Tuesday December 18, 2018
Home India Kashmir Killi...

Kashmir Killings: India vows more tough action, and aid, to tackle Kashmir conundrum

Wani, who was 22 when he died, grew in popularity through videos posted on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp in which he would appear without a mask

0
//
An Indian policeman pulls concertina wire to lay a barricade on a road during a curfew in Srinagar July 12, 2016. Image source: Reuters/Danish Ismail - RTSHIRO
Republish
Reprint
  • The strategy for the Muslim-majority region contested by nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan has worked in part
  • In Wani’s case, the security crackdown appears to explain his path towards militancy and raises the possibility that other Kashmiri youths may follow
  • At least 34 people were killed – almost all shot by Indian security forces – and more than 1,500 people wounded in the worst violence in Kashmir since 2010

India will go on hunting militants in Kashmir despite widespread protests over the killing of a young separatist commander, officials said, as the government bets that force coupled with development will quell a rebellion in the restive state.

The strategy for the Muslim-majority region contested by nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan has worked in part.

The number of militants crossing into Jammu and Kashmir state from Pakistan to launch attacks against India has dropped in the last few years, and home-grown fighters are estimated to number only around 100, according to one security official.

Last year, in 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is closely aligned to the Hindu nationalist right, also pledged 800 billion rupees ($11.9 billion) in investment there.

That has not prevented violent protests and rioting from breaking out when security forces killed Burhan Wani, a separatist militant commander and a Kashmiri, last Friday.

At least 34 people were killed – almost all shot by Indian security forces – and more than 1,500 people wounded in the worst violence in Kashmir since 2010, underlining how the crackdown on militants is not enough to solve a conundrum that has frustrated India since independence in 1947.

The government must also find a way to persuade local people that it is on their side, observers said, something it has failed to do since winning a landslide election in 2014.

Kashmir Valley Violence. Image Source: www.thehindu.com/
Kashmir Valley Violence. Image Source: www.thehindu.com/

“There is no denial in Delhi … that a problem exists,” said retired Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain, an Indian army corps commander in the area from 2010 to 2012 who was deployed there seven times during his career.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter: @newsgram1

“But no one seems to be clear on how to get into engagement with the people on the ground.”

Under Modi, whose BJP is also in a coalition government in Kashmir, the federal government has taken a harder stance on engaging in political dialogue with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a separatist alliance.

While Hurriyat leaders travelling to Delhi and meeting Pakistani officials had been accepted before, Modi’s government has objected to such interactions, saying Pakistan should not interfere in Indian affairs.

“WHY THIS HATRED?”

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the head of the alliance, said separatist political leaders felt isolated.

“The government of India cannot continue to deal with Kashmir with a clampdown,” he said.

The state’s deputy chief minister, Nirmal Singh of the BJP, said the government was ready to engage with the Hurriyat under a legal framework.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook: NewsGram.com

“They are not ready, but they try to exploit every situation,” Singh said.

A senior BJP mandarin in New Delhi also said the government was open to talking to the Hurriyat but did not appreciate it when they spoke with Pakistan.

He added that the government will continue to go after militants, but with time it hoped the people in Kashmir would “realize that their anger is misdirected.”

“Be it jobs, education, health or any other amenities, the Kashmiri population gets all the same opportunities and benefits as any other Indian,” said the BJP official.

“Why this hatred against the Indian government?”

A senior government official in New Delhi said Wani was a criminal facing 14 separate cases, including the murder of elected politicians and security forces, and that popular support for him was beside the point.

CYCLE OF VIOLENCE

In Wani’s case, the security crackdown appears to explain his path towards militancy, and raises the possibility that other Kashmiri youths may follow.

His father, school headmaster Mohammad Muzaffar Wani, told Reuters in an interview last year, 2015, that Wani’s decision to take up arms was linked to an incident in which he and his brother were beaten by Indian police.

(Representational Pic) Kashmiri villagers attend a funeral procession of Afaq Ahmad Bhat, a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen. Image source:news.xinhuanet.com
(Representational Pic) Kashmiri villagers attend a funeral procession of Afaq Ahmad Bhat, a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen. Image source:news.xinhuanet.com

The brother, not known to be a militant, was killed by Indian security forces last year in circumstances that remain unclear.

Wani, who was 22 when he died, grew in popularity through videos posted on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp in which he would appear without a mask.

Authorities have been accused by some of using excessive force to control the protests that followed his death.

The Doctors’ Association of Kashmir said in a statement that security forces launched tear gas shells into a hospital where victims were being treated, and officers beat hospital staff and damaged ambulances.

Asked whether police and paramilitary forces used excessive force to control crowds after Wani’s killing, BJP’s Singh replied: “It is a matter of concern: this should not have happened. It is a worry as the anti-national forces will try to exploit the situation.”

The inspector general for operations at the Central Reserve Police Force, a paramilitary organization with some 60,000 troops in Kashmir, said his men had been told: “Don’t get into the confrontation with locals, defuse the anger.”

The official, Zulfiqar Hasan, said 300 of his men were injured in four days. (Reuters)

ALSO READ:

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Delhi Sees More Number of Dengue Cases This Winter Than The Last One

In 2015, Delhi saw its worst dengue outbreak with more than 11,800 cases and 60 deaths, according to the city's civic bodies

0
Aedes
Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito that typically attacks during day time. Pixabay

A new municipal report suggests that dengue cases have increased in the months of November and December this year compared to 2017.

According to the weekly report by the MCD released on Monday, 1,062 dengue cases were recorded in November 2018 while it was 816 in 2017. Even in December 2017, only 81 cases were reported in the national capital while this year 117 cases have already been reported till December 15. Forty-two fresh cases have been registered in the past one week.

So far, four deaths caused by dengue have been confirmed in Delhi which includes a 13-year-old girl from Wazirabad area. The other three cases are reported to be from west and north Delhi.

However, as per the report, 2,774 people have been diagnosed with the vector-borne disease in Delhi so far in 2018. However, the number is less than what it was in 2017 — 4,704.

Delhi sees more dengue cases this winter than last.

In 2015, Delhi saw its worst dengue outbreak with more than 11,800 cases and 60 deaths, according to the city’s civic bodies.

As for malaria, only one new case surfaced last week taking the toll to two till now for the month. In November, 33 malaria cases were reported in the city, according to the municipal report. So far, 473 malaria cases have come to light, while in 2017 it was 575.

Also Read- Honor Unveils its New Wearable Band 4 in India

No new cases of chikungunya were reported this week keeping the total number of cases at 3 in the national capital while in November, there were 28 cases. Till date, a total of 164 chikungunya cases have been reported in the city compared to 551 in 2017. (IANS)