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War-like situation in northeast and Kashmir: Rohatgi

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New Delhi: The Center on Wednesday defended army operations in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir and told the Supreme Court that India was faced with a warlike situation which was not akin to inter-country’s conventional war.

What we are facing in the northeast or in Jammu and Kashmir, it is not a law and order situation or internal disturbance. It is an insurgency from across the border in collaboration with homegrown groups,” Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit.

Pointing out that some groups engaged in an armed insurgency, observe the day when Manipur became a part of India as “black day”. Rohatgi defending the army action in dealing with these insurgents, said: “It is a constant warlike situation.”

Referring to the “amazing” number of security personnel killed in anti-insurgency operations, he said “we (security forces) don’t have a first strike option” in engaging the insurgents.

The Center said this during a hearing of a PIL by the Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EJEVFA) seeking action against security personnel involved in alleged staged shootouts in Manipur.

The petitioner contended that during May 1979 to May 2012, at least, 1,528 people were killed in Manipur in extra-judicial executions.

When we deal with the army, it is a different cup of tea compared to routine police. An Army is a different organization, it has its own discipline. It has its own rigor.

Pointing out that the rights of an army officer under the constitution were not the same as that of a common man, Rohatgi said: “If I (an army officer) don’t do what I am supposed to do, to apprehend and shoot (the enemy), then I attract death.

Drawing the attention of the court to the flaws in the Justice Santosh Hegde Commission report that inquired into the truth of alleged staged shootout cases in Manipur, the Attorney General said most of the queries related to the normal police investigation into a crime case.

He wondered how could there be questions posed by the commission as to how many bullets were fired by the army, what about a collection of empty shells, if insurgent was alone and army personnel were four, then why was he not apprehended alive.

It is either him (insurgent) or me (army personnel). You are dealing with a person who is not peaceful, who wants to overthrow the government. It is a rebellion by a 25, 30 or 100 groups, some are banned and some are not banned,

The commission headed by Justice Hegde and comprising former chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh and former Karnataka DGP Ajay Kumar Singh as its members was appointed by the apex court on January 4, 2013.

The commission was mandated to go into the truth of the allegations concerning the instance of alleged extra-judicial execution and record a finding of the past antecedents of the victims and the circumstances in which they were killed. (IANS)

(Picture Courtesy:www.newsroompost.com)

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Rise of Wahhabism in Kashmir: Literature and Madrasas Radicalizing the Youth

The religious schools in the Kashmir valley have successfully radicalized the youth of the region and indoctrinated them with the Wahhabism school of thought in Islam

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Wahhabism in Kashmir
Youth has been active in the separatist movements against in the Indian Army. Twitter
  • Islamic religious schools, known as Madrasahs, is where the study of Islam takes place
  • The Sufi Islam, once cultural to the local Kashmir population, has gradually been replaced
  • The rise of Wahhabism is a significant reason as to the growing violence and reactions in the region

July 10, 2017: It can be seen how in the past decade there has been a shift from one school of thought in Islam to another. The traditional and moderate school, known as Hanafi/ Barelvi Islam, has been fading away while the radical and Saudi-induced Salafism/ Wahabism better known as Ahl-e-Hadith has become increasingly popular.

Last month, the clips of Mufti Shabir Ahmad Qasmi’s loud shouts of religious influence went viral on social media. It was the first time that a religious cleric had openly used his responsible position to support, and influence others to support, Zakir Musa, the former Hizbul commander. It is believed that the video instantly turned many to followers of Musa, mentioned TOI report.

The mosques in Kashmir have always been used to benefit religiously and politically, and especially the increase in their demands for a separate state since 1989 when militancy broke out.

Muzafil, a Sufi practitioner, explains to TOI that even though Moulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi among many other Hanafi clerics are trying to suppress and oppose this rising fascination with Wahhabism, the attendance in major Sufi gatherings is nonetheless decreasing. Dr. Abdul Latif, the general secretary of the Ahl-e-Hadith, estimates one million out of the total six million Muslims in the valley are now followers of their organization, highlighting the swift rise in a number of followers.

