‘Historic low’ in terror, Naxal violence
Calling it a “satisfactory year”, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram today said that 2011 had seen a “historic low” level of terror and Naxalite-related violence in states affected by the twin problems. Number of militancy-related events in Jammu and Kashmir, in fact, were the lowest in 2011 since militancy erupted in the state 21 years ago.
“Thirty-one civilians and 33 security personnel lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir, as against 47 and 69 respectively in 2010. The containment of violence was helped by the fact that panchayat elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir after a gap of 23 years,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir police chief Kuldeep Khoda said the incidents of militant violence have been falling for the past two years and were down to 190 this year. At the height of militancy in 1995, the J&K police had recorded a total of 5,946 cases of violence. “Jammu province witnessed 74 per cent drop (this year), while Kashmir province witnessed 33 per cent drop,” Khoda said.
In the Northeast, 69 civilians and 32 security personnel were killed (as against 94 and 20 respectively in 2010). Chidambaram attributed this to the talks process being on with most organisations there, including ULFA and the National Democratic Front for Bodoland.
Besides, a tripartite agreement was entered into with the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and a memorandum of settlement signed with another outfit, the UPDS, he said.
The level of violence in Naxal-affected states also declined, although it is still unacceptably high, the home minister said. “This year 447 civilians and 142 security personnel were killed as against 718 and 285 respectively in 2010,” he said.
Khoda called 2011 a year of hope. “It has erased to a great extent the grim memories of the two decades of militancy and unfolded promise for new hope. This hope has to be sustained.”
Chidambaram accepted that the bomb blasts on July 13 in Mumbai and September 7 in Delhi were a stern reminder that terrorist modules continue to be active in the country, but said they would focus on “capacity building”. “Violence is still at an unacceptably high level and every effort will be made to contain violence.”
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