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Violence in J

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 24 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today asserted that incidence of violence had come down since he took over the reins of the state.

Mr Azad said since November 2 and February 23, 417 violence- related deaths had taken place in the state as compared to 1015 in 2002-03, 921 in 2003-04 and 588 in 2004-05 for the same four months.

''The figure in 2005-06 is 171 cases less when compared to the data of the previous years,'' he added.

Mr Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was heading the Jammu and Kashmir Government from November 2002 to October 2005 under a power sharing agreement between the Congress and the PDP in the state.

Mr Azad said the even civilian casualty figures in the period from November, 05 to February 23, 06 were far less at 91 as compared to 245 in 2002-03, 205 in 2003-04 and 157 in 2004-05 for the same four months.

Two custodial killings have taken place in the past four months and in the same period from 2002 to 2005 it has been one, four and three, he said.

''No custodial disappearances have happened since the past four months... In 2002-03 it was 6, 2003-04 it was 2 and 2004-05 it was nil,'' he added.

Suicide attacks, major incidents and shut downs have all come down considerably, he said.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, while addressing a day-long party convention in Baramulla yesterday, came down heavily on the Congress, saying human rights violations had increased in the state after Mr Azad assumed office.

Four boys were allegedly killed by the Army in Handwara area of Kupwara district on Wednesday. The Army termed the incident as ''unfortunate'' and ordered an inquiry in the incident.

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