Escape of terrorist under stone-pelters’ cover vindicates Gen Rawat
BLUNT BUTCHER / ANCHOR
The visuals from Tral, showing a terrorist being whisked away by huge contingent of stone-pelters on their shoulder-backs from the encounter site while his commander Sabzar Bhat along with another terrorist was being eliminated, are alarming. The lunatic mob of pelters, whom separatists eulogise as freedom fighters and mainstream leaders like Dr Farooq Abdullah acknowledge as heroes of the ‘nation’ (Kashmir) vindicated the statement of Army chief General Bipin Rawat, warning that stone-pelters who try to disrupt anti-terror operations in J&K will be treated as “over-ground workers of terrorists” and can be fired on.
The General had a point that naturally irked pseudo secularists, activists and Pakistan apologists across the country. He was virtually condemned over speaking the truth that has in turn emboldened the paid flocks of pelters all over the Valley.
In Tral, one of the trapped terrorists and some of their supporters desperately tried to gather a crowd of stone-pelters to be able to escape from the encounter. The frantic messages betrayed desperation and fear of those being glamourised by separatists, not for seeking Azadi but to woo other young people to carry forward their lucrative enterprise, funded and supported by Pakistan’s ISI. If reports are to be believed Sabzar Bhat remained in hiding for nearly 10 hours, without firing a single bullet at the troops. He also frantically sent text messages from his handset to gather crowd to provide him cover. By the time the cover came he had fell to bullets of the valiant soldiers. However, the third terrorist managed to move away under the cover of stone-pelters. This is the phenomenon in Kashmir that had worried General Bipin Rawat.
It has taken more than a decade to the Indian leadership and military top brass to recognize stone-pelters as the other side of terrorists. The only difference is that they don’t brandish guns. This is a clever ploy, strategised by the ISI, to hammer India through stone-pelters as the world has been showing zero tolerance towards terrorists. The hard-core hawk Syed Ali Geelani has publicly supported stone-pelting, saying this sort of protest is even being carried out in Europe as well. He has been terming it as anger and hate of Kashmiri youth for uniformed security and police personnel. This has not been only encouragement to street urchins but provocation too. Actually, the stone-pelting is most infamous form of resistance known as Intifada. Stone-pelting has got over-projected and glamourised in Kashmir to such an extent that a dedicated contingent of computer savvy over-ground and invisible supporters created in 2010 Facebook accounts like- ‘I am a stone pelter’; ‘Kashmir-the Intifada’ etcetera. They have been continuously unleashing a sinister campaign on social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube by disseminating selective videos and pictures to hoodwink and mislead the world opinion against India. The ploy is to portray Kashmir as a disturbed area, if not a terror struck region. Terrorism is a red rag for the US and West. Therefore, Pakistan and its infamous ISI had substituted guns by stones so as to keep Kashmir boiling.
The ploy is working. Stone pelting drew attention across the world. According to B. Raman, a former head of counter-terrorism for India’s intelligence service, “What we are witnessing in certain areas of Jammu and Kashmir is the beginning of an Intifada.” Intifada, an Arabic word literally meaning “shaking off”, though popularly translated into English as uprising, resistance or rebellion. It is often used as a term for popular resistance to oppression. This being the background of the current spell of stone pelting based unrest in the Valley, the nation will have to redraw its strategy vis a vis Kashmir. If India fails in tackling the spate of stone-pelting, the consequences will be dangerous and gruesome. Already, the initiative has been lost that has gone to the advantage of anti-national elements.
The deterrence of the armed forces has almost vanished because the political leadership has failed its own army. Their dignity has been compromised for political exigencies. The level of appeasement has touched such alarming levels that demonizing army is now a fashion with even mainstream political leadership of the Valley. The National Conference, the PDP and even the Congress get more aggressive towards army than Pak paid separatists. All of them have ganged up to demean the Indian Army. The trend has to be reversed by giving a serious consideration to what the Army chief had candidly spoken about.