In a positive development, incidents of stone-pelting saw an 87.13% drop in 2020, as compared to 2019 in the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The data, presented by Director General of Police (J & K) Dilbag Singh, shows the impact that the abrogation of Article 370, enforced in August 2019, had on the region in a span of just one year.
Singh said, “There have been 255 stone-pelting incidents in 2020 as compared to the incidents in 2019 and the year (2020), witnessed an 87.31 per cent decline.” He further emphasised, “Law and order situation is well under control. Our resolve for 2021 is strengthening and consolidating peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.”
87.13 per cent dip in incidents of stone-pelting in 2020 compared to 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir; law and order situation well under control: Director General of Police Dilbag Singh (PTI)— The Times Of India (@timesofindia) January 2, 2021
A large proportion of these incidents were witnessed, following the Centre’s decision to do away with Article 370 and completely integrate Jammu and Kashmir in the Indian Union. In the historic legislation, the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
Tracking the stone-pelting incidents between 2016 and 2020
In 2015, about 730 incidents of stone-pelting were reported. Following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in 2016, about 2,653 cases of stone-pelting were recorded, amidst widespread violence in his support. In 2017, the number plummeted down to 1,412 incidents and saw a marginal rise to 1,458 cases in 2018. As per reports, in 2019 alone, there were 1,999 incidents of stone-pelting.
While 2019 had seen a sharp increase in stone-pelting cases, following the abrogation of Article 370, a crackdown on terrorism in the Valley by the Central government had seen the cases fall to 250 in 2020. It is reported that the worst years, in terms of stone-pelting incidents, have been 2010, 2016 and 2019.
Stone pelting has been a commonplace event for the Pakistan-sponsored terror sympathisers in Jammu and Kashmir and the trend began since the 2008 Amarnath-land row agitation. While speaking to Economic Times, an Indian commander said that stone pelting is used as a tool to agitate security forces, since they are aware that the police or army personnel cannot use guns against them.
Abrogation of Article 370
In the manifesto, BJP had promised to repeal Article 370 from the state of Jammu and Kashmir that gave it special status. On 5th August, the BJP-led Union government fulfilled the promise. The state was divided into two Union Territories, Ladakh, and Jammu & Kashmir, under Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act. The decision came into effect from 31sr October 2019.