ALSO READ: Kashmiri Pandits Demand The Status of “Internally Displaced People”

Wahhabism, funded majorly for by the Arabs, combines the pre-existing schools of thought such as Deobandi and Jamat-e-Islami. Interestingly, Shabir Ahmad Qasmi, the Mufti who made a plea in support of Zakir Musa, is a Deobandi from Jamati background.

The transition from one Islam movement to another is a threat to the stability of Kashmir region. Sarjan Barkati earned himself the title of “Pied Piper of Kashmir” as he glorified the Hizbul commander Burhan Wani who intended to establish an Islamic caliphate. Sarjan, famously called the ‘Freedom Chacha’ in Kashmir, was a self-proclaimed Sufi cleric.

This incident brings to light the transition of ideology which then manifests itself into incidents like the mob lynching of deputy SP Ayub Pandith.

According to the TOI report, the majority of the people believe that Wahhabism had emerged after the killing of Burhan Wani, but it existed before. Maulana Mushtaq Ahmad Veeri was popular in 2015 for praising the ISIS and the caliph Al-Baghdadi. Very soon, ISIS flags were seen in Kashmir as a clear-cut sign of support. Additionally, Burhan Wani and Zakir Musa were declaring “Jihad for the caliphate.” More and more Kashmir youth thus became ISIS supporters.

Wahhabism
Burhan Wani, who became a popular face of the separatist movement in Kashmir. Twitter

Official sources of the TOI have also estimated that “there are over 7,500 mosques and seminaries in Kashmir, of which over 6,000 are Hanafi and around 200 are syncretic Sufi shrines. Ahl-e-Hadith, Deoband, and Jamat put together have just over 1,000 mosques and charity based seminaries, of which Ahl-e-Hadith has the largest number.” The reason for Ahl-e-Hadith’s growing popularity is its modern furnishing and other facilities. The Ahl-e-Hadith organization is widely acknowledged for funding numerous clinics and orphanages.

Ahl-e-Hadith mosques have doubled in the last 27 years. In the last decade alone, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has received somewhere between 10 to 100 crores from International donors. The top foreign nations who have funded the state are UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, all of which are not surprisingly Salafist practicing states.

A Shia Muslim in the TOI report reveals that the Kashmiri diaspora in the Middle East who send the radical literature through Hawala. Hence, a lot of Salafi writings are distributed for free on the streets of Kashmir.

The joint Hurriyat Conference, which split up in 2003, embedded Ahl-e-Hadith in their separatist movement. The Ahl-e-Hadith also has close relations with Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The problem is not just confined to literature and Madrassas, but the internet as well. Radicalization through the internet and social media is dangerous as we have seen in the past. The glorification of separatist movements and leaders such as Wani are instantly shared among the 2.8 million mobile internet users. Thus, it is easy to reach out to the masses.

The data usage on mobile is higher in Kashmir as compared to other Indian states. The reason behind this, as one security official pointed out, was a lack of options for other entertainments. Cinemas and others were shut down in the state in the 1990s when militancy started opposing everything that was “against Islam”

The Hanafi school of Islam, which was once a dominant ideological path, is gradually fading only to be substituted by the reactionary form Wahhabism which was identified by the European Parliament as “the main source of global terrorism.”

Saudi Arabia has very strategically fueled Wahhabism in the Kashmir region. Successfully infiltrating this ideology in Pakistan, it slowly made its way into India. It very effectively indoctrinated the youth and made them distant to their Sufi culture.

– prepared by a Staff Writer of NewsGram 

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Why Northeast needs Central attention

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By Surbhi Moudgil

A nation intending but failing miserably at addressing a long standing regional problem, shows nothing but an abject failure of its strategic planning. Northeast India is the region representing this disaster of neglected tactical arrangement.

On Saturday, Assam Rifles troopers seized five AK-47s, three AK-56s and 12 magazines loaded with AK series rifle cartridges.

“Acting on a tip-off, the Assam Rifles’ jawans while carrying out the raid between Keitum and Khawlailung villages in Serchhip district seized the arms and ammunition from two Mizo men early Friday. Both were arrested,” specified local police.

