Now, as predicted by defence strategists, the youths will shy away from getting indulged in this unlawful activity that often caused casualties on both sides – the stone-throwers and the security personnel.
In fact, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has been consistently trying to rein in stone-pelting activities in J&K. Initially, it dealt with the stone-pelters with iron hands and then tried to woo them to the mainstream by rolling out schemes for enrolment in police jobs and other engagements. The efforts saw 87.13 per cent dip in incidents of stone-throwing in 2020 as compared to 2019 in J&K.
According to Jammu and Kashmir Director-General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh, in 2019, there were 1,999 incidents of stone-throwing, 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.
In 2020, there were 255 stone-throwing incidents as compared to the incidents in 2019 and 2020.
In 2018 and 2017, 1,458, and 1,412 incidents of stone-pelting were reported.
The Union Government on August 5, 2019, revoked Article 370, which gave special status to the erstwhile state, and divided it into union territories of J&K and Ladakh.
When compared to 2016, the dip in such incidents in 2020 was 90 per cent, according to officials.
The J&K administration’s resolve for 2021 is strengthening and consolidating peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.
The state was in complete chaos in 2016. In 2016, it witnessed 2,653 stone-throwing cases as the killing of Burhan Wani, a commander of the terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen, had triggered violent protests across Kashmir.
In 2015, 730 incidents took place in Jammu and Kashmir.
After the 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 Army had then termed stone-throwing “agitational terrorism” for targeting security forces and the police, who in turn could not use the gun on stone-pelters.
According to reports, the CID Special Branch of J&K police has directed all units to deny security clearance for engaging in stone-pelting and other crimes prejudicial to the security of the state. In addition, the authorities will be taking all digital evidence and police records into consideration.