Uttar Pradesh Police Team Sent To Jammu To Arrest An Army Jawan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

A Uttar Pradesh police team was sent to Jammu to arrest an Army jawan allegedly involved in the murder of a police inspector during the Bulandshahr violence, and five more people were nabbed in the case, taking the total number of arrests to nine, officials said Friday.

Sedition is one of the 17 charges in the FIR in which 27 people have been named besides 50-60 unidentified people. They were allegedly involved in the violence that led to the killing of Inspector Subodh Singh and Sumit Kumar, 20. The violence was triggered after cattle carcasses were found in nearby fields.

Jeetu alias Fauji of Mahav village is a named accused in the case, Inspector General (Crime) S K Bhagat told reporters in Lucknow when asked about his alleged involvement in the mob violence.

Jeetu’s actual name is Jeetendra Malik and he is the 11th suspect named in the first information report (FIR) lodged at Siyana police station on December 4.

According to preliminary information, he is posted in Jammu and a police team has been sent there, Bhagat said.

“We hope that he will be arrested soon,” the IG said, adding the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the case would be able to ascertain his actual role.

Army sources in New Delhi confirmed that the police have contacted the Northern Command and they are cooperating in the probe.

The five people arrested were identified as Chandra, Rohit, Sonu, Nitin and Jitendra but their names were not mentioned in the FIR lodged for the murder of the Syana SHO, Bhagat said.

They were nabbed on the basis of video footage and eyewitness accounts, he said. Police teams were conducting raids to make more arrests, the IG said.

The IG said that the confidential report of an inquiry conducted by ADG Intelligence S B Shirodkar has been handed over to senior officials.

The cattle carcasses were found outside Mahav village strewn in the fields of former village head Rajpal Chaudhary, who too has been named in the FIR along with five more men from the village. All of them are absconding.

Sources that PTI spoke to in the village revealed that Jeetu had come to the village on leave and was “present at the site of violence” but left soon after the incident on Monday afternoon. His elder brother is also in the Army.

“Both of my sons are in the Army. They are not here, they on duty,” his mother Ratan Kaur told PTI, adding the police had raided her house around 1 am Tuesday, assaulted her daughter-in-law, vandalised the house and picked up her husband, Rajpal Singh.

The 60-year-old woman said she was away in Pipala village at the house of her elder daughter-in law as her family had suffered a bereavement recently. She said she returned home only on Wednesday Speaking to a TV news channel, she Friday said, “Jeetu is in Kargil and if any evidence like a picture or a video emerges showing he killed the policeman then I will kill him myself. I’m not so heartless, I’m equally pained by the death of the policeman and the other boy from Chingrawathi and also for what the entire village and its people are going through.” Jeetendra’s wife Priyanka, 24, also supported her mother-in-law’s claim of post midnight vandalism and assault by the police.

“I was at home with my father-in-law and my three- month-old baby when the police came to our house. They assaulted me so badly that my hand got fractured and I suffered an injury in one ear,” she told PTI over phone from a hospital in Meerut. Sumit Kumar, from Chingrawathi village, who died in the clash is among those named in the FIR which also accuses Bajrang Dal’s Bulandshahr unit convenor Yogesh Raj, local BJP worker Shikhar Agarwal among others of instigating violence.

According to the FIR, the suspects were booked on the charges of mischief by fire or explosive substance, murder, attempt to murder, sedition, rioting, voluntary assault on public servant to obstruct them from performing their duty and endangering life or personal safety of others.

They have also been booked for destroying public property, among others. PTI SAB/KIS SMI AAR

First Published: Dec 07, 2018 20:36 IST

Pakistan using hybrid warfare against India

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES NEWS AGENCY)

 

Pakistan using hybrid warfare against India: Army chief General Bipin Rawat

Bipin Rawat said the whole world was aware that terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir were being run by government agencies to cause disruptions in India and that all terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was state sponsored.

INDIA Updated: Nov 29, 2018 00:10 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Pakistan,Imran Khan,Bipin rawat
Bipin Rawat said each act of cowardice in Jammu and Kashmir would be responded to with vigour and no sacrifice made by soldiers would go in vain. (PTI)

On a day Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made a pitch for peace with India, army chief General Bipin Rawat said that Pakistan has used “hybrid warfare” against India since Independence and continues to do so. He cited the use of irregulars by the Pakistani army in 1947-48, 1965 and, most recently, in the 1999 Kargil war.

