No Kashmiri Pandit has been displaced from valley since 2019 move, says home minister.
NEW DELHI (AA) – The Indian government on Wednesday said that 96 civilians have been killed in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir since the autonomy of the region was revoked in 2019.
“From Aug. 5, 2019, to Nov. 30, 2021, 96 civilians, 366 militants, and 81 forces personnel were killed,” Home Minister Nityanand Rai said in a written reply to a query by Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament.
The minister also said that no Kashmiri Pandit (local Hindus) has been displaced from the valley after Article 370 was repealed.
“Recently some Kashmiri Pandit families, mostly women, and children have moved to the Jammu region. These families are government employees, many of whom move to Jammu in winter as part of a movement of officials and the winter vacation in educational institutions,” he elaborated.
From 1954 until Aug. 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir had special provisions under which it enacted its own laws. The provisions also protected the region’s citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A sliver of Kashmir is also held by China, but it is India and Pakistan that have fought two wars over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights groups, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.