Friday, August 6, 2010

Kashmir unrest getting out of Indian hands

Political parties, including the Hurriyat Conference and even the militants, are fast becoming irrelevant in held Jammu and Kashmir and the masses have taken over the movement, leaving the Indian government with only two options — either commit wide scale massacres or impose the governor’s rule in the state.
Anti-India sentiments, police atrocities and public anger are being daily reflected on the streets in the Valley but the public is in no mood to listen to militants or the Hurriyat leaders. The latest example is of the Hizbul Mujahideen supreme Syed Salahuddin, who had recently appealed to the general public to continue the stir in a phased manner as people were suffering and schools were closed.
Soon after this appeal, the Kashmiri people became so enraged that they burnt the effigy of Syed Salahuddin in Srinagar on Aug 2. Nobody could have imagined that the people could take such an extreme step.
Similarly, Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani darted off a message of truce to the government from his hospital bed, claiming that he would calm the people if the government was ready to lift the curfew. When people came to know about this, they assembled outside Geelani’s house and threatened to set it ablaze.
Again on Aug 2, two militants were spotted in Badgam district who were carrying arms. A public procession was passing by highlighting the anti-India sentiments. Agitators surrounded the militants and told them they were not needed now as the people had vowed to take the struggle to its logical end. They asked the militants to drop the arms and follow the procession.
During the nights, people stay on the roads, they do not go to their homes and they are ready to face anything, which may come their way. Anti-India and anti-government sentiments are running high. To express these sentiments, they usually attack the government buildings and set them on fire. When they wish to vent their ire against the J&K state government, they pelt stones at the residences of state ministers as they did on the night of Aug 2. People assembled at the houses of Senior Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar and Omar Abdullah’s confidant Mubarak Gul and pelted stones.
Indian forces have also increased their atrocious actions. In Batmaloo, policemen thrust a baton inside the mouth of an eight-year-boy Sameer on Aug 2. His lungs ruptured and he is in a hospital in critical condition.
Twenty-nine people have been killed in the last three days, and a total 47 since June 11.
Pro-India Chief Minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah has no clue what to do. On the one hand, he demands more security troops and on the other he wants them to exercise restraint. He rushed to New Delhi and had meetings with the Indian prime minister on the held Valley situation. After the meeting, he told a press conference: “J&K has a political situation. It needs a political package more than an economic package. By political package, I mean dealing with issues like Armed Forces Special Powers Act, footprint of the security forces, rehabilitation package for youngsters who are across the Line of Control and compensation for victims of the ongoing trouble.” When posed a question by a correspondent on the indigenous nature of the agitation and massive participation of the general public, Omar Abdullah sternly stared and left.

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