Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a spike in stone-pelting incidents in 2019 as compared to 2018 recording 1,999 such cases, of which 1,193 took place after the Centre announced the nullification of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into Union territories on August 5, according to official data.

The data revealed that the highest number of 658 stone-pelting incidents took place in August last year, followed by 257 in May, 248 in September, 224 in April, 203 in October, 103 in February and 84 in November.

In 2018 and 2017, 1,458, and 1,412 stone pelting incidents were reported in the erstwhile state, respectively.

However, stone pelting incidents in 2019 were down compared to 2016, which reported 2,653 such cases as the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani had triggered violent protests across Kashmir.

As per the reply to a Right To Information application of social activist Rohit Choudhary by the Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 1,996 incidents of stone pelting were reported in Jammu and Kashmir up to November end in 2019, of which 1,193 took place in four months from August.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh had earlier said the level of over all violence was down by 8 per cent in 2019 compared to 2016 due to the “best and exemplary handling” of the situation.

He had said the J and K Police set an example by handling the law and order situation in the most “exemplary” post August 5 last year, when the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into Union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

A senior official said 6,000 people were arrested post abrogation of Article 370 provisions. Currently, 500 to 600 are under detection while the rest have been released, he added.

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