India claims 30pc decrease in Kashmir killings
3 November 2006
The Daily Times
Srinagar: Insurgency-related killings in Indian-held Kashmir have fallen nearly 30 percent thanks to New Delhis iron fist, velvet glove counter-guerrilla strategy, officials said. The level of violence has been brought down as compared to (the) previous year, Army Chief JJ Singh told reporters on Friday in Srinagar, the summer capital of Kashmir. Combat-related casualties (of the army) have also come down substantially, Singh said. He gave no figures but the Indian government reported a drop of 29 percent in insurgency-related killings during the first year in power of Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. Azad took over as chief minister of the disputed region on November 2, 2005. There has been a decline of over 19 percent in overall acts of violence and a 29 percent drop in the killings between November 2005 and October 2006, a statement from the government said. The army chief attributed the decline to the armys counter-insurgency measures in which troops strike first, based on gathered intelligence, rather than responding to deadly attacks by militants fighting New Delhis rule. Our counter-terrorism strategy has resulted in bringing down the levels of violence, Singh said. Our policy is clear an iron fist for terrorists and a velvet glove for the people, the army chief said. He said lessening violence meant the state administration was better able to deliver goods and services to Kashmiri civilians. Singh said the army was committed to stamping out human rights abuses by its own troops. We do not tolerate any deliberate acts of human rights violations. All acts which are reported are investigated.