India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

CrisisWatch India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

Unchanged Situation

Militant attacks and security operations increased in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), while authorities held first ballots in region since 2019 as part of national elections. 

Militant attacks and security operations intensified after winter lull. In Jammu division, security forces 1 May killed alleged infiltrator from Pakistan in Samba district; militants 4 May attacked Air Force convoy in Poonch district, injuring four and killing one. In Kashmir division, security forces 6-8 May killed three Resistance Front militants, including top commander, during three-day operation in Kulgam district; security personnel 16 May allegedly killed four militants trying to infiltrate Line of Control in Kupwara district; militants 19 May shot dead ruling Bharatiya Janata Party worker in Anantnag district.

Voters cast ballots in three parliamentary constituencies representing J&K. Citizens had first chance to cast ballots in J&K since govt abrogated special status in 2019, with polls held in three parliamentary constituencies as part of national election (see India). In Srinagar city on 13 May, voter turnout reached 38%, highest since 1989; PM Narendra Modi next day claimed “abrogation of Article 370 has enabled potential and aspirations of people to find full expression”, prompting opposition political parties People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference next day to reject declaration, claiming vote reflected people’s expression against administrative changes made by New Delhi since 2019. In Baramulla on 21 May, voter turnout reached 59% – highest in four decades. Voter turnout in Anantnag-Rajouri election 25 May reached 54.3%, highest in 35 years.

Proscribed Islamist group announced intent to contest assembly elections. Prohibited socio-religious organisation Jamaat-e-Islami, banned by govt in 2019, 13 May announced it would contest assembly elections – mandated to be held by 30 Sept – if govt lifted ban; militant group The Resistance Front condemned group’s decision as betrayal of people’s wishes, while former chief minister Omar Abdullah welcomed announcement and urged govt to overturn ban.

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