Omar should have known better that in Kashmir, the writ of security forces runs first & faster than the decisions of the State Govt. Their orders have complete precedence over the Govt. instructions. And do not be mistaken that it is a fallout of 1989 insurgency. Since that fateful day of October 1947, this State has been managed with rifle bayonets sharpened by dispatches of spymasters of the likes of B.N.Mullicks & Hassanwalias.
In the words of Winston Churchill – It is wrong not to lay the lessons of the past before the present & future because those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. A few historical anecdotes, (There are thousands which will take reams of paper to narrate) as to how his grandfather & father have been shabbily treated in the past by the Indian security set-up, may make Omar wiser than his predecessors.
In the first week of November 1947, Indian Home Minster Sardar Patel & Defence Minster Baldev Singh paid a surprise visit to Srinagar to acquaint themselves with the prevailing security situation. After they had a detailed briefing from Brigadier L.P.Sen ,they decided to return back to Delhi the same day & Abdullah & Bhakshi went to see them off . Writes Brigadier L.P.Sen in his book-Slender was the thread at page 77- “Sheikh Abdullah & Bhakshi Ghulam Mohammad , who had gone, to the Airfield to see Sardar patel off, apparently decided to visit Brigade Hqrs., on their way back to Srinagar. They arrived when I was busy on a wireless set and Major Kak, the liason officer, had led them into the Brigade operation room and had proceeded to explain the situation to them, pointing out the deployment of the brigade. When I entered the room and was greeted with the sight of two unknown civilians carefully studying the map, I was furious. I ordered them to leave the room immediately and never to set foot in it again”
It must have been a great ignominy for the lion of Kashmir to hear words like “Get-out” from a brigadier rank officer of Indian Army, whom he had invited just days before to protect t our lives & honor. He complained to Nehru about the humiliation meted out to them who, in a typical New-Delhi style, ordered Sen to explain his conduct. Sen defended himself by saying that he did not know the two gentlemen ordered to leave the operation room- But he had no answer when asked that he had seen them in the close company of Sardar Patel & Baldev Singh, earlier during the day and the fact that Major Kak was explaining them the maps and hence could not have been strangers. But once army inside, how could two Kashmiri leaders overrule its Brigadier? They had to eat a humble pie.
Come 1953. Nehru had already planned to arrest Sheikh Abdullah, now Prime Minster of Jammu & Kashmir & firmly saddled in the chair.( Mathai’s Book- Reminiscences Of Nehru age makes an interesting reading on this episode) Intelligence Bureau had been pre-directed to manufacture a reason to dismiss & arrest him. Accordingly it dispatched a report to Delhi stating that Abdullah had gone to Gulmarg to establish a secret contact with a representative of Pakistan. This dispatch, written on half a page of paper without any iota of evidence or authentication, formed a basis for his overthrow & arrest. What is interesting is that New-Delhi had decided to appoint D.W.Mehra, an intelligence official, as chief Executive under Sadri-Riyasat, in case Bhakshi refused to take the hot seat.
The more, one ponders over these questions, the more he realizes that in Kashmir democracy simply means bludgeoning of the people by the security forces . In fact the presence of more than 700,000 Indian military personnel have made Kashmir the largest army concentration anywhere in the world and in the words of celebrated writer, Arundhati Roy, a mere military occupation.
Author is a practicing chartered Accountant. E mail: email@example.com)