Editorial June 2016
The recent video released by Burhan Wani, the militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen’s young commander from Tral, has provided answers to many unanswered questions. Simultaneously, it has given rise to debate against the killings of Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel by militants.
In his video, Burhan says that militants have no option but to attack local policemen supporting ‘Indian occupation’ here. But how is it that the cops like ASI Nazeer Ahmad and Constable Bashir Ahmad, who were on the verge of their retirement, were a threat to the cause of Kashmir’s freedom struggle?
Earlier the militant outfits restricted their operations to the personnel of the J&K Police’s counter insurgency groups who were engaged for anti-militancy operations. But the recent incidents, where militants killed five cops who had no link with SOG, with many among them manning traffic and that too without arms, has set the alarm bells ringing.
The trend is not new to the Valley. In June 2013, militants carried out an attack in Srinagar which had resulted in death of two policemen. On March 26, two army men and a civilian were injured when militants tossed a grenade towards police station Bijbehara. In December last year DSP Irshad Rather posted as SDPO Bijbehara was critically injured in a militant attack in Bijbehara town.
But in recent years, as parts of south Kashmir emerged as centers of the new age militancy, police and other security agencies turned their focus towards the region.Though police believe that the Srinagar and Anantnag attacks were one-off incidents, but the video released by Burhan has sensationalized the situation. He has warned that similar attacks on police and security personals will be carried out in future also.
These attacks even defy the tall claims of the present coalition government that the state is militancy free. Soon after the attacks the opposition party in Assembly cornered the Government over the killings while Congress blamed the “unholy” PDP-BJP alliance and flawed policy of New Delhi towards Islamabad for the attacks.
The dreadful attacks by Hizb have become a challenge for the present PDP-BJP coalition government as the intensity of the attacks has increased since last year. Now common masses and police personnel are waiting for the government to take some measures, even if they are drastic, to ensure a sense of security within the state. If the situation especially in south Kashmir in recent months is an indicator, the government must do whatever it takes to address the sense of vulnerability in the people.