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SOURCE: PTI

There was a 87.13 per cent dip in incidents of stone-pelting last year as compared to 2019 in Jammu and Kashmir, according to Director General of Police Dilbag Singh. In 2019, there were 1,999 incidents of stone-pelting, of which 1,193 took place after the Centre announced abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir that year in August.

“There have been 255 stone-pelting incidents in 2020 as compared to the incidents in 2019 and the year (2020), witnessed a 87.31 per cent decline,” the director general of police said. The Centre on August 5, 2019, revoked Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state, and divided it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

In 2018 and 2017, 1,458, and 1,412 incidents of stone-pelting were reported. When compared to 2016, the dip in such incidents in 2020 was 90 per cent, according to officials.

In 2016, 2,653 stone-pelting cases were reported as the killing of Burhan Wani, a commander of the terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen, had triggered violent protests across Kashmir. In 2015, as many as 730 incidents of stone-pelting took place in Jammu and Kashmir.

After decline in militancy in the mid-2000s, stones became a popular choice of weapon during protests. This trend has been there since the 2008 Amarnath-land row agitation in Jammu and Kashmir. A top commander of the Indian Army had then termed stone-pelting as “agitational terrorism” for targeting security forces and police who in-turn could not use the gun on stone-pelters. The worst incidents of stone-pelting took place in 2010, 2016 and 2019. “Law and order situation is well under control. Our resolve for 2021 is strengthening and consolidating peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir,” DGP Dilbagh Singh said.