20 September, 2020

Fresh Footstep To Firefight

A new J&K law makes damage to property during protests punishable. Many find it draconian.

Tear Smoke
Shell bursts at a Srinagar protest in April 2017
Photograph by PTI
Fresh Footstep To Firefight
outlookindia.com
2017-11-18T13:05:32+05:30

The 2016 Turmoil

  • Rs 16,000 cr lost in protests
  • 7,000 protesters were arrested
  • 5,000 cases were registered on account of public disorder
  • 3,000 incidents of stone-throwing
  • 24,000 civilian protesters were wounded
  • 90 civilians were killed by the police and security forces in bullet and pellet firing
  • 5 months was the span of the unrest

(Sources: Health Department, Police and the 2017-18 Economic Survey)

***

The ordinance has trigged a multi-­polar debate in Jammu and Kashmir because each party has its distinct take on the ephe­meral law. The government led by the Peoples Democratic Party sees it as a ‘compulsion’, its ruling partner—the BJP—finds it is ‘too harsh’, the police deem it ‘necessary’ and...

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