/ Line of Control, and near the ever-changing infiltration routes, construction of border fencing, improved technological surveillance, weapons and equipments for Security Forces (SFs), improved intelligence and operational coordination, synergized intelligence flow, and pro-active action against terrorists within the state,” reads the report.

The report makes no mention of the five-member delegation led by India’s former finance minister Yashwant Sinha that visited Kashmir on October 25-27 last year. The delegation had in its report warned that Kashmir may witness “something bigger” in 2017 and had asked New Delhi to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders in Kashmir.

“There is a near complete lack of faith in anything that the Government of India says or promises because of a history of broken commitments. Even among those who say that they see a future with India, there is anger that India has not done enough to keep the Kashmiris with it,” the report had said.

The MHA report does mention the All Party Delegation (APD) led by Home Minister Rajnath Singh that visited Srinagar and Jammu on September 4-5. “The members of the APD appealed to the people of J&K to shun the path of violence and resolve all the issues through dialogue and discussion,” the report, citing the feedback of the APD led by Rajnath Singh, says.

The report also mentions “engagement of Kashmiri youths with IT industries through UDAAN scheme and enhancement of honorarium to the Special Police Officers (SPOs) in J&K from Rs 3,000 per month to up to Rs 6,000” as “achievements”.