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Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir

Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir
Part of the Kashmir conflict

Kashmir : Shown in green is the Kashmiri region under Pakistani control. The dark-brown region represents Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir while the Aksai Chin is under Chinese control.
Date 1989–present
Location Jammu and Kashmir
Result Conflict ongoing, largely subsided


Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami
Hizbul Mujahideen
Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front
Supported by:

Commanders and leaders

General Dalbir Singh Suhag
Lt Gen DS Hooda
Air chief marshal Arup Raha

Prakash Mishra

Hafiz Saeed
Maulana Azhar
Ilyas Kashmiri  
Sayeed Salahudeen
Fazlur Rehman Khalil
Farooq Kashmiri
Arfeen Bhai
Amanullah Khan

Bakht Zameen
30,000[3] – 600,000[4] Army
65,000 CRPF [5]

3,500 to 5,000 (2006 est.)[6]

≈150 (2014 est.)[7]
Casualties and losses
5,462 security forces killed[8]

>21,000 militants killed[9]
3,000 captured[6]

≈4,500 surrendered[6]
16,725 [10]–47,000 civilians killed[11][12][13][14]

The insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir or the Kashmiri Insurgency is a conflict between various Kashmiri separatists and nationalists[15][16][17][18][19][17][20] sometimes known as "ultras" (extremists),[21][22] and the Government of India. Some of the ultras favor Kashmiri accession to Pakistan, while others seek Kashmir's complete "independence".[23] Since 2002, skirmishes with the local insurgents have constituted the main conflict in the Kashmir region.[24] The conflict in Jammu and Kashmir has strong Islamist elements among the insurgents, with many of the "ultras" identifying with Jihadist movements and supported by such.[25]

The roots of the conflict between the Kashmiri insurgents and the Indian Government are tied to a dispute over local autonomy.[26] Democratic development was limited in Kashmir until the late 1970s and by 1988 many of the democratic reforms provided by the Indian Government had been reversed and non-violent channels for expressing discontent were limited and caused a dramatic increase in support for insurgents advocating violent secession from India.[26] In 1987, a disputed State election[27] created a catalyst for the insurgency when it resulted in some of the state's legislative assembly members forming armed insurgent groups.[28][29][30] In July 1988 a series of demonstrations, strikes and attacks on the Indian Government began the Kashmir Insurgency which during the 1990s escalated into the most important internal security issue in India.

Thousands of people have died[31] during fighting between insurgents and the government as well as thousands of civilians who have died as a result of being targeted by the various armed groups.[32]

The Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan has been accused by India of supporting and training mujahideen.[33][34] to fight in Jammu and Kashmir.[35][36][37] In October 2015, former President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf admitted Pakistan had supported and trained insurgent groups to fight in Kashmir during the 1990s, resulting in the ongoing insurgency.[38] According to official figures released in Jammu and Kashmir assembly, there were 3,400 disappearance cases and the conflict has left more than 47,000 people dead which also includes 7000 police personnel as of July 2009.[12] However, the number of insurgency-related deaths in the state have fallen sharply since the start of a slow-moving peace process between India and Pakistan.[39]


  • History of the insurgency 1
    • 1947–1987 1.1
    • 1987–2004 1.2
    • 2004–11 1.3
    • 2012–present 1.4
  • Reasons for the insurgency 2
    • Rigging of 1987 Assembly elections 2.1
    • ISI's role 2.2
    • Mujahideen influence 2.3
    • Religion 2.4
    • Humanitarian abuses 2.5
    • Other reasons 2.6
      • Kunan Poshpora incident 2.6.1
  • Human rights violations by militants 3
    • Militant acts in J&K 3.1
  • Tactics 4
    • India 4.1
    • Pakistan 4.2
    • Insurgents 4.3
    • Groups 4.4
  • Identity 5
    • Al-Qaeda 5.1
  • Casualty 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8

