Violent Stone Pelting in Kashmir Valley
By targeting stone pelting youth brazenly obstructing counter terrorist operations in the Durbugh village of Chadoora in Budgam on Tuesday the security forces have apparently walked into a deadly trap laid out by the separatist forces to reignite the spark in the restive Kashmir valley ahead of the long summer season ahead.
Three youngsters who were part of the violent mob pelting stones and targeting security forces lost their lives triggering fresh wave of anger on the streets of Kashmir valley.
The security forces, engaged in the operations to flush out holed up militants inside a safe hide out were left with no other option but to resort to firing as these protesters had failed to pay heed to the numerous reminders of scaling down their protests aimed at facilitating escape of holed up militants in the area.
Now the question arises whether it was alright for the security forces to open fire on the protesters or they should have exercised restraint than adding fuel to the raging fire.
Every time the stone palters were stepping out of their houses during ongoing operations the security forces were directed to exercise restraint and handle the ground situation tactfully.
Even the senior police officers and heads of other para military forces, who understood the ground realities avoided a clash with the local civilians at this juncture. The aim behind observing restrain was not to trigger violent protests where security forces too would come under lot of pressure and indulge in knee jerk reactions.
Intense stone pelting by youth frustrated these security personnel as they found themselves waging a twin war against their own people and against those who have picked up gun to earn justice for themselves.
It has been seen careful handling of ground situation even resulted in peaceful disbursal of gatherings during funeral processions of militant commanders killed in gun battles with the security forces.
But on Tuesday while the operation was still in progress intense stone pelting by youth frustrated these security personnel as they found themselves waging a twin war against their own people and against those who have picked up gun to earn justice for themselves.
By the time the counter terrorist operation ended the situation on ground had taken a reverse turn. At least three civilians in their early 20’s have once again fallen victim.
Ironically, before the dead bodies of three protesters reached their homes the separatist leaders, spearheading the anti-India campaign, had already issued a fresh call for shutdown across Kashmir valley to encash on the public anger against the use of disproportionate force.
In the aftermath of long spell of street violence triggered after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in July 2016 different parts of Kashmir valley has been witnessing ‘agitational terrorism’.
The separatist’s leaders have worked out this form of protest with the double purpose of frustrating security forces.
After the killing of Burhan Wani the handlers of militant outfits had managed to coerce more than hundred local youth to join ranks of militant outfits. These young militants, actively participated on the social media and spread terror through their brief video warnings.
” Kashmir University and other academic institutions cancelled their examination calendar and rail services were suspended to prevent any loss of railway property.
They also made desperate bids to motivate more disgruntled youth to join the ranks of militancy to channelize the public anger on the streets of Kashmir valley. Alienated masses and poor governance by the Mehbooba Mufti led alliance government in the state made matters worse and forced people to hit the streets.
The state government, academic institutions and even the Indian railways went into panic mode.
Kashmir University and other academic institutions cancelled their examination calendar and rail services were suspended to prevent any loss of railway property.
Parts of Kashmir valley observed complete shut down even as simmering anger spilled on to the streets in down town areas of Srinagar.
The pot was boiling for past several weeks as already several incidents of stone pelting during counter terrorist operations were reported from South Kashmir districts. At least 12 civilians have died so far in firing by the security forces.
Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat too had issued a warning to these obstructionists not to create road blocks and obstruct movement of armed forces with the sole purpose of facilitating escape of holed up terrorists.
Though the security forces deployed on ground zero were anticipating this flare up of tensions in the run up to the by-polls to two Parliamentary seats of Srinagar and Anantnag but they were not keen on engaging with the youth brigade at this stage.
Increasing number of militant strikes on their convoy movement and army camps have forced them to rework their ground strategy to especially ensure their own safety.
Security experts and retired army officers view this current trend of pushing more and more locals near the encounter site as a very serious development. In their view the more these people will come in to picture, chances of engagement with the foot soldiers of the Indian army would increase and more clashes would result in to more unrest and more bloodshed. The separatist’s leaders thrive on this bloodletting.