Dec 31: From Pulwama attack to
abrogation of Article 370 to longest ever internet shutdown, Jammu and Kashmir
has been on the edge in 2019.
the first time in the history of independent India, a state has been divided
and downgraded into two union territories in less than 12 hours. Kashmir has
earned a dubious distinction of becoming the first place in the world where
internet has remained shut for 150 days and counting.
the first time, the special status granted under article 370 was scrapped
without getting the nod from the state assembly. For the first time, an air
defence missile downed its own helicopter after mistaking it as Pakistani
plane. For the first time since 1971, Indian Air Force jets crossed the Line of
Control and bombed Jaish-e-Mohammad camps deep into Pakistan territory at
2019 started with usual sub-zero temperatures and highway blockade due to
landslides. As Kashmir entered into the second month, the chill though subsided,
political temperature surged. On February 14, a 21 year old local suicide
bomber Adil Dar rammed his explosive-laden car into a convoy of Central Reserve
Police Forces (CRPF) killing more than 40 men and injuring scores others in
shook entire nation and cries for revenge got shriller. On February 27, Indian
Air force jets crossed LoC and bombed Jaish-e-Mohammad camps in Balakote,
Pakistan. However, tragedy struck the IAF on the same day when it mistook its
own chopper as enemy plane and shot it down killing sir air warriors and a
civilian in Budgam district
later, tensions spiked up again when Pakistan downed Indian Air Force MIG 21
and captured its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. He was released
three days later.
July things again started heating up and the situation reached a tipping point
when Centre decided to close Srinagar—Jammu National Highway for civilian
traffic to ensure smooth movement of Amarnath bound yatries. It triggered a
storm with people voicing their concern over the unilateral decision of the
situation seemed to be easing up, Centre abruptly called off the yatra and
asked pilgrims and tourists to leave Kashmir citing “militant threats”, on
August 2. Even before people could fathom the shock, Centre scrapped Article
370 and reorganized state into two union territories in less than 12 hours on
political leadership including three former chief ministers –Mehbooba Mufti,
Omar Abdullah and Farooq Abdullah –was jailed.
People woke up to curfew across Kashmir. Schools and educational
institutions were closed and communication system including phones, mobiles and
internet was suspended.
land lines and postpaid phones were restored months later, internet continues
to remain shut in Kashmir. What came as bolt from the blue was when the state
was downgraded into two union territories without consulting people on August
of Article 370 triggered a diplomatic row between India and Pakistan with
Islamabad expelling Indian high commissioner in protest.
figures reveal that 3200 ceasefire violations were recorded on the LoC in 2019
compared to 1629 in 2018. Since the
abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan particularly upped the ante on the borders.
post abrogation of Article 370 has dealt a major blow to fledgling tourism
sector with tourist footfall dropping by 87 percent since August 5. Figures
presented in Lok Sabha reveal that only 36105 tourists visited Kashmir in four
months from August compared to 267955 in the corresponding period last year.
Economic Loss Assessment Report released by The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (KCCI) has revealed startling facts about the losses suffered by the
business community in 120 days from August 5 to December 3. More than 4.96 lakh
people have lost jobs and business community has incurred over Rs 17800 crore
financial losses post abrogation of Article 370 on August 5.
has been simmering after the abrogation of article 370 and bifurcation of the
state into two union territories – Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir. Official
figures reveal that more than 5161 people including politicians were arrested
since the abrogation of Article 370.
“If all is well, why internet is shut? Prime Minister has supported peaceful
protests on CAA, but has not allowed people to raise voice in Kashmir”, said
Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi, National Conference MP from Anantnag