History of the insurgency


After independence from colonial rule India and Pakistan

  1. ^ Ganguly, Sumit; Paul Kapur (7 August 2012). India, Pakistan, and the Bomb: Debating Nuclear Stability in South Asia. Columbia University Press. pp. 27–28.  
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  22. ^ a b Press Trust of India (PTI) (7 January 2014). "Militants, Army troopers exchange fire in Pulwama, none hurt". Times of India. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. 
  23. ^ Social Studies S5 Ab. Pearson Education. p. 70.  
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  25. ^ "...the United Jihad Council (UJC), held a public meeting for militants in Muzaffarabad in mid-January 2010. The meeting was chaired by, among others, former ISI chief Lt Gen Hamid Gul. It called for a reinvigorated jihad (holy war) until Kashmir was free of "Indian occupation"." [26]
  26. ^ a b Uppsala Conflict Data Program Conflict Encyclopedia, Conflict Summary, Conflict name: India: Kashmir, "Roots of Conflict and the emergence of Kashmir Insurgents", viewed 2013-05-29,®ionSelect=6-Central_and_Southern_Asia#
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  30. ^ Hussain, Altaf (14 September 2002). "South Asia | Kashmir's flawed elections". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
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  32. ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program Conflict Encyclopedia, India One-sided violence, Government of India – civilians, Kashmir insurgents – civilians, Lashkar-e-Taiba – civilians, viewed on 2012-05-29,®ionSelect=6-Central_and_Southern_Asia#
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  35. ^ At Border, Signs of Pakistani Role in Taliban Surge – New York Times
  36. ^ A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SUSPECTS; Death of Reporter Puts Focus On Pakistan Intelligence Unit – New York Times
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  38. ^ "Pakistan supported, trained terror groups: Musharraf". Retrieved 27 October 2015. 
  39. ^ "Indian officials say 3,400 missing in held Kashmir". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  40. ^ a b c Bose, Sumantra.Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace. Harvard, 2005.
  41. ^ Swami, Praveen.India, Pakistan and the Secret Jihad. 2006.
  42. ^ Mohd, Abbas Wani (2014). "Beginning of Terrorism in Jammu&Kashmir". Indian Streams Research Journal (Laxmi Book Publication).  
  43. ^ a b c d e f Altaf, Hussein.[27] "Kashmir's Flawed Elections"
  44. ^ Fatalities in Terrorist Violence 1988–2014 in Jammu & Kashmir, South Asian Terrorism, SATP (2014)
  45. ^ a b c d BBC News.[28] "Kashmir Insurgency"
  46. ^ a b Jamar, Arif.The untold story of Jihad in Kashmir. 2009.
  47. ^ Hasan, Syed Shoaib.[29] "Why Pakistan is boosting Kashmir militants"
  48. ^ a b c Khan, Aamer Ahmed.[30] "Pakistan: Where have the militants gone?"
  49. ^ Tucker, Spencer C. (2013). Encyclopedia of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency A New Era of Modern Warfare. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO,LLC.  
  50. ^ a b c d e f g Stephens, Bret.[31] "The most difficult job in the world"
  51. ^ a b c Cole, Juan.[32] "Does Obama understand his biggest foreign-policy challenge?"
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  53. ^ a b c The Economist. "Stony Ground". July 2010.
  54. ^ The Economist. "Your Place or Mine?". February 2004.
  55. ^ a b c d e The Economist. "Grim Up North". June 2009.
  56. ^ a b BBC News."Kashmir's extra-judicial killings"
  57. ^ "Hizbul Mujahideen almost wiped out in Kashmir". The Times of India. 19 October 2011. 
  58. ^ "J&K: Top LeT commander killed in encounter". 3 August 2012. 
  59. ^ "Kashmiris join insurgency against India at highest rate in two decades". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  60. ^ "Who are the Kashmir militants?". BBC News. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  61. ^ Planning Commission of India Jammu & Kashmir Development Report 2003.
  62. ^ "Jammu and Kashmir registers highest voter turnout in 25 years, Jharkhand breaks records". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  63. ^ "J&K polls: 76 per cent voter turnout recorded in the final phase". IBNLive. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  64. ^ "Jammu and Kashmir Registers Highest Voter Turnout in 25 Years, Jharkhand Breaks Records". 20 December 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  65. ^[34] "Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence [ISI]"
