Editorial: A bigger challenge

Srinagar: As the situation has once again reached a boiling point in Kashmir, the security apparatus is once again mulling a plan to come over the situation especially in South Kashmir where dozens of young boys who have taken up arms have put up a new challenge for the security setup.

The security grid is abuzz with a new policy of persuasion. The police which will be on the fore front to implement the policy will coax the young men to surrender rather than end up losing their lives and creating a larger than life image for themselves.

The forces involved in counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir valley have been left bewildered over the fact that these young men stone wall all the requests or appeals for surrender. Even one case in South Kashmir, parents of a young boy who was killed fighting the troops in Dialgam village were allowed to go inside the house and convince him to surrender.

However, the efforts proved futile. The principle these young boys follow is simple. Better die fighting rather than surrender and get labeled as traitors. The feeling of betraying the cause is so deep rooted that a phone talk between a surrounded militant and his parents leaves one totally in a state of shock.

The situation is turning to be worrisome for the security agencies as reports suggest that 23 local boys joined various militant ranks during the past year and only three returned home on the call of their parents. This phenomenon not only signifies the deep seated anger among the youth but the silence of the civil society and the separatist leadership also points to the fact that they too endorse the emerging scenario.

Therefore, the police is now trying to get some of its officers involved so that they can be trained in the art of negotiating with the trapped militants and wheedle them to lay down arms. However, the police and the security top bosses are missing a point once again.

The issue in Kashmir is not limited to the fact that a handful of young men have taken up arms and are challenging the military might of India. The challenge is much bigger. If the handful of boys taking up arms would have been a problem then the massive security presence and concentration would have solved the issue. But visualizing the ground situation, things it seems are getting much worse. Signifying that there is much than that meets the eye.

In recent times the situation that has emerged in the mainland India has also cast its shadow on the happenings in Kashmir. The incidents of growing intolerance in India have compounded the prevailing political uncertainty here and the youth find their future dark.

Even various cases of harassment have come to the fore making the belief among these young men more strong that their future is not secure with India and the set up that is being offered to them.

This is a challenge which the right thinking class in Delhi and the state has to ponder over and come up with solutions. 

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