Mizoram shares a 510 km long border with Myanmar and 318 km frontier with Bangladesh, this porous border has become a corridor for arms and drugs smuggling. Since the independence of Myanmar in 1948, India has been facing the problem of insurgency yet no concrete arrangements have been put through by any government in this country.

Efforts have been put by signing recent Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (I-M) accord by BJP led government though that focuses only on the internal peace in the Naga state.

The vast borders of Mizoram and Manipur are exposed for illegal transportation of arms and drugs. Recently, strict action was taken, sighting similar distress by District Magistrate Robert Kshetrimayum on December 16 to restrict cross-border movement between 5 pm to 5 am within 3 km radius of Indo-Myanmar border in Chandel district.  Invoking restrictions under Section 144 CrPC, the District Magistrate cited likelihood of illegal export of commodities from Chandel district to Myanmar through the border including illegal infiltration from Myanmar which, if allowed to take place, is likely to cause disturbance to peace.

Taming porous border issues in the north-east frontier of India majorly relies on embarking a border security strategy without distressing the local population for their livelihood. The easy exchange in this region is leading to easier execution of arms’ trade helping the militants.

Assam Rifles is constantly on operation to seal the area from illegal trade. However, until the vicious circle of locals falling prey to militancy stops, no solution would do the job. The need of the hour is to nurture the young population with a purpose in Northeast and making them feel an integral part of this nation.

The present government does claim to find solutions by providing certain provisions; Rail Budget assigned an outlay of Rs 5116 crore for the region; the Union Budget earmarked an additional sum of Rs 1000 crore over the expense provided in the budget for rail connectivity. The aim is to bridge the gap that has arisen due to underdevelopment and a sense of isolation that the region has faced for decades due to lack of proper connectivity.

The Budget also declared setting up of a sports university in Manipur. Among other initiatives, government allocated Rs 100 crore for developing organic farming. A new 24×7 channel ‘Arun Prabha’ was also announced focused on the Northeast. The centre also provisioned for an annual event in the North Eastern states to promote unique sports tradition in the Himalayan region.

These initiatives must see light of the day, else the disenchanted youth of the Northeast region who feel deprived for the lack of education and job opportunities, would be easily lured in to negative things. The government must ensure a proper development plan to end the cancer of militancy and smuggling which has gripped the Northeast region for long now.

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Beef ban: Restrictions imposed in Srinagar

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credit: www.rediff.com

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

credit: images.geo.tv
credit: images.geo.tv

Srinagar: Amid possibility of protest and violence on beef ban orders in Kashmir, authorities have imposed certain restrictions in the area.

A senior police officer informed, “Restrictions have been imposed in seven police station areas of Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar, M.R. Gunj, Safa Kadal, Kralkhud and Maisuma in Srinagar as a preventive measure.”

Police and paramilitary forces have been heavily deployed at sensitive areas in the city and other major cities and towns of Kashmir Valley.

Authorities took measures after a protest shutdown has been called by the separatists against the ban order on slaughter and sale of beef in the state on Saturday.

Further shops, educational institutions, public transport and other businesses will remain close in the city on Saturday. However, government offices, banks and post offices will function with lower attendance.

Kashmir University has postponed all the exams scheduled for Saturday.

Senior separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have been placed under house arrest to prevent their participation in protests.

No untoward incident has so far been reported from anywhere in Kashmir Valley.

Meat and chicken ban

credit: www.ohmyindia.com
credit: www.ohmyindia.com

Earlier this week, the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), imposed a ban on the sale of meat for four days. A similar ban, but for the whole 8 days, was imposed by Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation in Thane. However the duration of the ban was halved after widespread criticism across the state.

Similarly, Rajasthan has also imposed a meat ban for four days. Chattisgarh has too restrictions on chicken and meat in the state till September 19. While Gujarat has already banned sale and slaughter of meat in the state due to celebration of Paryushana festival.

Recently, Haryana became fifth BJP-ruled state to join the ban spree. Local bodies in the state were ordered to shut slaughter houses for five days.