  66. ^ "Pakistan needs to incite those fighting in Kashmir: Musharraf". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  67. ^ "Pakistan needs to incite those fighting in Kashmir: Musharraf". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  68. ^ "ISI gives arms to Kashmir terrorists: Rana to FBI". Rediff. 7 June 2011. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  69. ^ [ funneled-millions-to-influence-us-policy-on-kashmir-fbi/819859/ "ISI funneled millions to influence US policy on Kashmir: FBI"] . Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  70. ^ Nomani, Asra Q.[35] "Muslims – India's new 'untouchables'" Los Angeles Times
  71. ^ a b Thottam, Jyoti [36] "Valley of Tears" Time, September 2008
  72. ^ Asad Hashim. "Timeline: India-Pakistan relations". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  73. ^ Nathan, Joanna."India's leader makes peace overtures in Kashmir", The Times
  74. ^ a b "95% HR violation cases against Army in J&K false". zeenews. 
  75. ^ Jim Yardley. "India Reopens Kashmir's Schools, but Many Stay Away". The New York Times, 27 September 2010.
  76. ^ Pallone, Frank."Resolution condemning Human Rights Violations against Kashmiri Pandits"
  77. ^ Human Rights Watch. Rights Abuses Behind Kashmir Fighting July 1999.
  78. ^ "India troops face action over Kashmir killing". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  79. ^ Government of India Indian National Census 2001 2001.
  80. ^ Chatterji, Angana P. (2012). Ania Loomba, Ritty A. Lukose, ed. South Asian Feminisms. Duke University Press. p. 194.  
  81. ^ Schofield, Victoria (2002). Kashmir in conflict: India, Pakistan and the unending war (2nd revised ed.). I.B.Tauris. p. 157.  
  82. ^ Ganai, Naseer (21 October 2011). "Human rights panel asks Jammu and Kashmir govt to reopen army mass rape case". India Today. 
  83. ^ "BBC NEWS – South Asia – Four killed in Kashmir bomb blast". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  84. ^ ABC News. "Ten Killed in Kashmir Car Bomb Blast". ABC News. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  85. ^ "K P S Gill: The Kashmiri Pandits: An Ethnic Cleansing the World Forgot – Islamist Extremism & Terrorism in South Asia". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  86. ^ "Behind the Kashmir Conflict Abuses by Indian Security Forces and Militant Groups Continue". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  87. ^ "19/01/90: When Kashmiri Pandits fled Islamic terro". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  88. ^ Alexander Evans, A departure from history: Kashmiri Pandits, 1990–2001, Contemporary South Asia (Volume 11, Number 1, 1 March 2002, pp. 19–37)
  89. ^ "Chronicle of Important events/date in J&K's political history". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  90. ^ "Sangrampora killings". 
  91. ^ "Wandhama Massacre report". 
  92. ^ Dugger, Celia (9 October 2001). "Pakistan Asks India to Revive Talks Aimed at Bringing Peace to Kashmir". The New York Times. 
  93. ^ a b "Human Rights Watch World Report 2003: India". 
  94. ^ "20 July 2005 Srinagar attack". 
  95. ^ "July 29 attack in Srinagar". 
  96. ^ "Nabi Lone's assassination". BBC News. 18 October 2005. 
  97. ^ "Massacre of 35 Hindus in Doda and Udhampur districts of Jammu". 
  98. ^ "Terror in Jammu, Anantnag". 
  99. ^ "Multiple attacks rock Kashmir Valley". The Hindu: Mobile Edition. 5 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  100. ^ Human Rights Watch, Patricia Gossman. "India's secret army in Kashmir : new patterns of abuse emerge in the conflict ", 1996
  101. ^ Ramaseshan, Radhika.[37] "Cong dilemma: young Omar or PDP" The Telegraph
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  108. ^ a b Abbas, Zaffar.[41] "Analysis: Is al-Qaeda in Kashmir?"
  109. ^ a b Smith, Michael.[42] "SAS joins Kashmir hunt for bin Laden" The Telegraph 2002
  110. ^ a b International Herald Tribune.[43] "Al Qaeda Claim of Kashmiri Link Worries India"
  111. ^ a b The Hindu.[44] "No Al Qaeda presence in Kashmir: Army"
  112. ^ Dawn.[45] "Al Qaeda could provoke new India-Pakistan war: Gates", January 2010
  113. ^ Smucker, Phillip.[46] "Al Qaeda thriving in Pakistani Kashmir"
  114. ^ Bose, Sumantra (2003). Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace.  


