|Early Times Report|
JAMMU, May 17: Now that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has conceded Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's demand seeking ceasefire during the month of Ramzan ignoring the opposition of the local BJP leadership and strategic affairs experts to the very idea of ceasefire, it is time to revisit Jammu & Kashmir of November 2000 and May 31, 2001 to know what the terror outfits did during that dark period of ceasefire.
It was during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee that the Government of India had announced a unilateral ceasefire on November 19, 2000.
The ceasefire was extended three times and it continued till May 31, 2001. It was withdrawn on May 31. Farooq Abdullah was then the Chief Minister of the state
Did Jammu & Kashmir witness peace during the period of ceasefire? And what do the official statistics in this regard say. The statistics are very frightening.
There was no peace in Jammu & Kashmir during the ceasefire period.
The period between January 1 and May 31, 2001, according to official statistics, witnessed a total of 1221 casualties: 445 civilians, 233 security personnel and 543 terrorists lost their lives. In other words, civilians and security forces personnel suffered more casualties as compared to terrorists. The number of civilians and security forces personnel who lost their lives was 678. As for 543 terrorists, they included both local and foreigners.
Not just this, according to official statistics, the total number of persons, including civilians and security forces personnel, who suffered injuries, some of them fatal, during the ceasefire period, was no less than 1,433. These included 547 security forces personnel and 886 civilians.
It was also during this period that the terrorists attacked the Srinagar Airport and stormed the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah's rally.
One doesn't know what will happen during the ceasefire period, which commenced today.
One has to keep one's fingers crossed given the fact that within hours of ceasefire announcement, terrorists opened fire on Army 23 PARA, SOG and CRPF in the terrorist-infested Shopian, Kashmir.