1987-1998 Timeline   Click here for short version

  • 1987: Farooq Abdullah wins the elections. The Muslim United Front (MUF) accuses that the elections have been rigged. The insurgency in the valley increases in momentum from this point on, given the consistent failure of democracy and limited employment opportunities. The MUF candidate Mohammad Yousuf Shah is not only cheated in the rigged elections, but also imprisoned and he would later become Syed Salahuddin, chief of militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahedin; His election aides called the HAJY group -Abdul Hamid Shaikh, Ashfaq Majid Wani, Javed Ahmed Mir and Mohammed Yasin Malik- would join the JKLF.
    Balraj Puri, Kashmir: Towards Insurgency, New Delhi 1993, p.52

    Amanullah Khan takes refuge in Pakistan, after being deported from England and begins to direct operations across the LoC; Young disaffected Kashmiris in the Valley such as the HAJY group are recruited by JKLF.

  • 1988: Protests begin in the Valley along with anti-India demonstrations, followed by police firing and curfew.
  • 1989: Militancy increases with bomb blasts; On 8 December, Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the Home Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed is kidnapped by the JKLF; She is released safely on 13 December in exchange for the release of five JKLF leaders. Kashmiri Pandits Jia Lal Taploo and Neel Kanth Ganjoo are killed by militants, the latter for sentencing Maqbool Butt to death in 1984.

    End of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan releases a great deal of militant energy and weapons to Kashmir. Pakistan provides arms and training to both indigenous and foreign militants in Kashmir, thus adding fuel to the smouldering fire of discontent in the valley.

  • 1990: In January, Jagmohan is appointed as the Governor; Farooq Abdullah resigns. On 20 January, an estimated 100 people are killed when a large group of unarmed protesters are fired upon by the Indian troops at the Gawakadal bridge. With this incident, it becomes an insurgency of the entire population.
    Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in Conflict, New York 2000, pp.143-154.
    Balraj Puri, Kashmir: Towards Insurgency, New Delhi 1993, pp.60-61.

    On 13 February, Lassa Kaul, director of Srinagar Doordarshan, is killed by the militants for implementing pro-indian media policy. In the end of February, an estimated 400,000 kashmiris take to the streets of Srinagar, demanding a plebiscite.

    On March 1, an estimated one million take to the streets and more than forty people are killed in police firing. Massive protest marches by unarmed civilians continue in Srinagar.

    Though the JKLF tries to explain that the killings of Pandits were not communal, the murders cause a scare among the minority Hindu community. The rise of new militant groups, some warnings in anonymous posters and some unexplained killings of innocent members of the community contribute to an atmosphere of insecurity for the Kashmiri Pandits; Joint reconciliation efforts by members from both Muslim and Pandit communities are actively discouraged by Jagmohan. Most of the estimated 162,500 Hindus in the Valley, including the entire Kashmiri Pandit community, flee the Valley in March. There have been charges that this exodus was encouraged by Jagmohan, who has a reputation for being anti-Muslim, to enable India to have a "free hand" in dealing with the Muslims in the Valley. A thorough, independent enquiry alone can show if this exodus was entirely unavoidable.

    In May, an estimated 200,000 Kashmiris take to the streets in a funeral procession of the martyred leader Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq; over 100 are killed in police firing. Jagmohan resigns and Girish Saxena is appointed as the new Governor.

  • 1990-2001: An officially estimated 10,000 desperate Kashmiri youth cross-over to Pakistan for training and procurement of arms. The indigenous militant groups include the pro-independence JKLF and the pro-Pakistan Hizb-ul-Mujahedin (Hizb); The Hizb which is backed by Pakistan, increases its strength dramatically; ISI (Inter Services Intelligence: Pakistan's secret service) favours the Hizb over the secular JKLF and cuts off financing to the JKLF and in some instances provides intelligence to India against JKLF; In April 1991, kashmiris hold anti-Pakistan demonstrations in Srinagar following killing of a JKLF area commander by the Hizb; In 1992, Pakistan forces arrest 500 JKLF marchers led by Amanulla Khan in POK to prevent bid to cross the border; India also uses intelligence from captured militants and consequently JKLF militancy declines; The JKLF faction led by Yasin Malik announces unilateral ceasefire in 1994 and pursues political agenda under the APHC (All Parties Hurriyat[Freedom] Conference) umbrella, followed by Amanulla Khan's JKLF faction's ceasefire in 1997; Since 1995, foreign militant outfits with Islamic agenda such as Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT) and Harkat-ul-Mujahedin have dominated the militancy in Kashmir, besides the indigenous Hizb, all of them under the umbrella United Jehadi Council(UJC); Other indigenous and foreign militant organizations proliferate.
    • Balraj Puri, Kashmir: Towards Insurgency, New Delhi 1993, p.63.
    • Alexander Evans, As bad as it gets: The Kashmir Insurgency, April 2000, p.3

    Renegade militants supported by the Indian security forces are used for extrajudicial executions of militants (besides human right activists, journalists and other civilians) and later conveniently dismissed as "intergroup rivalries". In 1997, the Director General of Police Gurbachan Jagat acknowledges that continued services of the renegades have become counter-productive in view of their excesses; an estimated 5000 renegades are reportedly 'rehabilitated' as Special Police Officers (SPO) in the State police and many others are absorbed in the security forces; The renegades remain the most dreaded group and continue to engage in excesses; an estimated 3000 renegades are believed to operate in J&K.

    Though militancy is mainly concentrated in the Valley and is largely non-communal, some militant outfits operate in the Jammu region also and wage a communal campaign; The most serious incident of a communal nature namely the murder of sixteen male Hindus in Kishtwar in August 1993 is condemned by the JKLF and the Hizb. In the Jammu region, Muslims have been targeted more than Hindus and Sikhs; According to official reports, 307 Hindus and 377 Muslims have been killed in the Doda and Rajouri districts as of 1998; Hindu fundamentalism by the local armed Village Defence Committee (VDC) backed by the Army and terrorism by Muslim insurgents in defense of the Muslim community, have fed each other. Some militant groups with Islamic agenda have attacked women sporadically for not wearing the veil, which has been condemned by the indigenous militants. The APHC has recently called for foreign militants to leave Kashmir , since they are tarnishing the image of their freedom struggle.
    Praveen Swami, The Kargil War, New Delhi 1999, pp.71-2.

  • References:

      Human Rights Watch,INDIA'S SECRET ARMY IN KASHMIR , New Delhi 1999, pp.71-2.
      Amnesty International, Disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir, 1999.