See also

According to Sumantra Bose in his book, Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace, around 40000 (Indian estimates) to 80000(Hurriyat estimates) civilians, separatist guerilla fighters and Indian security personnel died from the time period of 1989 to 2002 in both Kashmir Valley and Jammu . More than 4600 security personnel, 13500 civilians and 15937 militants including 3000 from outside Jammu and Kashmir (mostly Pakistanis and some Afghans) were killed in this fourteen-year period. Also in this period, 55,538 incidents of violence were recorded. Indian forces engaged in counter insurgency operations captured around 40,000 firearms, 150,000 explosive devices, and over 6 million rounds of assorted ammunition.[114]


It is unclear if Al Qaeda has a presence in Jammu and Kashmir. Donald Rumsfeld suggested that they were active[108] and in 2002 the SAS hunted for Osama bin Laden in Jammu and Kashmir.[109] Al Qaeda claims that it has established a base in Jammu and Kashmir.[110] However, there has been no evidence for any of these assertions.[108][109][110] The Indian army also claims that there is no evidence of Al Qaeda presence in Jammu and Kashmir.[111] Al Qaeda has established bases in Pakistani administered Kashmir and some, including Robert Gates have suggested that they have helped to plan attacks in India.[111][112][113]


Other less well known groups are the Freedom Force and Farzandan-e-Milat. A smaller group, Al-Badr, has been active in Kashmir for many years and is still believed to be functioning. All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an organisation that uses moderate means to press for the rights of the Kashmiris, is often considered as the mediator between New Delhi and insurgent groups.

Over the last two years, the militant group, Lashkar-e-Toiba has split into two factions: Al Mansurin and Al Nasirin. Another new group reported to have emerged is the "Save Kashmir Movement". Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (formerly known as Harkat-ul-Ansar) and Lashkar-e-Toiba are believed to be operating from Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir and Muridke, Pakistan respectively.


A 2010 survey found that 43% in J&K and 44% in AJK would favour complete independence from both India and Pakistan, with support for the independence movement unevenly distributed across the region.[106][107]

The different insurgent groups have different aims in Kashmir. Some want complete independence from both India and Pakistan, others want unification with Pakistan and still others just want greater autonomy from the Indian government.[105]


Since around 2000 the 'insurgency' has become far less violent and has instead taken on the form of protests and marches.[71] Certain groups have also chosen to lay down their arms and look for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.[104]


But the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence hasn't followed the lead of the government and has continued its support for insurgent groups in Kashmir[50][51][52] although Pakistani support for the insurgency has certainly waned.[55]

The Pakistani central government originally supported, trained and armed the insurgency in Kashmir,[103][16][17][18][19][17][20] sometimes known as "ultras" (extremists),[21][22] however after groups linked to the Kashmiri insurgency twice attempted to assassinate president Pervez Musharraf, Musharraf decided to end support for such groups.[48] His successor, Asif Ali Zardari has continued the policy, calling insurgents in Kashmir "terrorists".[50]


The government has also funnelled development aid to Kashmir and Kashmir has now become the biggest per capita receiver of Federal aid.[102]

For most of the history of the insurgency the government paid little attention to the political views of the Kashmiri people. The government would often dissolve assemblies, arrest elected politicians and impose president's rule. The government also rigged elections in 1987.[43] In recent times there have been signs that the government is taking local elections more seriously.[101]

Over time the Indian government has increasingly relied on military presence and a curtailment of civil liberties to achieve its aims in Kashmir.[55] The military has committed massive human rights violations.[100]



