New Delhi, January 19 (KMS): The official website of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has made a ridiculous claim concerning the population of Jammu and Kashmir, underreporting the population of the Kashmir valley by more than 10 times.

MHA’s website currently displays incorrect statistics regarding the population of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh territories. The website states that the Kashmir Valley houses a total of 5,35,811 residents, while the Jammu region houses 69,07,623 residents, followed by Ladakh with 2,90,492 residents.

While this adds up to 77,33,926, the website shows the total as 1,25,48,926. Assuming the MHA data entry operators incorrectly typed the information for Kashmir, working back from the total and subtracting the stated populations for Jammu and Ladakh gives us 53,50,811, which is also not the correct population of Kashmir.

While the MHA quotes Census 2011 as its source, the Census itself tells a different tale. According to Census 2011, the population of Kashmir is 69,07,623 residents out of the total population of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh which is 1,25,48,926. The Kashmir valley comprises 10 districts – Kupwara, Bandipora, Baramulla, Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal, Pulwama, Kulgam, Shopian and Islamabad.

Not only does the MHA misquote Census 2011 in terms of the Kashmir valley’s population, it also adds up incorrectly the total population of the three regions. The population of Jammu is incorrectly quoted as 69.07 lakh, when it is only 53.50 lakh, according to the Census.

While the correct statistics, quoted by the Census 2011, are 69,07,623 (Kashmir), 53,50,811 (Jammu) and 2,90,492 (Ladakh).

This error comes at a time when Kashmir has already become an international issue of debate and discussion and the world is watching every development in the Valley very closely.

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