Time to give peace a chance in Kashmir
S. Narinder Singh
Violence on killing of terrorist in the Kashmir Valley is not a new phenomenon. Killers of the humanity are to be dealt with sternly. How to deal with such situations, however, remains concern of the Centre as also the State Government. But unfortunately neither of the governments take such situations seriously, which manifests in collateral damages and sometimes killing of innocents.
Kashmir is on the boil again, following killing of dreaded terrorist Burhan Wani, with situation turning grave like the ones in the wake of the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru in 2013 and stone pelting in 2010 but the Union and the State Governments were caught unprepared to deal with the resultant situations. It is because of callous attitude of the government which led to loss of human life and public property.
It is a known fact that the opportunists, political parties, anti-national and pro-Pak elements are used to taking undue advantage of such volatile events to exploit the youth and the masses, thus disturbing the peace which is essential for the growth and development of the State and society as a whole. It is also for the authorities to assess whether public funeral of glorified terrorists is advisable or they should be quietly buried by immediate family and acquaintances.
In view of the prevailing situation, the Holy Amarnath Yatra was intermittently stopped. With the result, Yatris, who came from all parts of the country, suffered a lot. It is a quiet failure on the part of the PDP-BJP Coalition Government in the State and BJP led NDA at the Centre that the Yatris were facing hardships. They should have been allowed to perform pilgrimage by providing full protection. It has not happened for the first time, even during the PDP-Congress Coalition Government the Yatra got hugely impacted. In 2008 Amarnath land row agitation, Mufti Mohammed Syeed withdrew support to Ghulam Nabi Azad who was the rotational CM as per agreed formula. During that agitation also many lives were lost and damage caused to the public property. The Yatra to the Holy Cave is going on since centuries. It should not be politicalised by political parties like PDP, separatists and terrorists as it boosts the tourism industry of the State. Rather suitable arrangements should be made for smooth conduct of the pilgrimage by the present Coalition Government as some of the ministers are products of Amarnath Yatra land row.
This is not the time for war of words and blaming each other but lessons are needed to be learn from such events which will help in adopting suitable measures for crowd control. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in her first reaction during disturbances in the Valley blamed enemies of the society for misleading innocent youth and prompting them to target security forces as a consequence of which they are either killed or seriously injured.
If the CM is aware of the fact that such mischievous anti-national elements are always in search of opportunity for the youth to come out for protest and divert them towards security forces and police stations, why their intelligence agencies fail in identifying such disruptive and anti-national forces who are always engaged in destabilising the country, and punish them. Mehbooba Mufti’s claim that security forces were not aware about Bhuran Wani’s presence during the 8th July fatal encounter is highly condemn-able.
So is the assertion of Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who described the killing of dreaded terrorist as accidental. Such observations by the Chief Minister and her deputy about killers of humanity reflects their bewilderment over the uncontrollable situation. Did the highest political executives of Jammu and Kashmir mean to say that had the security forces been in know of the identity of Burhan, he would have been presented bouquets or given a safe passage?
Under prevailing situation in the Valley, more than 55 persons have been killed and 3,000 injured with curfew remaining in force for 32 days. This has added to the sufferings of people. The basic need is to restore normalcy and peace for which all political parties and other non-political organisations like civil societies i.e. Civil Defense, Home Guards and Mohalla committees, intellectuals and traders should come forward to bring normalcy and help the needy without taking any political mileage out of it.
These organisations and political parties should also assist the government in maintaining law and order and instilling confidence among the people. Whatever the cause may be, the need of the hour is to maintain peace so that further loss of valuable lives may not occur.
The media has also to play very positive and constructive role in bringing normalcy. It should always keep the interest of the country in view while projecting the events. They should not glorify the activities of the separatists or terrorists.
During my posting in Police Department, I had observed that most of the journalist used to meet terrorists in their hideouts to interview and project their viewpoint. On one occasion, I had an interesting interaction with Alpana Kishore of News Track when she came to interview the then DGP B.S. Bedi. When she disclosed that she had gone to a terrorist hideout to interview them, I retorted back saying that “Are you working for Pakistan which is sponsoring terrorism in our State”.
(To be continued)
(The writer is a farmer Director, Infdormation J&K Government)