  • July and August 1989 – 3 CRPF personnel and politician Mohd. Yusuf Halwai of NC/F were killed.[89]
  • 1989 kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed daughter of the then Home Minister of India Mufti Sayeed.
  • 1995 kidnapping of western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir- 6 foreign trekkers from Anantnag district were kidnapped by Al Faran, One was beheaded later, one escaped and other four remain untraced presumable killed.
  • 1997 Sangrampora massacre – On 22 March 1997, 7 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Sangrampora village in the Budgam district.[90]
  • Wandhama Massacre – In January 1998, 24 Kashmiri Pandits living in the village of Wandhama were massacred by Pakistani militants. According to the testimony of one of the survivors, the militants dressed themselves as officers of the Indian Army, entered their houses and then started firing blindly. The incident was significant because it coincided with former US president Bill Clinton's visit to India and New Delhi used the massacre to present a case against the alleged Pakistan-supported terrorism in Kashmir.[91]
  • 1998 Prankote massacre – 26 Hindu villagers of Udhampur district were killed by militants.
  • 1998 Champanari massacre – 25 Hindu villagers killed on 19 June 1998 by Islamic militants.
  • 2000 Amarnath pilgrimage massacre – 30 Hindu pilgrims massacred by militants.
  • Chittisinghpura massacre- 36 Sikhs massacred by LET militants.
  • 2001 terrorist attack on Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly On 1 October 2001, a bombing at the Legislative Assembly in Srinagar killed 38.[92]
  • 2002 Raghunath temple attacks – First attack occurred on 30 March 2002 when two suicide bombers attacked the temple. Eleven persons including three security forces personnel were killed and 20 were injured. In second attack, the fidayeen suicide squad attacked the temple second time on 24 November 2002 when two suicide bombers stormed the temple and killed fourteen devotees and injured 45 others.
  • 2002 Qasim Nagar massacre – On 13 July 2002, armed militants believed to be a part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba threw hand grenades at the Qasim Nagar market in Srinagar and then fired on civilians standing nearby killing 27 and injuring many more.[93]
  • 2003 Nadimarg Massacre – 24 Hindus killed in Nadimarg, Kashmir on 23 March 2003 by Lashkar-e-Taiba militants.
  • 20 July 2005 Srinagar Bombing – A car bomb exploded near an armoured Indian Army vehicle in the famous Church Lane area in Srinagar killing 4 Indian Army personnel, one civilian and the suicide bomber. Militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attack.[94]
  • Budshah Chowk attack – A militant attack on 29 July 2005 at Srinigar's city centre, Budshah Chowk, killed 2 and left more than 17 people injured. Most of those injured were media journalists.[95]
  • Assassination of Ghulam Nabi Lone – On 18 October 2005 suspected Kashmiri militants killed Jammu and Kashmir's then education minister Ghulam Nabi Lone. Militant group called Al Mansurin claimed responsibility for the attack.[96] Abdul Ghani Lone, a prominent All Party Hurriyat Conference leader, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen during a memorial rally in Srinagar. The assassination resulted in wide-scale demonstrations against the Indian forces for failing to provide enough security cover for Mr. Lone.[93]
  • 2006 Doda massacre : On 3 May 2006 militants massacred 35 Hindus in Doda and Udhampur districts in Jammu and Kashmir.[97]
  • On 12 June 2006 one person was killed and 31 were wounded when terrorists hurled three grenades on Vaishnodevi shrine-bound buses at the general bus stand here this morning.[98]
  • 2014 Kashmir Valley attacks: There were four attacks on 5 December 2014 on army, police and civilians resulted in 21 deaths and several injured. Their motive was to disrupt the ongoing assembly elections.[99]

Militant acts in J&K

[88] because of militancy.Jammu have to move to Pandits Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits have emigrated as a result of the violence. Estimates of the displaced varies from 170,000 to 700,000. Thousands of [87] has occurred by the militants during the 1980s.War rape [6] [86] They continue serious human rights violations: summary executions, rape, and torture. In the effort to curb support for pro-independence militants, Indian security forces have resorted to arbitrary arrest and collective punishments of entire neighborhoods, tactics which have only led to further disaffection from India. The militants have kidnapped and killed civil servants and suspected informers.[85][84][83] Islamic separatist militants are accused of violence against the Kashmir populace.

Human rights violations by militants

In 1991 the 4th Rajputana Rifles Unit are alleged to have entered the village of Kunan Poshpora and raped between 30 and 100 women aged between 13 and 70.[6][80] The Indian government carried out three inquiry's into the allegations and concluded that it had been a hoax. The International Commission of Jurists have stated that though the attacks had not been proven beyond a doubt, but there were credible evidence that it had happened.[81] In 2011 the State Human Rights Commission(SHRC) has asked for the case to be reopened.[82]

Kunan Poshpora incident

The Indian National Census shows that Kashmir lags behind other states in most socio-development indicators such as literacy rates and has unusually high levels of unemployment. This contributes to anti-government sentiment.[79]

Other reasons

Six Indian soldiers, including two officers, were due to face a court martial over extrajudicial killings.[78]

The insurgents have also abused human rights, engaging in what some have called an ethnic cleansing by exterminating Kashmiri Pandits from the valley of Kashmir.[76] The government's inability to protect the people from both its own troops and the insurgency has further eroded support for the government.[77]

Military forces in Jammu and Kashmir operate under emergency powers granted to them by the central government. These powers allow the military to curtail civil liberties, creating further support for the insurgency.[75]

After insurgency started in Kashmir valley because of above reasons in late 1980s, Indian troops entered in Kashmir valley to control the insurgency.[72] Some analysts have suggested that the number of Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir is close to 600,000 although estimates vary and the Indian government refuses to release official figures.[73] These troops have engaged in widespread humanitarian abuses[55] and have engaged in extrajudicial killings.[56] In October 2010, Army Chief Gen VK Singh stated in an interview that over 95% of the allegations of human rights violations proved to be false and had apparently been levelled with the "ulterior motive of maligning the armed forces".[74] Giving details, he said 988 allegations against the Army personnel in Jammu and Kashmir were received since 1994. Out of these 965 cases were investigated and 940 were found false, accounting for 95.2 percent.[74]

Humanitarian abuses

[71] Jammu and Kashmir is the only Muslim majority state in Hindu-majority India. Indian-American journalist


