The Bold Voice of J&K

Low-cost terror

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The low-tech terror attack near the United Kingdom Parliament building should be an eye-opener for all especially when India has been reeling under the curse of the worst terrorism related incidents whether it is in Kashmir, Mumbai or in New Delhi. With Islamic State (IS) crumbling in Iraq and Syria, such distributed terror attacks can be staged anywhere in the world once the template exists in an era of globalisation. It goes without saying that India needs to strengthen its defences against terror by beefing up security and intelligence. To minimise such attacks, it is also important to guard against social alienation and the ghettoisation of groups. However, recent BJP poll wins have ignited in some minds visions of going ahead with the Hindutva project, or the creation of a kind of Hindu nation where minorities would be relegated further and alienated socially. There is already a disturbing similarity between Pakistan’s blasphemy laws and persecution of people on grounds of meat consumption in India: in both cases mobs can gather and level flimsy accusations at people, usually belonging to minorities, with the assurance that authorities will side with them which becomes a spark for violence. Luckily, India is still some distance away from being Pakistan. However, progress along this path will also come freighted with the kind of outcomes that we see in Pakistan. With Jammu and Kashmir being on the edge of Islamic terrorism such attacks should work as wakeup call for Indian security agencies as an incident which incites communal passions. In late December, a truck plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and wounding nearly 50 others. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the incident, calling the attacker a “soldier” of the militant group. Wednesday’s terror attack began when the 4×4 vehicle slammed into pedestrians on the Westminster Bridge, before crashing into a railing near Parliament.  Such terror attacks, involving vehicles and low-tech weapons, are a growing threat anywhere and by their nature are very difficult to prevent.

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