NEW DELHI :
The Union home ministry told Lok Sabha members on Tuesday that separatist groups have been inciting stone pelters in the Kashmir Valley, after the Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution that gave limited autonomy to the border state.
“Investigations revealed various separatist organizations and activists, part of the Hurriyat have been behind incidents of stone pelting in Kashmir," the ministry informed the Lok Sabha, adding “Since 5 August, 190 incidents of stone pelting were reported across the Kashmir Valley, in which 765 people were arrested. Until 4 August 2019, 361 cases of stone pelting were reported in Kashmir."
The ministry’s response comes in the wake of massive troop deployment in Kashmir, with incidents of stone pelting being reported across the region, especially in Srinagar and south Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian.
The ministry said its investigations revealed the hand of Hurriyat-linked groups in incidents of stone pelting, and the National Investigation Agency has cracked down on such groups.
While schools, colleges and government offices have re-opened, the ministry said: “Initially, attendance in Kashmir’s schools was thin in view of the abrogation of Article 370, but at present, attendance of students stands at 99.7% during the ongoing examinations."
On 31 October, the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir ceased to exist, making way for two new Union territories (UTs) of Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir, with Radha Krishna Mathur and G.C. Murmu as the first lieutenant-governors (L-Gs).
On 5 August, the President gave his assent to the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. Parliament had also passed the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, which bifurcated the state into two Union territories.