February 2006 News

India admits decline in Kashmir violence, infiltration

21 February 2006
The Daily Times
Iftikhar Gilani

New Delhi: India on Tuesday admitted the incidents of violence and infiltration have gone down in Jammu and Kashmri considerably. India’s junior minister for home affairs S Ragupathy told Lok Sabha here during question hour that against the press reports no increase in infiltration was noticed after the earthquake in Jammu and Kashmir. Also, he said there have been no inputs suggesting the existence of militant camps in the Kashmir Valley. Stating that infiltration has gone down in Jammu and Kashmir, Ragupathy said that 231 infiltrators comprising largely Pakistani and Azad Jammu and Kashmir nationals crossed the LoC during the year 2005 against 507 and 1313 during 2004 and 2003 respectively. He also informed that the state government has filed 69 cases of illegal border crossings. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil also told the House that the infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir has dropped in 2005 by 54 per cent compared to 2004 and that killings of security personnel and citizens have also fallen by 22 per cent. Replying to an unstarred question another junior Sriparakash Jaiswal told Lok Sabha that while the incidents of violence have gone down in Jammu and Kashmir, militant activities have increased in North-Eastern states and naxalite affected states. Besides, he said, incidents in Delhi, UP and Karnataka were also reported in 2005. Giving figures, Jaiswal said while in the month of January 2006, Jammu and Kashmir witnessed 91 incidents, killing of 14 civilians, seven security force personnel and 47 militants, the North-Eastern states of Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Tripura witnessed 119 incidents of violence during the same period. Previous year Jammu and Kashmir had recorded 1990 incidents of violence, against 2313 in the five North- Eastern states bordering Bangladesh. Regupathy told the House that investigations have revealed that the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI sponsored militants’ infilitration was taking place along the India-Bangladesh border. He said 32 militants were apprehended in 2005 and one militant in 2006 by the BSG while crossing the India- Bangladesh border. Patil said several steps were being taken to equip security, police and para-military forces with hi-tech electronic gadgets, weapons and surveillance equipment. While infiltration from Nepal was being checked by the Special Services Bureau (SSB), for which 20 more battalions were being raised, prevention of infiltration along the Gujarat coastline was being carried out by the coastal police who had been provided with patrol boats and other equipment. “Fencing was on in full swing along the Bangladesh border,” he told the House. The Minister did not reply to BJP member Mahadeorao Shiwankar about a newspaper report that as per Punjab DGP, there were some terrorists living in the country under assumed names. The government, he said, did not respond to newspaper reports. To an unstarred question, the Minister, however disclosed that as many as 62,998 foreigners were overstaying in the country after expiry of their visas on December 31 2004.


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