Delivering the 9th YB Chavan Memorial Lecture at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses on Addressing the Challenges of Hybrid Conflict in the 21st Century, Rawat said each act of cowardice in Jammu and Kashmir would be responded to with vigour and no sacrifice made by soldiers would go in vain.

Rawat said the whole world was aware that terror camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir were being run by government agencies to cause disruptions in India and that all terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir was state sponsored.

He said hybrid warfare was well-sequenced and organised, and focused on support from local population and infrastructure. “War is waged without declaring it, fought with proxies in collusion.”

General Bipin Rawat said hybrid operations last for a long time and the prime intent is to maintain deniability and that was what India was witnessing in Kashmir.

“In the 21st century technological advancements have added greater asymmetry to hybrid warfare. Irregulars can surprise conventional forces with hi-tech gadgets and weapons such as rockets, surface-to-air missiles, sophisticated communication systems and near-instant reach back to their state sponsors,” he said.

He said small but tech-savvy teams with intimate local knowledge and support could cause big disruptions.

Underlining the risks of using hybrid warfare, he said instigators ran the risk of losing control of the choreographed plan and that states practicing this often fall victims to these same tactics.

Responding to a question on whether India should go in for an offensive hybrid war, General Bipin Rawat said, “The stone that is thrown up comes and falls on your head…What happens to those people (the non-state actors) after the end state has been achieved?” Rawat advocated a calibrated offensive and defensive hybrid warfare strategy.

Rawat said the Pakistani military enjoyed supremacy in the country’s internal affairs. “This means they can use all governmental agencies in coordination against us whenever they feel like. Therefore, this hybrid warfare is likely to endure just remaining below the conventional threshold.”

First Published: Nov 28, 2018 22:49 IST

No BJP role in Jammu-Kashmir assembly dissolution: Rajnath Singh

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

No BJP role in Jammu-Kashmir assembly dissolution: Rajnath Singh

Governor Malik dissolved the state assembly late on Wednesday night after claims for forming a new government were pressed both by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone.

INDIA Updated: Nov 23, 2018 07:05 IST

Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times
Jammu and Kashmir,Rajnath Singh,BJP
Home Minister Rajnath Singh(Waseem Andrabi/ HT File Photo)

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday distanced the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Jammu and Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the state assembly, saying Malik acted after concluding that it wasn’t possible for a new state government to be formed in the current scenario.

“The governor of J&K took the decision after considering the political situation there; he reached to a conclusion that government formation was not possible in the state,” Singh said in an interview with Hindustan Times. “It was a decision taken by the governor. The BJP has no role. It is unfortunate that some section is trying to drag the BJP into this.”

Governor Malik dissolved the state assembly late on Wednesday night after claims for forming a new government were pressed both by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti and People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone. Mufti said she had the support of PDP’s arch rival National Conference (NC) and the Congress, claiming the backing of 56 MLAs. Lone said he had the support of the BJP’s 25 legislators and “more than 18” other members in the 87-seat assembly.

The home minister questioned Mufti’s claim of having secured the support of the Congress. “Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has made a statement that suggests his party had not supported PDP’s bid to form the government. Why did he make that statement if Mufti was right,” Singh asked.

Another senior government functionary claimed that the governor had been considering dissolution of the assembly for the “past three-four days” and there had been no pressure on him from the Centre or any leader to pre-empt Mufti’s bid to form government.

“The governor, it looks, felt there was not a situation where any party had the numbers to form the government,” Singh said. The state has been under governor’s rule since June.

The home minister rejected any notion that the BJP had been spooked by the fact that the PDP, the NC and the Congress had come together to stake a claim for forming a government in J&K. “Where does the question of BJP getting unnerved arise in this case?. It was a decision of the governor,” he said.

The home minister credited Malik for starting the political process in Kashmir.

Singh dismissed concerns that the dissolution of the assembly may lead to another round of uncertainty in Kashmir, and said fresh election will be the obvious next step after Wednesday’s decision.

First Published: Nov 23, 2018 07:04 IST

India: Army Soldier Murdered By Pakistan Sniper In Jammu-Kashmir

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Army jawan killed in Pakistan sniper fire in Sunderbani sector of Jammu-Kashmir

An Army jawan was killed in sniper fire in yet another ceasefire violation by Pakistan along the Line of Control in Sunderbani sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

INDIA Updated: Nov 11, 2018 00:02 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Army jawan killed,Army jawan,Pakistan sniper fire
Rifleman Varun Kattal, a resident of Mawa-Rajpura area of Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, was shot dead by a sniper from across the border in Sunderbani sector

An Army soldier was killed Saturday in sniper fire by Pakistani troops, while two BSF personnel were injured in cross-border firing along the Line of Control in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Rifleman Varun Kattal (21), a resident of Mawa-Rajpura area of Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir, was shot dead by a sniper from across the border in Sunderbani sector, the officials said. This was the second sniper attack along the LoC in two days. An Army porter lost his life in a similar attack in Akhnoor sector on Friday.

“At about 0945 hours, unprovoked ceasefire violation was initiated by Pakistan in Sunderbani sector in which one soldier was shot by a sniper from across the border and later succumbed to injuries at 11.10am,” a defence spokesman said, adding his death will not go in vain. He said the Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively on Pakistan army posts.

Two BSF personnel manning a border outpost in Sunderbani sector were also injured in an exchange of fire with Pakistani troops this evening and were hospitalised, the officials said.

On October 21, three soldiers of J&K light infantry regiment and two heavily-armed infiltrators, believed to be members of the Border Action Team of the Pakistani army, and terrorists, were killed in Sunderbani sector.

On Nov 6, a soldier was injured when he was hit by a sniper from across the border in Noushera sector of Rajouri, while a BSF jawan was injured in a separate incident of firing by Pakistan in the Manjakote area of the Rajouri-Poonch sector Friday.

The number of ceasefire violations this year by Pakistan has been the highest in the past eight years. The first seven months saw 52 deaths and 232 people getting injured in 1,435 ceasefire violations in the state, according to an RTI reply by the home ministry.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 14:19 IST

Four highly-trained snipers active in Kashmir

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Four highly-trained snipers active in Kashmir, believe security agencies

Sniper attacks by Jaish-e-Mohammed militants have emerged as a new source of worry for security agencies in Kashmir with three personnel having been killed since mid-September, prompting agencies to re-calibrate their strategy to thwart such strikes, officials said.

INDIA Updated: Oct 28, 2018 23:51 IST

sniper,Kashmir,Jaish-e-Mohammed
Based on intelligence inputs, security agencies believe that at least two separate ‘buddy’ groups of the Jaish-e-Mohammed comprising two terrorists each have entered Kashmir Valley in early September.(AP/Picture for representation)

Sniper attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists has emerged as a new source of worry for security agencies in Kashmir Valley with three personnel having been killed since mid-September, prompting law enforcement agencies to re-calibrate their strategy to thwart such strikes by the Pakistan-based group, officials said.

The first such attack took place at Newa in Pulwama on September 18 when a CRPF personnel was injured. Security officials thought it to be a one-off strike till the recent spate of sniper attacks that claimed the lives of a Sashastra Seema Bal jawan and an Army personnel in Tral, and a CISF jawan in Nowgam.

Based on intelligence inputs, security agencies believe that at least two separate ‘buddy’ groups of the proscribed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) comprising two terrorists each have entered Kashmir Valley in early September and have entrenched themselves in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district with the help of some overground supporters of the outfit.

These terrorists, according to officials, have been thoroughly trained by Pakistan’s external snooping agency ISI for carrying out sniper attacks in Kashmir Valley and have been armed with M-4 carbines, used by the US-led allied forces in Afghanistan.

There is a possibility that these weapons may be part of the arms and ammunition captured by the Taliban, with whom the JeM cadre were fighting the allied forces in Afghanistan, security officials in the state said. However, they said that the weapon was also being used by the special forces of Pakistan Army.

In all the instances of sniper attacks, the terrorists used a nearby hillock to carry out strikes on a security force campus when unsuspecting jawans were using their mobile phones to talk to their family or friends. “These attacks have been precise, even while targeting a personnel inside a sentry post as he uses his mobile phone. They pick up the light of the mobile phone to carry out the attack on jawans,” said one of the officials.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has reacted to the rising cases of sniper attacks. “We’ve dealt with snipers on the border/LoC regularly and have SOPs to deal with those but never in the hinterland. This will force a rethink of all manner of security and protection procedures.”

The M-4 carbine is mounted with a telescope and the terrorists are using night vision devices to locate their potential targets, the officials said. The weapon can fire at its target up to 500-600 metres with precision.

The security agencies, including army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir police, have already issued fresh guidelines to their jawans and officers located in camps in the militancy-hit areas. Maintaining a silence over the change in tactics, the officials said that more combing operations would be carried out around the security camps.

They said that Jaish cadres were likely to carry out more such attacks in the future, but added that some modules had been identified and these cases were likely to be cracked soon.

The security agencies had been observing that while pushing the terrorists into Kashmir Valley from the Line of Control (LoC), ISI meticulously planned to send in Jaish-e-Mohammed cadre along.

Those terrorists were armed with the best possible arsenal including bullets with steel core – with the capability to pierce a static bullet proof bunker used during counter-terrorism operations, the officials said.

The first such incident was noticed on the New Year eve when JeM terrorists had carried out a suicide attack on a CRPF camp in Lethpora in South Kashmir. Five personnel of the para-military force were killed in the attack and one of them was hit by a bullet fatally despite using a static bullet-proof shield provided by the Army, officials said.

A thorough inquiry into the attack showed that the bullet fired by the terrorist from the assault AK rifle was of steel core with the capability of piercing through the static bunkers used by security personnel during encounters with terrorists.

Generally, the AK bullets used in the armoury have a lead core covered with mild steel which cannot penetrate a bullet proof shield but after the December 31, 2017 encounter and subsequent findings, the rules of the proxy-war changed, the officials said.

A detailed analysis of the previous suicide attacks was carried out during which ballistic analysis of the terror attack on district police lines of Pulwama in South Kashmir in last August showed that ‘steel core’ bullets had been used by the terrorists in that encounter with security personnel. Eight security personnel had lost their lives in the terror strike.

The ammunition, according to the officials, is being modified from across the border with the help of Chinese technology of encasing the bullet with hard steel core. At the United Nations, India has been seeking a ban the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group and designation of its chief Maulana Masood Azhar as global terrorist, but its efforts have been blocked by China four times so far.

First Published: Oct 28, 2018 18:26 IST

Officials Warn South Kashmir Cops Not To Visit Their Homes For Their Safety

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Don’t go back home, officials tell south Kashmir cops after wave of attacks targeting policemen

Since January, 37 policemen have been killed by militants, many when they were off-duty.

INDIA Updated: Sep 23, 2018 07:07 IST

Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir,Cops in Jammu and Kashmir,J-K cops killed in
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani pays respect to colleagues who were killed by militants, during a wreath laying ceremony at a base camp at Shopian, near Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, on September 21, 2018. (Waseem Andrabi/HT Photo)

The Jammu & Kashmir administration is telling policemen and Special Police Officers in South Kashmir, which is seeing a wave of attacks against both, to not visit their families or homes.

The advisory comes in the wake of the killings of three SPO’s on Friday, and unconfirmed resignations of several others following a warning on Wednesday by Hizbul Mujahedeen commander, Riyaz Naikoo. The killings were in part responsible for India reconsidering its decision to agree to the meeting of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in New York later this month.

SPO’s, whose main role is in gathering intelligence, and local policemen are soft targets because they do not live in fortified camps like the ones housing members of the army and the Central Reserve Police Force.

On Friday , selection grade constable Nisar Ahmad, SPO Kuldeep Singh and follower, Firdous Kuchay were abducted by militants from Batagund and Kaparan villages early in the morning and killed within hours. Two other policemen in the same villages escaped because they weren’t home when the militants came visiting.

In the past too, there have been occasional advisories asking officers of the J&K police who reside in sensitive areas of south Kashmir to avoid visiting their homes.

