Damage to Civilian Properties

The militants have burnt down and blown up 633 school buildings and 333 bridges over the past years. Their thinking regarding this has been that by blowing up the government properties they would eliminate the state administration and hence with this thought process they have destroyed 1134 government buildings. If we talk about the early years like 1999 and 2000 when 18 and 21 government buildings including schools and bridge, were destroyed, the rate of destruction of such buildings increased to 48 in 2001. This destruction didn’t restrict itself to government properties only and slowly and gradually spread its paws towards civilian properties as well, these properties were the livelihoods of the civilians on which their lives and future was dependent. Militants indiscriminately destroyed houses and shops of the people belonging to both the majority and the minority communities. In particularly the years 1990, 1992 and 1995 brought extreme barbarism from the militants who destroyed 5368 houses, shops and other structures of civilians, in 2001 this number went up to 419. In 2001, as many as 4522 incidents were recorded against 3074 civilians in 2000 and civilians 3071in 1999.
This vandalism was not just conducted by militant groups but armed forces also didn’t shy away from creating havoc in the lives of people. Numerous video clips showing armed forces damaging public property have emerged on regular basis. Household goods, furniture, utensilsdoors, and windowpanes were damaged, not only that, vehicle and two wheelers parked on roads were also thrashed. There was also an incident in north Kashmir where the water supply to villages was blocked by the forces. Schichan, Pethbugh, Ugjan, Hari Dialgam, Boni Dialgam, Check and Fatehpora area of south Kashmir and elsewhere, were hindered from electricity by damaging many of power transformers by state forces for the purpose of firing at various places. Armed forces even cut water supply to local people in Saderkote Bala in district Bandipora, in Budran village of Budgam the forces have set rice crop and grass stacks on fire in four villages of Budgam district. The villagers said the forces, fired incendiary projectiles into the harvested rice crop that had been left to dry in sun in Budran, Aadina, Kanihama and Mazhama village. In a peaceful area who wasn’t subjected to any disharmony the armed forces burned the crop only to oppress the villagers and also damaged the standing paddy crop in several fields. Without understanding that these corps were their source of income and survival and without showing any kind of mercy they destroyed everything these villages stood for. Sundepora village in Bijbehara in Anantnag district alleged that troops set fire to at least six paddy stacks in rice fields in the village. Their apple boxes were also damaged by the force. According to an executive of a leading car dealership agency in the valley, over 6000 to 7000 private vehicles were damaged by the armed forces. More than 500 electricity transformers were allegedly damaged by security forces across Kashmir to vent out their anger and implement their vengeance against people. As per officials in the Power Development Department, forces fired bullets, pellets and shells on transformers to undermine areas where protests were taking place into darkness, this practice usually takes place in South Kashmir. As per official figures, around 1100 transformers were damaged in Kashmir during July, August, and September 2016.Many of cases of vandalism and beating of household members has been reported, which includes a death by beating of a young lecturer in Khrew area of Pampore in Pulwama district by army personnel on August 17, 2016. Most of such vandalism take place during mid-night a feasible time to carry out raids on houses to arrest youth.

During the turmoil months of ongoing unrest in 2016, at least 645 structures were damaged in mysterious fire incidents across Kashmir, in October 2016 alone 242 structures were damaged mysteriously by fire incidents. Every structure including residential houses, schools, shops and shopping complexes were burn down to bits and apart from these structures vehicles were also burnt without any knowledge regarding the culprits. These unidentified culprits set on fire at least 35 school buildings across Kashmir post July 8 uprising giving heed to immense fear among the general people, particularly in academic circles. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court took cognizance of destruction of the schools, directing the government for ensuring the safety of the schools. Even though police claimed that some of the persons responsible for this destruction were arrested but no breakthrough was achieved in identifying the actual people behind this shameful act and bringing them before public. The damage among various districts of Kashmir who faced such dreadful fate covered almost all of Kashmir and indiscriminately destroyed both militant prone districts as well as peaceful district who weren’t used to such degree of oppression.7 schools were torched in Kulgam, 4 in Budgam, 3 in Baramulla, 2 in Ganderbal, 2 in Bandipora, 2 in Shopian, 1 in Srinagar, 1 in Pulwama, 1 in Anantnag and 1 in Kupwara. In October, this year, the highest number of mysterious fire incidents occurred in Kupwara witnessing damage to 47 structures, followed by Baramulla 38, Anantnag 34, Srinagar 25, Budgam 19, Shopian 19, Pulwama 18, Ganderbal 17, Kulgam 13 and Bandipora 12. On October 29, this year, Kashmir, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA), while expressing its concern over rise in mysterious fire incidents had said, “Not only schools but even shrines and shops are going up in flames.” On October 11, at least six shops were gutted in a mysterious fire incident at Qamarwari Chowk. On October 21, a two storey Masjid and the famous Lalbab Sahib Shrine were gutted in a fire in late evening, in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. On the same evening, the shrine of Lader ud Din Sahab was gutted in Anderwan area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. On October 24, four mutton shops were turned into dust in a mysterious fire during the night at Kunzar in north Kashmir’s Tangmarg area. In August, 108 structures were gutted. Twenty two were damaged in Srinagar, followed by 18 in Budgam, 16 in Baramulla, 14 in Kulgam, 11 in Anantnag, 10 in Kupwara and 6 in Bandipora. In September, 119 structures were burned down in Kashmir. Anantnag district had the most gruesome and frequent attacks with 27 structures and it was followed by 17 in Baramulla, 14 in Kupwara, 14 in Srinagar, 11 in Ganderbal, seven in Budgam and Kulgam and six in Bandipora. On September 21 2016, five shops were set ablaze in a mysterious fire incident at General Bus Stand Baramulla and on September 25 2016, four more shops and a godown were burnt in the same General bus stand of Baramulla town in north Kashmir. A window of SP College in Srinagar was damaged in a mysterious fire incident on November 3 2016, while a school was caught in a mysterious fire in Naidkhai area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district same evening.On Nov 9, At least eight residential houses went up in flames in Baramulla district in a devastating blaze. Reports and police also reported that eight residential houses were burnt down mysteriously in Khawaja Bagh area of Baramulla.