Jammu: Asserting that a new era of peace has begun in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday said the union territory has witnessed a 66 per cent decline in terrorist incidents and an 81 per cent drop in civilian killings since the scrapping of Article 370.
Addressing a function via videoconferencing, Shah credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership for transforming Jammu and Kashmir, which was “known for terrorism”, into a tourism hub.
Shah virtually flagged off 100 e-buses in Jammu and handed over appointment letters to Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) officers and compassionate appointees.
“I want to tell you that there has been a fall of 66 per cent in terrorism-related incidents. There has been a decline of 81 per cent in civilian killings and 48 per cent in killings of security forces after the scrapping of Article 370,” he told the gathering.
This shows that a new era of happiness, peace and normalcy has begun in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
The Centre revoked Article 370, which accorded a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5, 2019. The government also divided Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Shah said 2,654 organised stone-pelting incidents took place in Jammu and Kashmir in 2000 but no such incident took place in 2023.
“As many as 132 organised shutdowns took place in 2010 but there was none in 2023. As many as 112 civilians lost their lives in stone pelting in 2010 but no civilian life was lost in stone pelting in 2023. As many as 6,235 civilians were injured during the period (2010),” he added.
The minister said terror financing has also been curbed in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Properties are being sealed and attached. A lot of terror organisations have been banned to curb their activities,” he said.
Praising Modi, Shah said the prime minister has transformed Jammu and Kashmir, which was “known for terrorism”, into a tourism hub.
When Article 370 was scrapped, several leaders who had been taking advantage of it and had made democracy a joke said it would not have any effect on Jammu and Kashmir. But there has been a huge change, the home minister said.
“The era of bomb blasts, firings, stone-pelting and shutdowns has been replaced by education, schools, colleges, medical colleges, management institutions, industries and infrastructure. This is a big change that Jammu and Kashmir is going through,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir received investments worth Rs 297 crore in 2019-20 and this increased to Rs 2,153 crore in 2022-23, he said.
“Nearly 6,000 crore of investments are in the pipeline. This shows progress,” he said, adding that Jammu and Kashmir’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) has increased from Rs 1 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,27,927 crore in 2022-23.
Shah further appealed to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to enrol themselves as voters and become part of the democratic setup of the country.
“The youth of Jammu and Kashmir who carry computers in their hands instead of stones are connected and contributing to the progress of Jammu and Kashmir. Over 7 lakh youths have taken part in sports and this is a big thing,” he said.