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SAMosa Takes

A little over half of 2017 has gone by and the tally of terrorists killed stands at 105, the highest in a number of years.


The surprise in Kashmir is not the death of pilgrims caught in the crossfire between militants and the forces trying to maintain law and order.


On many occasions in the past, I had cautioned that the Kashmir issue or problem (or by whatever name it is called) was a festering wound.


Tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has been shattered by the heavy hand of military totalitarianism and militancy in the past, and is now a victim of the fragmentation that is ripping our social fabric to pieces.


It is an odd moment to talk about hope and reconciliation in the Kashmir Valley in a month when a shameful terror attack on the Amarnath Yatra tailed another moment of horror a few weeks earlier — the lynching of policeman Ayub Pandith outside Srinagar’s Jama Masjid mosque by a mob shouting slogans in favour of Jihadist terrorist Zakir Musa.


The horrific attack on the Amarnath Yatraearlier this week has rightly stunned both Jammu & Kashmir as well as the entire country.


It was quarter past eight in the evening on July 10 when we heard a commotion. We were playing with our toddler inside the house. At first, we did not know what made the loud, cracking noises.


It was just another ordinary Srinagar summer evening until I received a frantic phone call from my friend breaking the horrifying news of Amarnath Yatra pilgrims coming under attack. It left me cold and shell-shocked.


All indications are that 2017 will turn out to be the deadliest year in Jammu and Kashmir in almost a decade, and Monday’s terrorist attack on Amarnath pilgrims is a stark reminder that a clear-eyed security response is required to deal with the challenges.


Once again the land of Kashmir has turned red with innocent blood being splattered all around.


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