Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir
|Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir|
|Part of the Kashmir conflict|
Kashmir : Shown in green is the Kashmiri region under Pakistani control. The dark-brown region represents Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir while the Aksai Chin is under Chinese control.
|India|| Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front
|Commanders and leaders|
| General Bikram Singh
|| Amanullah Khan
| 30,000 - 600,000 Army
65,000 CRPF 
|Casualties and losses|
|7,000 police killed||20,000 killed|
|29,000–100,000 civilians killed|
The insurgency in Kashmir has existed in various forms. Thousands of lives have been lost since 1989 due to the intensification of both the insurgency and the fight against it.
A widespread armed insurgency started in Kashmir with the disputed 1987 election with some elements from the State's assembly forming militant wings which acted as a catalyst for the emergence of armed insurgency in the region.
The Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan has been accused by India of supporting and training mujahideen. to fight in Jammu and Kashmir. According to official figures released in Jammu and Kashmir assembly, there were 3,400 disappearance cases and the conflict has left more than 47,000 people dead as of July 2009. However, the number of insurgency-related deaths in the state have fallen sharply since the start of a slow-moving peace process between India and Pakistan.
History of the insurgency
After independence from colonial rule India and Pakistan fought a war over the princely state of Kashmir. At the end of the war India controlled the most valuable parts of Kashmir. While there were sporadic periods of violence there was no organised insurgency movement.
During this period legislative elections in Jammu and Kashmir were first held in 1951 and Sheikh Abdullah’s party stood unopposed. However Sheikh Abdullah would fall in and out of favour with the central government and would often be dismissed only to be re-appointed later on. This was a time of political instability in Jammu and Kashmir and it went through several periods of President's rule by the Federal Government.
After Sheikh Abdullah’s death, his son Farooq Abdullah took over as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Farooq Abdullah eventually fell out of favour with the Central Government and the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi had him dismissed. A year later Farooq Abdullah announced an alliance with the ruling Congress party for the elections of 1987. The elections were allegedly rigged in favour of Farooq Abdullah.
This led to the rise of an armed insurgency movement composed, in part, of those who unfairly lost elections. Pakistan supplied these groups with logistical support, arms, recruits and training.
Beginning in 2004 Pakistan began to end its support for insurgents in Kashmir. This happened because terrorist groups linked to Kashmir twice tried to assassinate Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. His successor, Asif Ali Zardari has continued the policy, calling insurgents in Kashmir "terrorists". Although it is unclear if Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, thought to be the agency aiding and controlling the insurgency is following Pakistan's commitment to end support for the insurgency in Kashmir.
Despite the change in the nature of the insurgency from a phenomenon supported by external forces to a primarily domestic driven movement the Indian government has continued to send large numbers of troops to the Indian border and to crack down on civil liberties.
There have been widespread protests against Indian rule.
Once the most formidable face of Kashmir militancy, Hizbul Mujahideen is slowly fading away as its remaining commanders and cadres are being taken out on a regular interval by security forces. Some minor incidents of granade throwing and sniper firing at security forces notwithstanding, the situation is under control and more or less peaceful. A record number of tourists including Amarnath pilgrims visited Kashmir during 2012. On 3 August 2012, a top Lashkar-e-Taiba militant commander, Abu Hanzulah involved in various attacks on civilians and security forces was killed in an encounter with security forces in a village in Kupwara district of north Kashmir.
Reasons for the insurgency
Some analysts have suggested that the number of Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir is close to 600,000 although estimates vary and the Indian government refuses to release official figures. These troops have engaged in widespread humanitarian abuses and have engaged in extrajudicial killings. In October 2010, Army Chief Gen VK Singh stated in an interview that over 95% of the allegations of human rights violations proved to be false and had apparently been levelled with the "ulterior motive of maligning the armed forces". Giving details, he said 988 allegations against the Army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir were received since 1994. Out of these 965 cases were investigated and 940 were found false, accounting for 95.2 percent.
Military forces in Jammu and Kashmir operate under emergency powers granted to them by the central government. These powers allow the military to curtail civil liberties, creating further support for the insurgency.
The insurgents have also abused human rights, engaging in what some have called an ethnic cleansing by exterminating Kashmiri Pandits from the valley of Kashmir. The government's inability to protect the people from both its own troops and the insurgency has further eroded support for the government.
The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence has allegedly encouraged and aided the Kashmir independence movement through an insurgency due to its dispute on the legitimacy of Indian rule in Kashmir, with the insurgency as an easy way to keep Indian troops distracted and cause international condemnation of India.
