[Reader-list] 16 years of terror snuffed out 40,000 lives in J&K

Aditya Raj Kaul adityarajkaul at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 13:56:05 IST 2007

16 years of terror snuffed out 40,000 lives in J&K
*28 Aug, 2007, 0132 hrs IST,Sanjay K Singh, TNN*

 *NEW DELHI:* The Centre has admitted that cross-border terrorism and the
Pakistan-sponsored proxy war had claimed the lives of over 40,000 people in
the past 16 years in Jammu and Kashmir.

In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court in response to a PIL seeking
directions to the Centre to declare the Kashmiri migrants as internally
displaced persons, in keeping with the guidelines laid down by the United
High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Manmohan Singh government said
between 1990-2006, more than 40,000 persons, including both civilians and
Army personnel, had been killed. "The whole phenomenon of what has happened
in J&K since 1989 is an example of a proxy war and cross-border terrorism,''
the Centre said.

The government maintained that it had strenuously and consistently voiced
its stand at various international fora about Pakistan's involvement in
sponsoring large-scale secessionist and terrorist violence in the state,
which was in violation of all norms of international conduct. "The matter is
also being pursued by the government at various levels, including diplomatic
and political channels," the Centre observed.

Wary of its fallout on the state's social fabric, the Centre told the court
it had taken measures to ensure that communal harmony in the state and the
rest of the country was maintained.

The government also said that due to the menace of terrorism, the minorities
had been compelled to migrate outside the state, and argued in the same
breath that this phenomenon was not limited only to J&K. "In the wake of
terrorist and secessionist violence, over 8,000 families had migrated from
Punjab to Delhi in much the same circumstances as in the case of Kashmiri
pandits," the Centre claimed, hoping that in the days to come these Kashmiri
migrants would return to the valley.

Terrorism knows no religion, the Centre asserted in the affidavit. "Both the
majority population of the state of J&K, the Muslims and the minority
population, including the Hindus and the Sikhs, were victims of terrorist
violence in the state. The terrorists, with the main objective of creating a
communal divide, targeted the minority population by indulging in the mass
killings of the community members so as to provoke people to react along
communal lines all over the country and also to create a scare," the
affidavit pointed out.

It informed the apex court that Parliament had enacted the Armed Forces
(Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 which had been in operation in
the state since July 5, 1990.

The Centre, with the co-operation of state government, had also taken
measures to protect the life and property of different communities within
the state. These includes setting up of police/CRPF pickets in
villages/clusters inhabited by different communities in the Kashmir Valley
and providing adequate weaponry and communication facilities at these
pickets with the nearest security force units entrusted with the task of
area sanitization, the affidavit maintained.

Aditya Raj Kaul
Blog: www.kauladityaraj.blogspot.com

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