The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told Parliament on Wednesday that 5,161 preventive arrests were made in the Valley after August 4, a day before the government announced its decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
“With a view to prevent commission of offences involving breach of peace and activities prejudicial to the security of the state and maintenance of the public order, 5,161 preventive arrests, including stone pelters, miscreants, OGWs, separatists and political workers, were made since 4th of August, 2019, in Kashmir Valley, and, out of these, 609 persons are presently under detention, out of which approximately 218 are stone-pelters,” Minister of State (Home) G Kishan Reddy said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
He was responding to a question asked by DMK MP Tiruchi Siva on the detentions in Kashmir.
Sources said the data cited is only of preventive arrests, and the total arrests made would be much more.
On Tuesday, replying to a written question on stone-pelting incidents, Reddy told the Lok Sabha that “since August 5, 2019 to November 15, 2019, 765 people have been arrested in 190 cases registered relating to stone-pelting/ law and order.”
Replying to a separate question in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, Reddy said 586 incidents of terrorism had been reported in Kashmir from January 1 to November 10, in which 36 civilians were killed and 183 injured.
While the corresponding data for last year is similar — 614 incidents of terror, in which 39 civilians were killed and 183 injured — the figure, however, has almost doubled since 2016 and 2017, when less than 350 terror incidents were recorded.
According to Reddy’s reply, the victims this year included 13 civilians from Uttarakhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
“The government has adopted a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism. The security forces are taking effective and continuous action in countering terrorism, as a result of which a large number of terrorists have been neutralised in the state of Jammu and Kashmir during the past few years,” Reddy said in his reply.
The government, however, maintained silence on whether statehood would be restored in J&K.
Responding to a question by AAP MP Sushil Gupta on “whether the government is prepared to give back statehood status to J&K as early as possible”, Reddy said: “As per Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 which was notified on 09.08.2019, the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir has been reorganised into the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir with Legislature, and Union Territory of Ladakh without Legislature.”
In the past, Home Minister Amit Shah has maintained that J&K would get back its statehood after peace is restored in the Valley.
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