The Bold Voice of J&K

Will you still insist for amnesty to stone-pelters, Mr CM

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JAMMU: We hope the stone pelting on a ferrying boat of National Disaster Response Force by some young people from roof top of a marooned Srinagar locality was to draw attention for help and not to show ‘traditional’ resentment. We also hope the anger that hampered the landing of four helicopters with relief material and rescue exercise too had nothing like ‘conventional’ dislike for the Indian forces. The flood sufferers of critically worse Srinagar localities keep waiting for someone to evacuate them, irrespective of who he is. The ‘who’ factor is quite important in a situation obtaining in Kashmir, as the local administration has vanished in blue at this hour of crisis. The justification for civil administration getting ‘marooned’ is not palpable, as just few colonies around Shivpora got inundated on the very first day. Rest of Srinagar and parts of the Valley, especially north Kashmir were untouched. This being the situation, how come the huge army of the State Government employees, engaged with flood control, did not report for emergency duties?
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is on record having stated that he had no government, as the ministers, bureaucrats and other functionaries were caught in floods. He says he was left with just eight persons. Is it true? Who does not know in Srinagar that most of the senior bureaucrats and top functionaries of the government reside in Cheshma Shahi, Gupkar and Tulsi Bagh areas, which, including Dal Lake, were least affected by massive floods initially. It is intriguing that the State machinery that gave advance warning, eight hours ahead of the breach in Jhelum embankment in Shivpora, according to the Chief Minister, why no contingency plan was put in place by the time situation worsened? It is irony that the state capital is running short of food grains notwithstanding the fact that enough stocking has already been made in granaries across the Valley. The required amount of rations could have been rushed from the peripheries, if the administration would have so desired. But the truth remains that the administration too is flooded with vested interests, who know only to obey the diktat of invisible. The element of sabotage cannot be ruled out in the breakdown of the State machinery.
Moving around in a state of desperation to monitor rescue and relief operations, the Chief Minister has no doubt been let down by his administration, which in fact never rose to the occasion to meet challenges.
In a rescue operation of unprecedented magnitude, the multiple central agencies are working in most difficult situation, not only braving the weather vagaries and havoc created by floods but the invisible elements who are creating obstacles in their effort of saving the people. They are targeting the men who are engaged in most humanitarian task of this century in the Valley. Omar Abdullah has himself pointed towards these ‘lumpen’ elements, who he says, were trying to cash in on the situation by instigating people to pelt stones on those who had come for relief and rescue. He says, “These elements want to fish in troubled waters, to instigate trouble and to sabotage relief. Only well-fed people can indulge in stone throwing. Those who have not eaten for three or four days will only look for help”. It is not as simple as the Chief Minister wants people to believe. The merchants of death in secessionist, separatist and some mainstream camps actually want more causalities so that anger against India boils in the Valley. This aspect misses the attention of the Chief Minister or he does not want to take the issue to that extent for obvious reasons.
The army does understand these sensitivities and dangers in a delicate situation in a place like Kashmir. It is in this backdrop that the General Officer Commanding 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha has asked his men to be very calm if incidents of stone pelting take place. Again, the valiant soldiers are at the receiving end in Kashmir.
Reports emanating from murkier waters in the Valley indicate how the helicopters and jawans were targeted with stones by known elements. They are the ones, who have become favourite of mainstream politicians in this election season. Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference are in competition to show favours to stone pelters who had taken the Valley to ransom in 2009 and 2010. They were the stooges in the hands of enemies of the nation, within and from outside, then and now.
They are craving for amnesty for their anti-national activities and both the mainstream parties are in mood to oblige. This is a very serious issue which should catch the attention of Narendra Modi led government in New Delhi. They should prevail upon the State Government to eschew tendencies of appeasing those rising against the nation with guns and stones. Both these segments and their mentors deserve no mercy.

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