“Keeping in view the sensitivity of threats and latest abduction and killings of three policemen, all SPO’s and policemen who are from south Kashmir are being told through telephone not to visit their homes,’’ said a police officer familiar with the advisory. “This is being done to save the lives of our men as militants have killed many of our men at their homes when they were not on duty. In the past, many have ignored similar warnings.’’

Since January, 37 policemen have been killed by militants, many when they were off-duty. Last month, on Eid ul Azha, three policemen including an officer, all of whom were on leave and celebrating Eid with their families were killed by militants.

The militants have been targeting SPO’s and local policemen whom they hold responsible for the killing of militants, especially in south Kashmir where so-called cordon and search operations are launched on specific information. Officials said that 28 militants were killed in Shopian district alone this year.

The four districts of south Kashmir have more than 3,000 SPO’s. Across the state, there are more than 30,000 SPO’s.

J&K Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said soon after the killing of three policemen on Friday that action would be taken against all the militants involved in the killings, and also dismissed the resignations of special police officers as rumors.

So far, over two dozen SPO’s have resigned in different parts of south Kashmir.

On August 30, militants abducted 11 police personnel and their family members after the police detained the father of Riyaz Naikoo. However, they were released after the police released Naikoo Sr.

First Published: Sep 23, 2018 07:05 IST

End of the affair in Jammu and Kashmir: Why BJP dumped PDP

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

End of the affair in Jammu and Kashmir: Why BJP dumped PDP

The scale of security operations in the Valley, a deteriorating law and order situation, increased cases of attack on security personnel and feedback from party leaders made the BJP decide to pull out, sources say.

INDIA Updated: Jun 20, 2018 07:34 IST

Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on June 13, 2018.
BJP president Amit Shah in New Delhi on June 13, 2018. (PTI)

The decision of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to withdraw from the Jammu and Kashmir government stemmed from its desire to protect its “core support base”, especially in Jammu, avoid future “political costs” at the national level that would have come with staying on in the alliance in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, scale up “internal security operations” both in the state and “across the border”, and exercise direct control through
Governor’s rule, said two party leaders involved in formulating the BJP’s Kashmir strategy.

The BJP had two primary concerns, said one of the leaders quoted above, who is also a Union minister.

First, Mehbooba Mufti’s approach towards issues such as the scale and intensity of security operations was not in sync with the BJP’s, and the divergence was growing.

The ceasefire during Ramzan was announced at her instance and she wanted the gesture to continue even after Eid, he said. The BJP wanted to scale up operations; Mufti wanted to scale them down.

The BJP wanted a muscular approach towards Pakistan; she favoured talks with the western neighbour. A major point of disagreement was the space that security forces should be allowed while operating in the Valley.

The suspicion of foul play in a matter relating to Major Leetul Gogoi and a woman, reports about trouble-makers from the Valley being let off without much action, a deteriorating law and order situation, increased cases of attack on security personnel and feedback from party leaders made the BJP decide to pull out.

“2017 was largely peaceful and many terrorist were eliminated,” the minister said. “2018 turned out to the bad.” The government was, he said, carrying out offensives across the line of control, but the PDP was not forthcoming in dealing with the elements on this side of the border.

All this prompted the second concern in the BJP: the growing unease among its “nationalist” constituency in Jammu and outside that the party was going “soft”. The party, the second leader said, realised the need to reach out to this support base, which gave it an unprecedented 25 assembly seats in the November-December 2014 election.

“J&K is an emotive issue for our supporters – from Kanyakumari to Kashmir,” the second leader said. “Concerns of our support base, and its growing sense of hurt, were factored in before pulling the plug on the alliance,” the minister said.

Governor’s rule, which will bring the state under the Centre’s direct control, helps the BJP address both its concerns.

First, the first BJP leader and Union Minister said, the central political leadership will give security forces more elbow room to operate. The offensive will grow both “across the Line of Control” and “in the Valley”, to flush out troublemakers. “The ceasefire helped us identify who wanted peace, and who wanted to create trouble,” a senior government official said.

Any increase in the offensive against Pakistan, terror groups sponsored by it, the separatist and other terror outfit helps BJP address its second concern.

More direct control also helps the BJP in deciding how money is spent between the three regions of J&K: Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. “In three years, the outgoing government could not spend even Rs 35,000 crore, out of total 1 lakh crore of the Kashmir package,” the first BJP leader said.

