Srinagar: Kashmir witnessed yet another day of blood bath on the day when hope gives way to despair. April 1st-usually marks the arrival of Spring in Kashmir, however, this time around the day left 20 people dead and injuries to hundreds of others.
Though 13 militants killed on Sunday may be providing an indication that security personnel have tightened their hold on the south Kashmir militant bastion, which was otherwise giving a tough time to them, but in the long run the day may compel many other young men to take to arms.
Most of the militants killed (10) belonged to Shopian, were young and had joined the militant movement between last year and now. The oldest of the 10 was Ishfaq Ahmad Thoker, who had joined militant ranks in September 2015. The others, from various villages in the district, were not more than a year old among the militant ranks.
What is emerging as a surprise is that these young men have joined the militant ranks post Hizbul commander Burhan Wani’s death. A phenomenon which is even giving sleepless nights to the security establishment.
No wonder then that the state Police Chief S P Vaid made a passionate appeal, asking youth to shun violence. He termed the killings as painful because all those killed were young boys.
It is indeed an alarm that more and more local youth are joining the militancy and this trend is proving costly for the entire Kashmiri society at large. The deaths that are being reported on almost daily basis now also raise a serious question. The question, that are deaths going to provide a solution to the issue that is compelling these young boys to resort to adopting of means that guarantee them no escape.
The Kashmir issue, though being ignored by New Delhi and the state governments equally is compelling the young men to adopt means that are violent in nature. The prime reason being that the issue is being kept in the cold for long now. It is an established fact that neither military nor militancy is the solution to Kashmir issue. The issue is political in nature and it can be settled only through political initiatives.
The crackdown or the operation all out is not a proper response to the emerging situation. If this would have been a solution then the problem would have been over as the operations have been going on since the early 1990’s.
Our experience says crackdowns launched earlier have not succeeded in addressing the real source of the unrest. The real problem is deep-rooted alienation and government of India seems to be reluctant to acknowledge that. There is huge trust deficit and the priority should have been to initiate measures, which could create an atmosphere of confidence. On the contrary the government is not paying any attention to this area instead it is overburdening the security grid only.
The government both federal and the local show no signs of changing its approach in tackling the situation in the valley. No priority is being listed to listen to the voices of dissent and initiate a credible and sustainable process of dialogue to sort out the issues. Delay is bound to compound the crisis further.