Doda is a district in the eastern part of Jammu Division in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The district consists of 18 tehsils viz. Thathri, Bhaderwah, Doda, Mahalla, Bhagwa, Assar, Bhalla, Gundna, Marmat, Kahara, Gandoh (Bhalessa), Bhella, Bharth Bagla, Chiralla, Chilly Pingal, Phagsoo and Kashtigarh.
|Coordinates (Doda): Coordinates:|
|Union territory||Jammu and Kashmir|
|• District Magistrate||Vikas Sharma (KAS) |
|• Additional Deputy Commissioner||Kishori Lal (JKAS)|
|• Assistant Commissioner Revenue||Sanjeev Kumar (KAS)|
|• Total||8,912 km2 (3,441 sq mi)|
|• Urban||19.75 km2 (7.63 sq mi)|
|• Rural||8,892.25 km2 (3,433.32 sq mi)|
|• Density||46/km2 (120/sq mi)|
|• Sex ratio||919|
|Time zone||UTC+05:30 (IST)|
|Major highways||NH 244|
The demography of district Doda is complex as compared to its neighbouring districts primarily because of the wide diversity in its population. In the past, Doda was largely inhabited by Sarazi population before people started settling here from Kashmir and other adjoining areas. It got name Doda due to Opium plant which is known as Doddi in local language. The reasons for kashmiri population settling here in the past in 17th and 18th century is matter of ambiguity between historians. However Sumantra Bose says it was repression by feudal class that drew people to the district of Doda, Ramban and Kishtwar.
The Doda district consists of areas drawn from the ancient principalities of Kishtwar and Bhadarwah, both of which became part of a district by the name of 'Udhampur' in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In 1948, the erstwhile Udhampur district was partitioned into the present Udhampur district, containing the Udhampur and Ramanagar tehsils, and 'Doda' district containing the Ramban, Bhadarwah, Thathri and Kishtwar tehsils.
In 2006, Ramban was made into an independent district and the hilly area to the east of the present Doda district was separated as the Kishtwar district. The remaining areas include the Doda tehsil carved out of Kishtwar and the original Bhadarwah, now divided into three tehsils.
In 1990s, various incidents were reported about the suppression of Hindus by the Militant organizations. In response to the rising terrorism, the government authorities made Village Defense Committee (VDC) in various villages. However some reports of VDC members indulging in criminal activities have also reported in the past. In a village called Karada, four Muslims were allegedly killed by VDC members. This incident also triggered the militant organisations to target those who supported the VDCs, believing them to be anti-Muslim. Since 1990s, many such incidents of killings by militants and VDCs have been reported.
† 1951 and 1991 populations are estimated
According to the 2011 census, Doda district has a population of 409,936, roughly equal to the nation of Malta. This gives it a ranking of 556th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 79 inhabitants per square kilometre (200/sq mi) . Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 27.89%.
The district has a Muslim majority 53.82%, with Hindus constituting 45.77% of the population and the remainder consisting of Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains.
Doda's society is a mixture of all religions with Hindus and Muslims being two major communities. The population ratio between the Muslims and the Hindus as per the census report of 2011 is around 55:45. Muslims of the region are mostly ethnic Kashmiris and are culturally and linguistically connected to the people of Kashmir.
|Doda district: religion, gender ratio, and % urban of population, according to the 2011 Census.|
|Gender ratio (% female)||47.6%||48.2%||31.4%||32.2%||57.1%||50.0%||42.9%||49.7%||47.9%|
(no. of females per 1,000 males)
Prominent Scholar Sumantra Bose states that the plurality of population of Doda speaks Kashmiri as their mother language. A study conducted in 2014 identified 40% of the population as Kashmiri-speaking. The Pahadi languages are spoken by the second largest group: Bhadarwahi and Siraji are the main ones. Others in the district speak Gojri and Dogri.
Doda's population comprises different communities who live together peacefully despite following different religions and speak different languages. Most of the people of the region are well-versed with all the languages spoken in the area.
Administratively, the district has 406 villages. Doda District has been divided into three subdivisions viz., Doda, Bhaderwah and Bhalessa (Gandoh). It has eighteen tehsils.
Doda had a history of terrorism with one of the highest concentration of militants in Jammu and Kashmir. According to local authorities, about 200 militants were active in the district in early 2000s.
Militants targeted the Hindu community while Muslim villagers were also targeted by militants as well as some anti-social outfits mostly who misused the VDCs. A report said that of the 489 civilians killed in the region till 2005. There have been a number of killings of innocent civilians by militants and some anti-social outfits including:
- In August 1998, four Muslims were allegedly killed by VDC members in Karada village.
- On June 19, 1998, 25 Hindus were brutally massacred by militants in Chapnari village of Doda district.
- On 25 October 1998, four Muslim civilians shot dead allegedly by Indian troops in Doda, according to Police and local residents.
- On 3 August 2001, 17 Hindu Civilians brutally massacred by Militants in ladder village. 
- The 2006 Doda massacre where 35 Hindu civilians killed on 30 April 2006.
- Massacre of 19 Hindu villagers in Thawa village on 15 May 2006.
- On 15 May 2019, Nayeem Ahmad Shah was killed by cow vigilantes in Bhaderwah, while he was not carrying any animal during attack. Eight Hindus were arrested in this case.
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Malta 408,333 July 2011 est.
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- "Cow vigilantes kill lone breadwinner of family in J&K". Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- Naseem, Ishfaq (16 May 2019). "Nayeem Ahmad Shah, who was killed by cow vigilantes in Jammu's Bhaderwah, was carrying no animal during attack, claims relative". Retrieved 20 June 2020.
- "J&K: Five-member SIT constituted to probe killing of a man by alleged cow vigilantes in Bhaderwah". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
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