“We have ensured that J&K gets sufficient funds for its development projects and there is equitable distribution of resources between the three regions,” Jitendra Singh, a junior minister in Prime Minister’s office, said.

This motivation — of enabling unimpeded security operations to ramp up political advantage or “avoid political costs” — led the BJP to withdraw support and clear the way to bring Jammu and Kashmir under direct control of the Central government.

Guns Continue To Roar On LoC In Jammu, Rajouri  

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE KASHMIR OBSERVER)

 

Guns Continue To Roar On LoC In Jammu, Rajouri

Authorities have shut 72 schools along the LoC in Rajouri district and in Mendhar sector of Poonch district as a precautionary measure.


Jammu—Indian and Pakistani Wednesday troops exchanged heavy fire on LoC in Sunderbani, Nowshera and Khour sectors of Rajouri and Jammu districts.

A defense spokesman said the Pakistan Army violated the ceasefire agreement around 1030 hours today in Nowshera, Kalal and Sunderbani sectors along the Line of Control in Rajouri district.

Pakistani troops also resorted to ceasefire violations in Chakla and Baldoo areas in Khour sector late last night, police said.

“(The Indian) Army is retaliating effectively”, they said.

Yesterday, the Pakistan Army shelled forward posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir, injuring two jawans of the Border Security Force.

Authorities have shut 72 schools along the LoC in Rajouri district and in Mendhar sector of Poonch district as a precautionary measure.

Ceasefire violations along the LoC and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir have left 21 people, including 12 security personnel, dead and more than 80 others, mostly civilians, injured this year.

Though no ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops was reported along the IB since January 22, intermittent shelling has taken place along the LoC.

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Journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, despite all the hardships we still do it, because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying and advertising revenues across the media industry is falling fast.

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Kashmir/Jammu 318 Deaths, Militant, Civilian Killings Highest in 2017

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE KASHMIR OBSERVER)

 

With 318 Deaths, Militant, Civilian Killings Highest in 2017

Up to 14 December this year, 337 militancy-related incidents were reported in Jammu and Kashmir in which 40 civilians, 75 security personnel and 203 militants were killed and 321 persons injured, the highest in the last four years.


New Delhi—As many as 318 people, including 203 militants and 75 security personnel, were killed in militancy-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir this year, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

In the northeast, 97 people, including 51 insurgents and 12 security personnel, were killed in insurgency-related incidents, Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said during Question Hour.

Up to 14 December this year, 337 militancy-related incidents were reported in Jammu and Kashmir in which 40 civilians, 75 security personnel and 203 militants were killed and 321 persons injured, the highest in the last four years. Ninety-one militants were also arrested.

Referring to incidents in the areas affected by left wing extremism, Ahir said up to November 30 this year, 813 incidents took place leading to the death of 170 civilians, 75 security personnel and 111 left wing extremists. One hundred and forty five people were also injured. He said 1712 left wing extremists were also arrested.

While there have been two attacks each in 2014 and 2015 on defence establishments, six attacks took place in 2016. This year up to 10 December, one defence establishment came under attack.

Be part of Open Journalism

At Kashmir Observer we pride ourselves for being open, honest and unbiased. If you have noticed we haven’t put up a paywall unlike many news organisations, – as we want to keep our journalism open. We believe journalism should be open, fearless and unbiased. Open information helps with informed decisions.

Journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, despite all the hardships we still do it, because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying and advertising revenues across the media industry is falling fast.

If everyone who reads our reporting, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure and we will be able to keep our and your perspective going. So if we may ask, we ask your help in keeping the Kashmir Observer’s journalism fair and square.

To resolve the problem in Kashmir, acknowledge the suffering of its people

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE KASHMIR OBSERVER)

 

To resolve the problem in Kashmir, acknowledge the suffering of its people

If the Narendra Modi government has appointed Dineshwar Sharma to arrange the surrender of the separatist movement, nothing will happen


After a year of hammering the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir – killing more than 160 militants in targeted operations in 2017 alone and arresting at least 10 overground separatist leaders for their role in suspicious financial transactions – the Indian government is seeking to apply a balm. These are fairly standard tactics, but will they work?

