The Jammu and Kashmir state has highest number of police firing incidents in 2013 compared to all over India. There have been 318 occasions during which police opened fire in the state among 674 in India, the government data revealed. The police has opened fire six times a week at average in 2013.
The date was released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) of Home ministry. It says that 5 civilians were killed and 49 injured last year in the state. During this 15 policemen were killed and 634 injured.
The two other states which have highest number of police firing incidents after Jammu and Kashmir are Chhattisgarh with 109 and Uttar Pradesh 107.
In January this year, the Jammu Kashmir Collation of Civil Society (JKCCS) – a human rights group, in a report had said that 204 people were killed due to violent incidents in the state. Among them, 48 were civilians, 73 were alleged rebels, 82 armed forces and policemen and an unidentified person. The group had also recorded that 26 civilians were directly killed by the Indian armed forces.
Police or other government forces’ firings during civilian protests have been common in Jammu and Kashmir, but mostly in the valley. In March 2013, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah gave a passionate statement in the legislative assembly after a 24-year-old man was killed in firing by forces during a protest in north Kashmir.
The people were protesting against the hanging of Afzal Guru – accused for Parliament attack, and the forces opened fire. Abdullah then asked if the people in a procession throwing stones deserve to be shot at?
“Is this the first time people have thrown stones at the forces? Why did they fire? They (opposition) can show their emotion, throw stones and run away. I have the same emotions, maybe more, how do I show them?” he said.
The debate in the state has been that such firing incidents happen only due to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state. Since the current National Conference- Congress coalition government came in power in 2008, Abdullah has been giving statements on the revocation of the draconian law. So far in his six years of rule there have been even no amendments to it, revocation was not considered ever.
The NCRB data also categorises the firing incidents in India as below: