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What changed in Kashmir in four years after abrogation of Article 370?

The August 5, 2019 momentous decision also marked a drastic decline in terror activities and nepotism in the Valley.
Last Updated 04 August 2023, 14:37 IST

Four years after the Centre abrogated special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 on August 5, 2019, restoration of peace and developmental activities taking peace, compared to the past, stands out as its most significant achievements.

It is after more than three decades, time that public and social life in the erstwhile state, in general, and the Valley in particular, are back to normal routine without disruption.

While 124 civilians were killed at the hands of police and security forces during protests and stone-pelting incidents from 5-08-2016 to 5-08-2019, not a single such incident was reported in the last four years, official figures reveal.

The August 5, 2019 momentous decision also marked a drastic decline in terror activities and nepotism in the Valley. Considerable decline in both recruitment of locals into militancy and killing of terrorists in 2023 compared to previous years is another outcome of the abrogation of Article 370.

While 35 militants were killed in various operations by the security forces from January 1 to August 5 this year, the number was over 120 in the same period last year. In 2022, 186 militants, including 56 foreigners, were killed by the security forces.

According to official data several infiltration attempts have been foiled this year and not more than 12 locals have joined militancy till July end. It has brought down the number of active militants to double digit.

The improvement in security situation can be gauged from the fact that on August 3, a grand event was held at Government Degree College (GDC), Shopian in which, according to reports, hundreds of students, academicians, journalists and people from other walks of life spoke about peace, nation building and institution building besides positive developments happening after Article 370 abrogation.

The event was organized by ‘South Asia Center for Peace and People’s Empowerment’ in collaboration with GDC Shopian, in a district which was not long ago a hub of anti-India activities and no-go area for such positive activities.

One of the best things that happened in Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 sections is the restoration of administrative control. Encouraged and assured by the safe environment in J&K, investment projects worth nearly Rs 25 thousand crore are under execution in the UT while proposals to the tune of over Rs 80 thousand crore are under process.

Since Independence, J&K had received private investments to the tune of Rs 14,000 crore only. However, after the abrogation of Article 370 and introduction of new Industrial Development Scheme, the UT has received investment proposals worth Rs 81,122 crore in the last two years.

Nearly 18,000 kanals (2250 acres) of land, as against a total 39,022 kanals (4877 acres) sought for setting up key units, has already been allotted across both Jammu and Kashmir divisions.

With an increasing footfall of domestic and foreign visitors, tourism in J&K is scaling new heights, making the Union Territory (UT) one of top destinations in the country. Last year the UT received 1.88 crore tourists, a high enough number for any region, but the administration expects that the arrivals will breach the two crore-mark this year.

Popular mostly with honeymooners once, Kashmir is now attracting even long-married couples, who are coming to celebrate their anniversaries here.

There are no takers for strike calls imposed by separatists and militants in Kashmir anymore as the common man has started to reap the dividends of peace. Before the abrogation of Article 370, not only businesses, but the education sector in Kashmir suffered immensely due to frequent strike calls, stone pelting incidents and violence in Kashmir.

Mainstream parties, notably the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), remain bereft of a viable political narrative as their old accession-centric narrative got washed out in the fallout of abrogation of the state's special Constitutional status.

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(Published 04 August 2023, 14:37 IST)

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