New Delhi: A week after the centre announced that security forces won't launch operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan, data collated by the home ministry shows that civilians have been hit the most, both in terms of casualties and injuries.
While four incidents of terrorist violence were reported in the valley a week before the initiative was announced on May 16, that number rose to 13 a week after. If one civilian was injured during the week preceding the peace plan, there was one civilian casualty and 13 others were injured between May 16 and 23.
According to the data accessed by NDTV, four terrorists have been killed since the peace plan kicked in, compared to no casualty the week before. While three security personnel were killed and three injured were injured between May 8 and 15, none was killed or injured in the week that followed the centre's announcement.
"This clearly indicates two things --- militants are on the offensive and security forces are on the defensive, and civilians numbers are still up," said a senior home ministry official.
Incidents of stone throwing in Kashmir have dipped --- from 44 a week before Ramzan to 16 following the 'ceasefire' call. But there's little change in terms of civilian injuries caused by stone-throwing mobs. If 17 people were injured a week before the centre extended the olive branch, 15 civilians suffered injuries the week after.
The most common triggers for stone throwing --- locals aiding trapped terrorists, a law and order issue during burials and restrictions imposed in the valley --- are now non-existent.
"But violence going up is a cause for worry as it indicates terrorists are still operating," the officer added.
There has also been a spike in the number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan ---- from five during the week before the peace plan was operationalised to 33 between May 16 and 23. Eight civilians have been killed and as many as 44 were injured in Pakistani firing in the week that followed the centre's gesture. Nine security personnel also suffered injuries.
"Pakistan has been completely exposed, busy killing people even during Ramzan," Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office told NDTV.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh today chaired a meeting attended by representatives of all security forces engaged in Kashmir to analyse the situation.
The centre wants to extend its peace plan to the Amarnath Yatra that begins next month but not many stakeholders seem too keen. Army Chief General Bipin Rawat is currently on a tour of the valley to review the situation on the ground.