After the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union, Mujahideen fighters, with the aid of Pakistan, slowly infiltrated Kashmir with the goal of spreading a radical Islamist ideology.[45]

Mujahideen influence

Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI), an American government intelligence agency, in their first ever open acknowledgement in 2011 in US Court said that Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI) sponsors terrorism in Kashmir and it oversees terrorist separatist groups in Kashmir.[16][17][68][69][17][20]

The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence has allegedly encouraged and aided the Kashmir independence movement through an insurgency[50][51][52][65] due to its dispute on the legitimacy of Indian rule in Kashmir, with the insurgency as an easy way to keep Indian troops distracted and cause international condemnation of India.[40]
Former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf in Oct 2014 said during TV interview, “We have source (in Kashmir) besides the (Pakistan) army…People in Kashmir are fighting against (India). We just need to incite them.”[66][67]

ISI's role

However, 2014 Assembly elections saw highest voters turnout in last 25 years since insurgency has erupted. It recorded more than 65% of voters turnout which is more than usual voters turnout in other states of India. It considered as increase in faith of Kashmiri people in democratic process of India.[62][63][64]

A government report found that almost half of all Kashmiri Panchayat Raj positions were vacant and suggested that the reason for this was the destabilising effect of the conflict. The Panchayat Raj is a system of elected village level governance created by the 73rd amendment to the Indian constitution. The report also noted that their ability to effectively govern was "crippled."[61]

The insurgency was sparked by the rigging of state elections in 1987.[43][45] This has contributed to anti-government sentiment.

Rigging of 1987 Assembly elections

Reasons for the insurgency

According to an Indian Army data – quoted by Reuters – at least 70 young Kashmiris joined the insurgency in the 2014, army records showed, with most joining the banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which was accused of carrying out attacks on the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008. Two of the new recruits have doctorates and eight were post graduates, the army data showed.[59] According to BBC, that despite a Pakistani ban on militant activity in Kashmir in 2006, its fighters continue to attempt infiltration into Indian-administered Kashmir. These attempts were curtailed however when people living along the Line of Control which divides Indian and Pakistani Kashmir started to hold public protests against their activities.[60]


Once the most formidable face of Kashmir militancy, Hizbul Mujahideen is slowly fading away as its remaining commanders and cadres are being taken out on a regular interval by security forces.[57] Some minor incidents of grenade throwing and sniper firing at security forces notwithstanding, the situation is under control and more or less peaceful. A record number of tourists including Amarnath pilgrims visited Kashmir during 2012. On 3 August 2012, a top Lashkar-e-Taiba militant commander, Abu Hanzulah involved in various attacks on civilians and security forces was killed in an encounter with security forces in a village in Kupwara district of north Kashmir.[58]

There have been widespread protests against Indian rule.[53]

Despite the change in the nature of the insurgency from a phenomenon supported by external forces to a primarily domestic driven movement[40][50][53][54][55] the Indian government has continued to send large numbers of troops to the Indian border and to crack down on civil liberties.[53][55][56]

Beginning in 2004 Pakistan began to end its support for insurgents in Kashmir.[49] This happened because terrorist groups linked to Kashmir twice tried to assassinate Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf.[48] His successor, Asif Ali Zardari has continued the policy, calling insurgents in Kashmir "terrorists".[50] Although it is unclear if Pakistan's intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, thought to be the agency aiding and controlling the insurgency[50][51][52] is following Pakistan's commitment to end support for the insurgency in Kashmir.[50]


This led to the rise of an armed insurgency movement composed, in part, of those who unfairly lost elections.[46] Pakistan supplied these groups with logistical support, arms, recruits and training.[43][45][46][47][48]

After Sheikh Abdullah’s death, his son Farooq Abdullah took over as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Farooq Abdullah eventually fell out of favour with the Central Government and the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi had him dismissed. A year later Farooq Abdullah announced an alliance with the ruling Congress party for the elections of 1987.[43] The elections were allegedly rigged in favour of Farooq Abdullah.[43][45]

The trend in total yearly civilian and security forces fatalities from insurgency-related violence over 25 years from 1988 to 2013.[44]


During this period legislative elections in Jammu and Kashmir were first held in 1951 and Sheikh Abdullah’s party stood unopposed. However Sheikh Abdullah would fall in and out of favour with the central government and would often be dismissed only to be re-appointed later on.[42] This was a time of political instability in Jammu and Kashmir and it went through several periods of President's rule by the Federal Government.[43]


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