When Separatists Dictate The Terms

The way the terrorists, in the guise of separatists, in the Kashmir Valley spit fire against India, sometimes, leaves one wondering at the amazing capacity of the Government of India to tolerate on what goes on there. One thing is certain that the state government is mostly bending backward to please the bullies and tormentors and follows their dictate.

It is fruitless bending backwards for the people, who would not even lift a finger for you. It is worthwhile to recount that while dealing with terrorism, Margaret Thatcher had once said: “Publicity is the oxygen of terrorism.” Not only does the government violate every rule or policy, which is essential for dealing with terrorism, but also it gives financial support to such publications, which espouse their cause.

I have one advantage that I can read Urdu, the language in which most of the publications are published in the Kashmir Valley. An ancient worthy, by whatever name you call him, the separatist, or terrorist supporter or a Pakistani agent, has called for a bandh to protest against musician Zubin Mehta’s concert in Srinagar in September, saying these events “can be used to change Kashmir’s disputed nature”.

The German embassy in India is organising the event with the government’s help, as part of its broader engagement. The terrorists have asked the people to hold demonstration and observe complete shutdown. He added: “But such musical programmes do not warrant to be held at a place where human rights violations are taking place…Any sort of international activity, be it political, diplomatic, cultural or sports, will have an adverse impact on the disputed nature of J&K.” In a statement, they said: “The government seems adamant on organising the show. We appeal the people of Kashmir to hold protest demonstrations after Friday prayers and observe a complete shutdown.” In other words, they dictate what kind of cultural activities, the government should follow or not follow.

The mighty Government of India, with nearly two million defence and para-military forces, appears to be on a spree of appeasement to please terrorists or separatists, by whatever names you call them. They (the amalgamation of terrorist organisations) issue a weekly protest calendar on various issues, including the hanging of the Kashmiri terrorists and also direct the government employees not to work or abstain from work or even ask the students to neglect their studies and sit in dharna. They are not bothered, that some of the terrorists were responsible for the attack on the Parliament.

The Director General of J&K Police revealed sometimes back that more than Rs. 40 lakh were spent to fuel protests and finance stone pelting in Kashmir, and the money came from many separatist leaders including Syed Ali Shah Geelani. In a latest move, this, he says, was revealed in the interrogation of Masrat Alam, who led the agitation in Kashmir last summer. “He has revealed a lot of things during interrogation. We are compiling it; we are taking further action on that and financing for stone pelting has also been revealed. His contacts, who have emerged as facilitators of pelting in Kashmir, are also being rounded up. Many of them have been booked under public safety act and we will follow it up. The amount is quite a bit, in fact more than Rs. 40 lakh.” Asked if there was any connection between sponsorship of the protests and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, he said, “No, it has been coming from various separatists including him too.”

The state government has been, at the best, a silent actor, and has abdicated itself from its total responsibility of ensuring that its writ and not that of the terrorists, runs. In a noiseless, but a clever move, these worthies are carrying on Pakistani agenda and have overawed the administration, which, to speak plainly, has been their sleeping partner. Anywhere else in the country, such persons would have been detained. The Government of India, which has been spending the Indian tax-payer’s money on the wellbeing of the terrorists and providing security, does not say anything, as if it is voiceless. Not a word was uttered by the then governments or no steps were taken when 3.70 lakh people of the minority community were forced to leave the Valley from 1989 onwards. There is not a word of condemnation, when security forces are killed or attacked on being incited by the terrorists. At the top, the state government has issued orders, asking the paramilitary forces not to carry weapons to defend themselves. Apart from being illegal, how can security forces defend themselves, when the state government is turning a blind eye to the high-handedness of the terrorists?

This is exactly what the terrorists want, that the security forces should not stay in the Valley or if they stay, they should be sitting ducks. In the post-Afzal Guru hanging protests in the Valley, 359 CRPF jawans were injured while 134 of their vehicles were damaged by protestors.

So-called separatists or terrorists are not bothered by attacks on State Assembly or National Parliament. Reinforcing the Centre’s policy of appeasement in Srinagar and the Kashmir Valley, the Union Home Minister, obviously ignorant or unmindful of the ground reality and Pakistan’s intentions and separatists intentions, says: “In Jammu and Kashmir, we do not want guns to always do the talking. So, all paramilitary soldiers are not armed at the time… We want to bring peace in Kashmir by giving a special package there… We, too, do not want to keep the military there for long.”

By Joginder Singh

(The author is former Director, CBI.)

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