The recent targeted killings of people in Kashmir have created a sense of fear. All this started giving a déjà-vu feeling to many who left Kashmir valley decades back. Sikhs, Hindus, migrant labourers and a few locals were killed in the past weeks. And these killings were done in a short and regular span of time which made it appear akin to strategy adopted in various massacres which took place earlier in Jammu-Kashmir. The reason for relating these killings to massacres is all because people from particular communities were being singled out and killed. Once again the intention is only to harm and create fear among those who have stayed in Kashmir despite the ongoing militancy for many years now. After all this, J&K LG Manoj Sinha said that the blood of innocent civilians will be avenged. But it does little to ease the fear in the mind of those who are still staying back in Kashmir.
The central government since August 5, 2019 is taking several steps in the shape of ‘mass outreach programs’ in the J&K UT to bring normalcy. But all these killings once again have impacted the government’s progressive steps. On the other hand, after these targeted killings, there is intensified and manifold increase in raids by security forces in various residential localities of Kashmir. And detentions are made of all suspects across the valley to stop another exodus of people who still choose to stay behind despite open prevailing threat. Nevertheless, the biggest fear remains for the families of employees who were employed under the Prime Minister’s Development Package and are presently posted in Kashmir. The recent killings were done purely to show that militancy thrives in Kashmir and are in fact, retaliatory acts of militants as security forces are continuously gunning down several militants responsible for attacks & killings in Kashmir region.
Already this year 133 militants including many top commanders have been neutralized by security forces. Some experts relate this rise in militant attacks to Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. There is no doubt that it could impact Jammu-Kashmir. However, at present free hand is given to security agencies in Kashmir so due to it the ‘Afghanistan impact’ won’t come so easily and fast in Kashmir region. Besides, the Government of India is taking steps to engage with the Taliban government and that may prevent use of Jammu-Kashmir as a ground for extremism and radicalization by Taliban. Although grief marches in favour of militants and stone pelting have stopped, still instead of holding ‘mass outreach programs’ the priority should be to eliminate all those enemies who on our land are aiding and abetting the militancy by any means. This would bring relief for all who feel threatened and are on the radar of militants in Kashmir.
In the past also we have seen that music concerts and dance festivals were organized by the Government of India to gain ground, but that didn’t prevent the killing of politicians, journalists and social activists in Kashmir. So it’s a clear signal that this all won’t be fruitful until the enemies of humanity are thriving in Jammu-Kashmir. Creating a secure atmosphere in J&K and ending violence has to be achieved first and then only the jobs, housing and return-rehabilitation schemes would take shape on ground. Because the majority of people aren’t getting convinced just with the assurances, as decades have passed and heinous crimes continue to shatter every soul living in Jammu-Kashmir. For the present and future of Jammu-Kashmir, efforts to end militancy and bring peace here in the lives of all those living here only will make people secure.