A government report found that almost half of all Kashmiri Panchayat Raj positions were vacant and suggested that the reason for this was the destabilising effect of the conflict. The Panchayat Raj is a system of elected village level governance created by the 73rd amendment to the Indian constitution. The report also noted that their ability to effectively govern was "crippled."
There have been some signs in recent times that the Indian government has begun to take Kashmiri political views more seriously, especially those expressed through elections. During the Jammu and Kashmir state assembly elections, 2008 the national ruling party chose to form a coalition with the party that won the most votes in order to "honour the mandate" of the election even though it was contrary to their immediate interests.
Jammu and Kashmir is the only Muslim majority state in Hindu-majority India. Indian-American journalist Asra Nomani states that while India itself is a secular state, Muslims are politically, culturally and economically marginalised when compared to Hindus in India as a whole. The Government's decision to transfer 99 acres of forest land to a Hindu organisation solidified this feeling and led to one of the largest protest rallies in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian National Census shows that Kashmir lags behind other states in most socio-development indicators such as literacy rates and has unusually high levels of unemployment. This contributes to anti-government sentiment.
Kunan Poshpora incident
In 1991 the 4th Rajputana Rifles Unit are alleged to have entered the village of Kunan Poshpora and raped between 30 and 100 women aged between 13 and 70. The Indian government carried out three inquiry's into the allegations and concluded that it had been a hoax. The International Commission of Jurists have stated that though the attacks had not been proven beyond a doubt, but there were credible evidence that it had happened. In 2011 the State Human Rights Commission(SHRC) has asked for the case to be reopened.
Over time the Indian government has increasingly relied on military presence and a curtailment of civil liberties to achieve its aims in Kashmir. The military has committed massive human rights violations.
For most of the history of the insurgency the government paid little attention to the political views of the Kashmiri people. The government would often dissolve assemblies, arrest elected politicians and impose president's rule. The government also rigged elections in 1987. In recent times there have been signs that the government is taking local elections more seriously.
The government has also funnelled development aid to Kashmir and Kashmir has now become the biggest per capita receiver of Federal aid.
The Pakistani central government originally supported, trained and armed the insurgency in Kashmir, however after groups linked to the Kashmiri insurgency twice attempted to assassinate president Pervez Musharraf, Musharraf decided to end support for such groups. His successor, Asif Ali Zardari has continued the policy, calling insurgents in Kashmir "terrorists".
But the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence hasn't followed the lead of the government and has continued its support for insurgent groups in Kashmir although Pakistani support for the insurgency has certainly waned.
Since around 2000 the 'insurgency' has become far less violent and has instead taken on the form of protests and marches. Certain groups have also chosen to lay down their arms and look for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
The different insurgent groups have different aims in Kashmir. Some want complete independence from both India and Pakistan, others want unification with Pakistan and still others just want greater autonomy from the Indian government.
A 2010 survey found that 43% in J&K would favour independence, with support for the independence movement unevenly distributed across the region.
Over the last two years, the militant group, Lashkar-e-Toiba has split into two factions: Al Mansurin and Al Nasirin. Another new group reported to have emerged is the Save Kashmir Movement. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (formerly known as Harkat-ul-Ansar) and Lashkar-e-Toiba are believed to be operating from Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir and Muridke, Pakistan respectively.
Other less well known groups are the Freedom Force and Farzandan-e-Milat. A smaller group, Al-Badr, has been active in Kashmir for many years and is still believed to be functioning. All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an organisation that uses moderate means to press for the rights of the Kashmiris, is often considered as the mediator between New Delhi and insurgent groups.
It is unclear if Al Qaeda has a presence in Jammu and Kashmir. Donald Rumsfeld suggested that they were active and in 2002 the SAS hunted for Osama bin Laden in Jammu and Kashmir. Al Qaeda claims that it has established a base in Jammu and Kashmir. However there has been no evidence for any of these assertions. The Indian army also claims that there is no evidence of Al Qaeda presence in Jammu and Kashmir. Al Qaeda has established bases in Pakistani administered Kashmir and some, including Robert Gates have suggested that they have helped to plan attacks in India.
- Pakistan and state terrorism
- Timeline of the Kashmir conflict
- History of Jammu and Kashmir
- Partition of India
- Kashmir Conflict
- Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts
- Bijbehara Massacre
- Zakoora And Tengpora Massacre
- Sopore massacre
- Kunan Poshpora incident
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