Srinaga: During the ongoing Article 370 hearing, a significant dual-focus emerged as the Centre addressed both the restoration of complete statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and the timing of assembly elections.
The Centre’s submission to the Supreme Court indicated that while the decision on conducting polls in Jammu and Kashmir remains within the purview of the Election Commission and the state poll panel, the process of updating the voters’ list in the region is however already underway. The update is expected to take approximately a month to complete.
Simultaneously, the Centre informed the court that the restoration of full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would necessitate some time. While the exact timeline wasn’t specified, the Centre acknowledged that this process is going on and its commitment to the eventual reinstatement of complete statehood stands.
Furthermore, the Centre shared encouraging security-related statistics. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that instances of militancy have decreased by 45.2% between 2018 and 2023. Infiltration has seen a substantial reduction by 90%, while law and order issues like stone pelting have been significantly curbed by 97%. The casualties among security personnel have reduced by 65%, showcasing an improved security environment.
The instances of stone pelting which were at 1,767 in 2018, have now reached a remarkable zero, as per SG. Similarly, he informed, organized bandhs, which were at 52 in 2018, have ceased entirely.
The Centre also deliberated on the pending assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
“With the introduction of a three-tier Panchayat Raj system, three elections are due. The first set of elections will be for Panchayats. The elections for Leh Hill Development Council have already taken place, and those for Kargil are scheduled for September”, the Centre informed.