45% decrease in terrorist instances; entire region has witnessed unprecedented era of peace and progress since abrogation of Article 370: Centre tells Supreme Court

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"....resolute anti-terror actions have resulted in dismantling of the terror eco-system which is reflected in a significant drop in terrorist recruitment from 199 in the year 2018 to 12 in the year 2023 till date...", the Top Court has been further informed.

The abrogation of Article 370 is a historic constitutional step whicb has brought unprecedented development, progress, security and stability to the region, which was often missing during the old Article 370 regime, the Central government has informed the Supreme Court.

In its most recent counter affidavit filed in the pleas challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, which had accorded special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Union of India has submitted,

" ...since 2019, the entire region has witnessed an unprecedented era of peace, progress and prosperity. It is submitted that, life has returned to normalcy in the region after over three decades of turmoil. It is submitted that schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and other public institutions are functioning efficiently without any strikes or any kind of disturbances during the last three years. The earlier practice of daily hartals, strikes, stone pelting and bandhs are things of the past now."

Notably, a CJI DY Chandrachud led Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court is slated to hear the pleas challenging abrogation of Article 370 tomorrow.

Court has been further informed that the security situation in the Ut of Jammu and Kashmir has improved considerably with a 45.2% decrease in terrorist initiated instances, 90.2% decrease in net infiltration and 97.2% decrease in law and order events.

"The street violence, engineered and orchestrated by terrorists and secessionist networks has now become thing of past. The organized stone pelting incidences connected with terrorism-separatist agenda, which were as high as 1767 in the year 2018 has come down to zero in the year 2023 till date. In the year 2018, there were 52 incidences of organized Bandh/ Hartal, which has come
down to zero in the year 2023 till date..."
, the counter adds.

Adding that government has adopted a zero tolerance policy towards terrorists, the Union has added that the work on transit accommodation for the Kashmiri Pandits for their safe return to the valley is in the advanced stage and is expected to be majorly completed in the next one year.

The Union has further informed the Top Court that massive IT initiatives were taken post 2019 and  a new Central Sector Scheme has been notified in February 2021 for the industrial development with an outlay of Rs.28400 Cr to boost the industrial development. Investment proposals worth Rs.78000 Cr have been already received online by the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, the counter submits.

"... huge investments have been made under the Health Sector to create world class health infrastructure in the Union territory which includes 2 new AIIMS, 7 new Government Medical Colleges, 5 new Nursing Colleges and 2 State Cancer Institutes. J&K has become the first in the country to launch a universal health insurance scheme under the brand name ‘SEHAT’ in which every household in the Union territory has been provided with Rs. 5 lac of health cover. 82.22 lac beneficiaries have been registered so far under the scheme. J&K has also one of the highest health budget allocations in the country...", the affidavit states.

In April last year, the Top Court had said that they will consider listing the batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir before a 5 judges bench after summer vacations.

The matter was then mentioned before a bench of the then Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justice Hima Kohli by Senior Advocate Shekhar Naphade. Naphade had submitted that the matter needed to be listed as the delimitation proceedings were going to commence soon.

One of the petitions has stated that "Article 370 of the Constitution of India is a self-contained Code which defined and regulated the relationship between the State of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union of India. Apart from Article 370, Article 1 of the Constitution of India would apply to the State of J & K."

“The challenge to the Constitutional validity ought to be heard on an expedited basis otherwise the petition itself would be rendered infructuous in view of the irreversible actions of the Respondents and the Applicant would be rendered remediless,” the petition added.

Case Title: Mohd. Akbar Lone and Other vs. Union of India and others | Batch of petitions