The Bold Voice of J&K

Mehbooba talks tough, walks soft, needs walk the talk

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Ravinder Jalali

Miss Mehbooba`s victory has been celebrated by the terrorists by attacking CRPF convoy and killing eight personnel and injuring 13 others in south Kashmir, PDP’s bastion. Let me congratulate Mehbooba for contesting successfully the Assembly election of Anantnag Constituency by defeating main rivals Congress and NC. The way the election campaign was run by candidates of NC and Congress was to polarise the votes between the nationals and anti-nationals. It has been a trend in the Valley that to be relevant in the Valley politics, one has to be anti-India and pro-separatists and PDP is no exception. They have also played the same card in past but this time it was a different case. The perception created by the NC and Congress among the people was that vote for PDP will be vote for BJP, RSS and Bhagwat, RSS supremo.
During election campaign she talked tough and mustered enough strength to lash out at separatists and mainstream politicians like NC and Congress and defended coalition with BJP. The Congress campaign was joined by central leaders like Raj Babbar and ex-cricketer turned politician Azharuddin who made all efforts to polarise the election on communal and regional basis but failed. She also dared separatists and NC and Congress that she will enter coalition with BJP 1,000 times for the welfare of the State. She also questioned the authority of Mirwaiz on the issues related to political matters and took a jibe on routine stone pelting sessions and hoisting of ISIS flags after Friday prayers. Despite all odds she won the seat with comfortable margin by defeating NC and Congress miserably. She has also reached to the opposition for bringing back Kashmiri Pandits to Valley and had made several announcements. She also talked about the revival of Sharda Peeth pilgrimage in PoK, which is a revered place for KPs. All these talks and programmes sound nice to ears.
With all said and done, the ground realities seem to be different and difficult. She talks tough but the real test is to act. Since assuming the charge of CM, there seems to be upsurge in the militant activities in J and K particularly in Kashmir Valley. The other day eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 others injured at Pampore in south Kashmir when the convoy, on way to Srinagar, was attacked by the militants. The attack was carried out in broad day light which speaks of the level of morale these militants have. Though the two militants were neutralised but two others were able to escape in their car towards Srinagar.
In a quick succession of events recently, we saw militants attacking the police and Para-military forces openly in broad day light and inflicting death and injuries to many and after committing the heinous act, they run away from the scene and are not traceable. In a recent attack by the militants on the police personnel in Srinagar city three local police men were killed and their arms snatched. An attack was carried out on the BSF convoy near Bijbehara, which incidentally is the home town of Chief Minister, where three BSF men were killed and many injured. Militants struck in the Anantnag District near bus stand killing two police officers in broad day light and fled away. As per reports three militants armed with rifles and ammunition appeared openly in general bus stand of Anantnag and fired at the cops and killed them on spot. These attacks on the cops have more to say. Firstly they attacked during day time and did not ambush the army as they did in Bijbejhara on BSF convoy. They came openly and one of the militants stood in front of the BSF vehicle on the high way which made the driver of the vehicle to stop it and other militants fired on the BSF personnels that were inside the bus.
Now the question is where did they disappear? They did not evaporate in the air or went underground. This is clear indication and is sufficient to prove that these terrorists have all the support from the people living around that area. They have the hide out there otherwise they can not disappear. If it would have been a suicide squad one can understand that they will fight to the last as they don’t have any support to hide. But they can escape and hide where there is local support that becomes shield for them which restricts the forces from retaliation. Such attacks also get political protection if the police reacts and some causality take place.
This also raises question marks on the claims of DG, BSF who has previously said that the target is Amaranth Yatra but at the same time assured that it would be incident free. Though everbody wish the Yatra to be incident free but the BSF convoy which is supposed to protect the Yatra came under attack and are not able to make their movement, incident free, how he can claim that the Yatra will be incident free. When they can not protect themselves, how they can protect the Yatris. Some days back there were intelligent inputs that some armed militants had infiltrated from PoK and slipped out of security check post in Srinagar and are bound for Pulwama area. Security was on high alert but in vain. Only a week back the CM herself made a statement in the Lower House about the presence of militants and their possible attacks ,mostly in south or central Kashmir. Police and security forces were alerted of their possible attack in Kashmir more particularly in south Kashmir. The police and the security forces had sufficient inputs about the possible strike by the militants but no proper response or homework seems to be visible on the ground. It seems that they are not taking things seriously. When there were sufficient inputs about the attack why they did not have adequate protection? Moreover it seems to be pre-planned. Terrorists have their say and can strike at their will and wish and no body can stop them. The security forces are not to be used as cannon fodder but they are there to kill the enemy and not themselves.
The strange thing is that the militants mostly strike in south Kashmir which is the base of Mehbooba Mufti and her party namely PDP. Security forces have to strengthen the fences along borders so that the infiltration is arrested . The security forces should have orders to retaliate to overcome those who are bent upon to disrupt the Yatra or attack them. These people are not actually anti-Yatra but they are the enemies of the people of J and K whose livelihood is linked with the Yatra.
It is high time for the CM to assert and walk the talk because words only may not help and are of no use unless some concrete steps on the ground are taken otherwise the message goes that the militants and separatists are hand in glove with the PDP and are dictating terms, which is the perception among the common people. Both the PDP and BJP owe answers to the people of nation in general and of State in particular. BJP has to do more introspection as being in power in the State as well as at the Centre.

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