"Jammu and Kashmir's political landscape has been transfigured by the death of the was which began in 1988. Last year, the State saw 3.95 terrorism-related killings per 100000 population including combatants, who made up over three-quarters of the dead. Its residents are now less at risk of terrorism-related death than citizens of many countries in firearms-related crime. In South Africa, there were 71.97 murders with firearms for every 100000 of the population; for Colombia, the figure was 50.98; Thailand recorded 31.20.
India has a low-rate of firearms-related deaths; there were 4101 killings of this kind in 2008, National Crime Records Bureau data show. But it is interesting to note that 19.8 of every 100000 Indians were victims of a violent crime- a probability far higher than that of being killed in terrorism-related violence in Jammu and Kashmir.
Despite concerns at the continued operations of jihadist groups, violence in the State remains in decline. In 2007, there were 170 civilian deaths; last year, 83 were killed. The security forces and the Jammu and Kashmir police lost 79 personnel last year, down from 122 in 2007. Two years ago, 472 terrorists were killed; just 239 were shot dead in 2009. Improvised explosive device use fell from 56 in 2007 to 23 last year; grenade attacks from 107 to 56. Levels of violence were marginally higher in the first five months of 2010 than during the same period in 2009-but infiltration has been lower, suggesting that no major escalation is imminent. "
"Kashmir:pessimism may be good news"
The Hindu (editorials)
June 8, 2010
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