Held Kashmir on the edge

The News

Waqar Ahmed

October 20, 2018

Held Kashmir on the edge

The situation in held Kashmir is worsening every day with its impact being felt throughout India.

Indian General Officer Commanding in Chief (GoC-in-C), Northern Command, Lt General Ranbir Singh, has claimed there has been no change in so-called terror infrastructure across the Line of Control after the new government took charge in Pakistan. He termed the security situation along the LoC as “fragile”. The statement was part of the strategy to blame Pakistan for rising tensions in the Valley, which has gone out of India’s control.

Another senior Indian officer General Officer in Command, Chinar Corps, Lieutenant General Anil Kumar Bhat, denies carrying out operation ‘All Out’ in Kashmir against freedom fighters but says they were doing kinetic operations as well as non kinetic operations to bring peace in the valley. Anil Kumar Bhat admitted that “in order to bring peace in the valley, only counter insurgency operations are not a solution… other things are also needed on different fronts for peace.” He also admits nearly 140 local young people have joined militancy in Kashmir so far this year, the highest number of local militant recruitment in a decade.

Reports from the besieged valley also inform the Jammu & Kashmir administration is telling policemen and Special Police Officers in south Kashmir not to visit their homes. The advisory comes in the wake of the killings of SPOs and resignations of several others. It is claimed that SPOs, whose main role is in gathering intelligence, and local policemen are “soft targets because they do not live in fortified camps like the ones housing members of the army and the Central Reserve Police Force.” The four districts of south Kashmir have more than 3,000 SPOs. Across the state, there are more than 30,000 SPOs.

Since January, around 40 policemen have been killed by militants, many when they were off-duty. But around 200 innocent local people especially villagers have been slain at the hands of Indian forces, which term them as Mujahideen or militants. According to Indian media reports, alarm and despair spread among the Jammu and Kashmir policemen and their families after a series of abductions of relatives of policemen in south Kashmir. The abductions were triggered apparently in response to the police detaining for questioning the family members of some Hizbul Mujahideen militants. A couple of families of militants Shopian revealed that their houses were ransacked and set ablaze by security forces after four policemen were killed by militants in the district. “While police officers are putting up a brave front, they concede that the lower ranks are jittery following the abductions. Some 12 persons mostly relatives of policemen have been abducted in the four south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Ananatnag and Kulgam.”

Meanwhile, Kashmiri students are being hounded in Indian states. A Kashmiri student was injured after he was ruthlessly beaten by a group of students at the Sharda University in Greater Noida area of Uttar Pradesh. Ahtesham, who is pursuing bachelors in Medical Imaging Technology (BMIT), was admitted at Sharda hospital after he was thrashed. After the attack on Ahtesham, the Kashmiri students are feeling insecure in the university. Police are investigating some others at the Aligarh Muslim University for raising freedom slogans. At the Panjab University, Kashmiri students are being profiled. Some have also been arrested in east Punjab on terror charges.

The so-called largest democracy in the world has failed to tackle the resilient spirit of Kashmiris and instead keeps on blaming Pakistan for the growing freedom movement it is facing in the Valley.