Violence in Held Kashmir has declined: India
NEW DELHI: Violence in Jammu and Kashmir decreased considerably in 2004 over the previous year, the interior ministry said on Wednesday.
The Ministry’s annual report said violent incidents reported in 2004 fell from 3,041 to 707 in the previous year. “Encouraging polling percent of 35.21 in the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) elections and an increase in the number of tourists to the Kashmir valley are indicators implying improvement in the security,” it said.
More than 45,000 people have died in the revolt against New Delhi’s rule in the territory where, despite the new push for peace between India and Pakistan, there are regular gunbattles between Indian forces and Muslim guerrillas. Recent peace moves between India and Pakistan, both of whom claim the region in its entirety, have fuelled hopes of an increase in the number of tourists to the stunningly beautiful valley this summer.
Kashmiri officials say they are expecting more than half a million tourists for the season, up from last year’s 350,000. That is still much fewer than the nearly 1 million tourists who visited Kashmir each year before the rebellion. reuters