NEW DELHI: The situation in Kashmir is witnessing a positive change, with the number of youth joining terrorism witnessing a decline, and the number of stone pelting incidents also falling, but there has been a rise in the number of incidents of civil unrest. A part of an internal report of the Army shared with the media shows that while 2018 saw a sharp rise in the number of youth joining various terrorist groups, the figure has come down in the corresponding months of January, February and March in 2019.
In the first three months of 2018, 52 youths had joined terrorist outfits, but the figure has come down to 18 in the same period in 2019. This number was 23 in 2017. The other indicator which hints at amelioration of the ground situation is declining incidents of stone pelting by crowds when the security forces carry out anti-terrorist operations.
There has been a steady decline in the number of such incidents since October 2018. There appears to be a direct co-relation between the decline in the number of stone pelting incidents and the incidents of civil unrest. While the months of January, February and March 2019 saw 20, 16 and 17 incidents of stone pelting, respectively, the cases of civil unrest numbered 48, 68 and 69, respectively.
A senior army officer privy to report said, “The intensity of stone pelting during operations against terrorists has seen a decline, but incidents of civil unrest have increased.”This year, until April 18, the security forces eliminated 68 terrorists. In March alone, 21 terrorists were killed, of which 11 belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad, five to Lashkar-e-Taiba and five to Hizbul Mujahideen.