My heart bleeds for the brave CRPF jawans who made the supreme their motherland. I have seen them work in the most challenging conditions. My life was saved by a CRPF jawan in 2010. I do not want to recall the unfortunate incident when a jawan took a hand grenade on his body 100 meters from my vehicle. It is out of gratitude that I always hold them in highest respect. To confess, my hands are shivering in grief as I write this piece.
Ensure immediate relief to families
The dastardly attack has taken the life of 44 of our brave jawans. My heartfelt condolences goes to the family of these bravehearts, with the promise that the nation stands with them in this hour of grief. My only concern is that this promise is not betrayed in the long bureaucratic cobweb of procedures and political mongering and manipulation. The dues under the latest pension scheme and other reliefs should reach the families of brave hearts without any delay.
Condemning the attack as cowardly or dastardly is one thing, my refrain once again is that utmost priority should be accorded to sending the relief to the kin of the bravehearts. In this context, I have seen in many cases the after initial condemnation I have seen families running around in North Block chasing their dues and brokers entering in the entire process promising expeditious processing and pocketing their fees or commissions. It happened in my time as a government servant. I am sure it won't happen now.
Besides, there is a need to conduct a diagnosis of what went wrong. How did the perpetrators succeed? Jaish-e-Mohammad, which as per reports has claimed responsibility, has certainly triggered their sleeper cell.
But the question arises is if it a case of intelligence failure. I do not think so. It has been reported that intelligence was shared about three days back with the Jammu and Kashmir government. Further, a car being fitted with IED to be blasted by remote control would have surely come to the notice of our intelligence agencies. Our intelligence officers are smart enough to have noticed. Then where did the lapse occur?
Another vital factor which agitates me is that information on the movement of such convoys are not publicly known. The Jammu and Kashmir Police is informed for operational and coordination reasons. There is no other source with which such movements are shared. Then why did local police not sanitise the route?
Another vital factor is the resurgence of the Jaish-e-Mohammad in Jammu and Kashmir. Surely, this would have caught the eye of the intelligence agencies. As per laid down procedure, this would have been shared with the Jammu and Kashmir Police, especially with IG (CID). How then was this group permitted to resurge?
Jammu & Kashmir Police - past record
In this connection, my experience with Jammu and Kashmir Police is not very pleasant. In 2010, as an official in the Home Ministry, I had shared a list of properties of prominent separatist leaders of Jammu and Kashmir. But nothing came of it. However, this was acted upon only by NIA in 2017 by raiding these properties.
Apart from this prominent example, we have repeatedly shared intelligence with Jammu and Kashmir Police, with their headquarters, their IG (CID), but they were generally found to be not very fleet-footed in their countermeasures to pre-empt or prevent such evil designs - on several instances I have said about money being routed and such other vital instances.
Even the fidayeens travelling with Javed Shiekh and Ishrat Jahan, namely Amjad and Zeeshan, had reportedly been let off by Jammu and Kashmir Police. We had even shared the input on possible public outrage being fostered by ISI with Jammu and Kashmir Police on 3/6/2010, and the stone pelting by the public which is evidently funded from the other side of the LoC.
Vindictive on security personnel
Other recent instances may also be recalled. Take the case of Major Leetul Gogoi. He had tied a stone-pelter to save his team members from being injured. The whole human rights lobby went gaga over it.
Later on, he was framed in a case in which he was allegedly found with a local girl in a hotel. I do not want to go into details, but people may corroborate that at the very instance I had said that he was being framed by the Inspector General of Srinagar, who had come out to the media on this story is the same person named in my book of having engineered the false narrative of 'Hindu terror'.
Later, Major Aditya's case an FIR was registered. Hence the Jammu and Kashmir police requires to be vetted about many of its officers not toeing the Central government line. Politicians playing their own agenda may be acceptable, although I subscribe to the view that any proposal which challenges the idea of India is not acceptable.
Disturbingly abnormal growth in population
How about the local population? I am always intrigued by one paradoxical factor. The population in the Valley between 1991 to 2001 showed a growth. This is as per Planning Commission document. During this period, there was mass migration and also lot many killings which occurred. Hence, is it a case that some of the infiltrators are being accommodated and given residency documents. This question needs an answer.
Kashmiri replaced by Urdu as spoken language
Further, if you go to any kasba in the Valley, in the central market place you can find youth assembling in the evening. Try listening to their general talk. There is more Urdu than Kashmiri in their talk. Does it mean that the Valley has been taken over by Pakistani jihadis? I do not know. But the nation needs an answer?
Question to UN Human Rights Commission
The last answer needs to come from UN Human Rights Commission. The report has highlighted Burhan Wani's killing, thanks reliance on reports of civil society groups, and tarnished the J&K Public Safety Act and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as structures obstructing the normal course of law. The report had further highlighted the reluctance of grant of prosecution sanction against security personnel under the Act. In case it had happened the other way round, if security forces had killed 26 terrorists, the author of the report would have repeated the charge of AFSPA being draconian and sanction not being granted. Will the author of the return to life the 44 martyred men? Else, let the author confess the he was either professionally wrong or his integrity was compromised by organisation like JeM which is an ancillary of Lashkar, a designated terror organisation under UNSCR 1267 list.
Saviour means God in Sanskrit
Actually, I again confess I am seeking answers for the above questions with a heavy heart. One among these jawans had saved my life. In our Hindu belief, we call saviours as 'nath' or 'bhagwan'. With heavy heart I say today we lost 44 of our bhagwans.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)