'42,000 Killed In J-K Since 1989'
26 March 2007
The Indian Express
Srinagar: In what could stir a major debate in Jammu and Kashmir, contrary to human rights and civil society figures that more than 80,000 people have been killed in J-K since 1989, a government report released today puts it at 42,000, half of them militants.A total of 42,147 people, including 20,647 militants and 5,024 security personnel, were killed in the state between January 1990 and the middle of February 2007,' according to a fact-sheet issued by police. Violence left 33,885 people, including 12,124 security personnel and 21,659 civilians, injured during the same period in the state, the report said. The report said 11,221 civilians were killed by militants and another 1,678 lost their lives in grenade and Improvised Explosive Device explosions, while 173 civilians were killed when they were caught in clashes between militants. 'A total of 3,404 civilians were killed in cross-firing incidents between security forces and militants.' The fact-sheet revealed that the incidents of violence had gone down considerably over the years particularly after a thaw in relations between New Delhi and Islamabad in the wake of the composite dialogue process started by the two countries. The highest number of 1,438 civilians were killed in 1996, the year elections were held after a gap of seven years in the state, the report said. While the highest number of 3,602 army and other paramilitary personnel lost their lives fighting militants, Jammu and Kashmir police lost 537 personnel since January 1990. As many as 438 Special Police Officers engaged by police in the counter-insurgency operations were killed, the report said. It said 127 Village Defence Committee members were killed fighting militants in the state. The highest number of 613 security personnel were killed in a single year in 2001. The number dropped to 182 in 2006, the report said. The report said 3,877 militants surrendered so far with 1996 accounting for the highest number of 655 ultras joining the mainstream. As per the fact-sheet, 18,600 were arrested during anti- militant operations but most of them were released on court orders, recommendations of screening committees or human rights cells. However, 365 people were still under judicial custody. In addition, 497 people are detained under Public Safety Act. While 413 are in state jails, 84 are under detention in jails outside the state, the report said. But according to the J-K Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), more than 80,000 people have lost their lives in the conflict. While the moderate Hurriyat led by Mirwaiz Umer Farooq says the number of detenues in jails runs into thousands, the hardline Hurriyat led by Geelani is of opinion that the number of dead is more than 1 lakh.