January 2001 News

Census in J&K completed successfully after 20 years

16 January 2001
The Pioneer
Binoo Joshi

Jammu: Adding another feather in its cap after the overwhelming response to Panchayat polls, Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday claimed to have completed census operations 'overcoming the threats posed by militant outfits to derail the process of head count.' Chief Secretary Ashok Jaitly told newspersons here on Tuesday morning that the census operations were completed in two phases. These operations had started in May and concluded in December last year. He said that the census operations have been ' smooth' and the head count in all parts of the state has been completed,' The census data is being processed is likely to be notified by mid-March this year by the Registrar General, Census operations, Government of India.' More than 22,500 personnel were assigned the task to conduct and accomplish the massive exercise. Jammu and Kashmir is the first state in India to have completed the census operations' despite the obvious risks.' Doubts were cast over the census operations in Jammu and Kashmir when some separatist organisations had threatened to disrupt the census operations. It was owing to threat by the militant group that various organisations of employees had publicly announced their disassociation from the census operations. The separatist organisations had taken the plea that the census operations were a 'conspiracy against Muslims.' It had said that head count could not be fair because of the fact that 'many Muslims of Kashmir had fled the Valley and many more were in jails.' The group was apprehensive that the ' Muslim majority character of the state would be changed through these census operations.' A former union minister Saif-ud-Din Soz had also opposed the process voicing the similar apprehensions. At some of the places in Kashmir, the militants had snatched census material and also roughed up those defying the threat and conducting the census operations which were being held in the state after a gap of 20 years. There were no census operations in the state in 1991. The last census were held in 1981. The census held after every 10 years in states could not be held in Jammu and Kashmir because of militancy being at peak in the state that time. The state had also foregone the parliamentary elections that year owing to the similar reasons. While the census operations in Buddhist dominated Ladakh and Hindu dominated Jammu region were completed in October, the dead lines for doing so in the militancy affected Kashmir Valley and some parts of Doda district of Jammu region was extended twice. These operations were completed in these areas by mid-December last year. Chief secretary said that it was a 'big achievement.' The population in 1981 census in Jammu and Kashmir was calculated at nearly 600 millions. Of these nearly 200 million were Hindus, 380 million Muslims and rest were Sikhs and Buddhists.


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