The answer depends on many factors, primarily the character of the movement.

As of now, it is not clear what exactly Dineshwar Sharma’s role is in Jammu and Kashmir. Union minister Jitendra Singh pointedly said Sharma was not an interlocutor but merely “a special representative” of the government. Indeed, the October 24 notification appointing him described Sharma as a “representative of the government of India” whose task was to “carry forward the dialogue” with elected representatives, various organizations, and individuals. The day before, Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke of Sharma as a “special representative” who would “have full freedom to engage in talks with anyone he likes”.

At one level, it doesn’t really matter. “Interlocutor” was a word of convenience that fitted in the diverse collection of individuals and groups who have sought to work outside formal government structures to suggest solutions for the Kashmir problem. The way the government works, it does not really have to listen to anything such interlocutors tell it. Their role is strictly recommendatory and facilitative.

For the record, there has been no dearth of interlocutors who were interested in promoting a political solution to the issues roiling Kashmir and who had access to the highest levels of government. Some were self-appointed well-meaning folk, others informally asked to do the needful, yet others who were formally appointed and laid out their recommendations in formal reports. The Jammu and Kashmir legislature, too, added its bit by examining the issue of autonomy and sending its recommendations to Delhi in 2000, only to have them rejected peremptorily.

All had one thing in common – they were not the Government of India. At the end of the day, only the central government has the authority to take decisions on such matters. Yet, despite years and decades of reports, recommendations, cogitation, the government has not spelled out what it is willing to offer. True, there have been statements by prime ministers that the “sky is the limit” when it comes to autonomy, or that the issue needs to resolved within the ambit of insaniyat, or humanity. Most recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that Kashmir’s problems could not be resolved by bullets but “only by embracing its people”. But these are rhetorical statements that give no clues as to the Union Government’s bottom line.

Emphasise reconciliation

So what can we expect now? A great deal depends on what Modi wants. If the government has appointed Sharma to arrange the surrender of the separatist movement, nothing will happen. The Kashmiri insurgency is now nearly three decades old, having taken the lives of some 45,000 people, roughly half of them militants, 14,000 civilians and some 6,000 security personnel. The way the government sees it probably is that its policy of relentless police action and attrition has brought the militancy to its knees, and this is the best moment to step in with an offer of political dialogue. It is possible that the movement can be brought to a point of exhaustion by relentless police action. But it is like a fire where even embers can give life to a dying blaze if there is sufficient combustible material around.

Parse that another way and one could argue that having been willing to shed so much blood, Kashmiris will not accept a settlement that offers them nothing more than status quo ante as of January 1, 1990.

So, parse that another way and one could argue that has been willing to shed so much blood, Kashmiris will not accept a settlement that offers them nothing more than status quo ante as of January 1, 1990.

In the government’s reckoning, it is really unemployed youth and the internet that is causing the problem and so if jobs can be assured and the internet kept in check, things will work out. Things are not that simple. Historically, Kashmiris buttressed by geography, have had a sense of their uniqueness. The circumstances of their accession and the commitment of a plebiscite made by India and endorsed by the United Nations remain. No country in the world recognizes Jammu and Kashmir to be a part of India; all see it as disputed territory, including our big friend the United States.

Not many in India realize that the counter-insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir has been brutal. Extra-judicial killings, torture, and intimidation have been its constant features. And this for the last 30 years. So, on one hand, you have a hardened population and, on the other, an embittered one. Therefore, the political effort that you initiate must be thought through. Empty gestures are not going to mean much. Neither will they achieve the end you have in mind – the normalization of the situation.

What needs to be adopted is a perspective that emphasizes reconciliation. That’s a carefully chosen word. A brutal struggle has gone on in Kashmir for the past 30 years. To wish it away or to pretend it did not happen is to live in an imaginary world. The more honorable and pragmatic path is to accept that things happened and are happening and that there is a need to overcome them through the process of dialogue, negotiation, and compromise. The alternative is repeated cycles of violence and alienation, with fits of political intervention that will not really get you anywhere.

The Article First Appeared In Scroll.In

(Manoj Joshi is Distinguished Fellow, Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi).

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