FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
Hang on
Posted:May 29, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
The killing of Sabzar Bhat, a Kashmiri militant, in an encounter with counter-insurgency operatives is bound to aggravate the tumult in the Valley. Unlike last year though, when the state government and the security forces were caught off guard by the public response to the death of Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen leader, the administration knows what to expect this time. The crux of the matter, however, is the counter-response. In the months that followed last year's encounter killing, the use of pellet guns on protesters and stone-pelters, and its consequences - deaths, blindings and the ghastly wounds that the pellets left on bodies and minds - opened up a new challenge for the counter-insurgency operation. There was not just militancy to combat, but also the powerful narrative on State repression that flowed out silently from the images of pellet-gun victims. 
 
The image war is still on, if the controversy over the picture of a Kashmiri local tied to the front of an army jeep is any indication. It goes without saying that the administration is treading on thin ice. It would need infinite patience, tact and control on the part of the law-enforcers to deal with the anger that Bhat's death is likely to create, and to prevent a slide back to last year's situation. A little fortitude may go a long way though. The Hizbul Mujahideen is in a state of confusion after an ideological divide surfaced among its leadership and the negative reaction that followed the killing of the young Kashmiri army officer, Ummar Fayaz, by unknown assailants. Unless the police and security forces become trigger-happy, there is even a chance that the passions over the killing of Bhat, Wani's aide but a much lesser figure, may subside.
 
That brings into question the strategy of the security forces, which appear to have been given a carte blanche by the government to bring the situation under 'control'. There can be no doubt that the army is following a no-holds-barred policy against militancy in the Valley. Yet, it is also racked by the dilemma over the use of disproportionate force against protesters. This is obvious from the army chief's latest statement that he wished protesters brought weapons and not stones which, inarguably, would have legitimized the use of unbridled force against them. But that is not the case. Protesters, no matter how troublesome, are not militants. In their urgency to reinstate 'normalcy' in the Valley, the security forces should not forget this cardinal truth.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image A career diplomat, Chitranganee Wagiswara, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, is the first woman to be the island nation’s envoy to India. As Foreign Secretary, she was Sri Lanka’s top diplomat for 18 months before being posted to New Delhi.
 
read-more
Israel has announced the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Jewish state since New Delhi established diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv in 1992. The visit will take place July 4-6. 
 
read-more
These are depressing times. For quite some time I have been watching with utter dismay the Secular India which Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Maulana Husain Ahmed Madani, Abdul Ghaffar Khan and others fought for being systematically undermined by ultra-Hindu nationalists. The obsession with Mother Cow has
 
read-more
With weird concoction like "Beer Yoga" getting popular as the next big international fitness craze, the ancient art of inner blossoming is seemingly going topsy-turvy. And as yoga hogs the limelight on its third International Day, the loud call for saving the spirit of the ancient and modern practice can't be swept under
 
read-more
“We cannot allow the state brutality to which we are subjected each day snatch our humanity and values,” the Mirwaiz said, asking: “What will be the difference between them and us then?”
 
read-more
The standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Sikkim section of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two countries has led to a suspension of the Kailash Mansarovar yatra via the new Nathu La route.
 
read-more
The city of Marawi in the south of the Philippines has been engulfed by a deadly, ongoing siege since late May, when government forces began to take on heavily armed militants linked to the Islamic State. Local media estimate the death toll to be above 300. Over 200,000 residents have fled what has effectively become an urban battlefie
 
read-more
The Iraqi city of Mosul this week celebrates its first Eid free of the oppressive rule of the self-styled Islamic State (IS) in three years.
 
read-more
President Donald J. Trump hosted Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India at the White House on June 26 for an official visit to Washington, D.C.
 
read-more
Column-image

Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
Column-image

  A former Indian civil servant, who is currently a professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, US spent long periods in distant villages and city slums of India. The result? A scholarly book that presen...

 
Column-image

  Title: The Exile; Author:  Cathy Scott-Clark & Adrian Levy; Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; Pages: 640; Price: Rs 699

 
Column-image

Jim Corbett was a British-Indian hunter and tracker-turned-conservationist, author and naturalist; who started off as an officer in the British army and attained the rank of a colonel. Frequently called in to kill man-eating tigers or leopards,...

 
Column-image

Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive