Kashmir is boiling. Nothing new or may be unexpected because it has been so for too long now. Sadly, the reason yet again is internal fighting that is completely avoidable. It is ‘us’ versus ‘us’.
It all started in early June, 2010 when a 17-year old student died after being hit by a teargas shell fired by security forces during a demonstration in Srinagar. What followed was a protest by civilians against the killings of innocent people. As a result, more demonstrations have taken place, leading to more clashes between the police or, the paramilitary forces and the civilians. In the process more civilians are getting killed. It is a vicious cycle that will not end till people think rationally.
There are two sides to the story of innocent lives being lost at the hands of our soldiers. One, are the alleged fake encounters purportedly being done by some of our Army or police men for winning awards and recognition? If so, such acts are despicable and should not be pardoned at any cost.
On the other side, are the protests leading to more loss of innocent lives? The majority of people inside and outside Kashmir are blaming the policemen or, the paramilitary forces for their reckless actions. However, a closer look at the delicate situation at hand shall reveal a different picture. Our policemen are also human beings. Their lives are also as important as those of the civilians. When there is a mob attack on them and they have orders to restore law and order in the area, what are they supposed to do? They try to warn people first and then retaliate in self-defence. Is that a crime? Some of the recent cases of teenagers being killed are because of the fault of the civilians. When a curfew has been imposed, there should be no demonstrations. Even if there are, teenagers should not be involved. The policemen did not go to the teenagers who were abiding by the law, to their houses to kill them. They just tried to protect themselves and fulfil their duty.
This in no way means to say that the police are absolutely innocent. There could be and there are cases of police negligence and excesses but, by staging protests in a manner that is currently being done, the people themselves are risking innocent lives, not only those of the civilians but also of our brave soldiers. There is nothing wrong in raising one’s voice against injustice but, such protests should be done tactfully. They should serve the end purpose and not create another set of problems that would lead to further protests.
Unfortunately, Kashmiris are fighting with their very own people. And, who shall take advantage of this? The anti-India elements, who must be enjoying these internal conflicts. It would be no surprise if investigations reveal that such elements were instigating the mobs to their own advantage. The government is calling on the people to hold their horses for a while and not fall in the trap.
Rather than focusing our energies on undoing the damage done, we are creating newer problems. India has already paid a huge price for being a puppet at the hands of our enemies’ divide and rule policy; it cannot afford to do so yet again. The need of the hour is to pause for a moment, give time to the government and the police to take stock of the rights and wrongs and then demand action. When bad men combine, the good must associate.