Embracing Death

Farzana Mumtaz

Since past few weeks the graph of violence in Kashmir is once again going up with deadly clashes taking place regularly.  During last week alone in encounter incidents in the State  at least eight militants, six soldiers, including a Major, and two civilians have been killed in the space of just three days. About a dozen security personnel, including a CRPF commandant and a Major, have been injured.

Words like killings, deaths, attacks, encounters are back haunting the people of Kashmir .Post the 2008, 2010, 2016 agitations  a  new breed of militants is rising in Kashmir — young, educated, tech-savvy and mostly fearless . On the otherhand as soon as encounter erupts in Kashmir the local population since past few months have reached to almost every encounter site in support of militants and pelted stones on security forces

As a matter of fact, hundreds of mainly angry youth have converged in recent months on the scene of gunbattles that regularly erupt between security  forces and militants opposed to Indian rule.

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Post the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani which gave rise to 2016 civil uprising which resulted in death of about 100 civilians and thousands wounded we have witnessed boys aged as small as  ten  to 15 took over the streets and were unafraid of walking up to armed garrisons that dot the landscape of a Valley.

Security analysts have maintained that efforts of locals to help militants — by putting themselves in harm’s way — is a worrying recent development in the decades-long militancy .

 

To compound the matters further in Kashmir valley, tensions between nuclear rivals Pakistan and India have mounted in recent  months especially after URI attack thus making matters difficult for people.

Casualty and death word have continued to remain relevant in Kashmir especially since past three decades . According to Sumantra Bose in his book, Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace, around 40000 (Indian estimates) to 80000 (Hurriyat estimates) civilians, separatist guerilla fighters and Indian security personnel died from the time period of 1989 to 2002 in both Kashmir Valley and Jammu .

Army Chief Bipin Rawat  statement that People creating hurdles during anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir will be dealt as anti-nationals and will face “harsh” actions, has added fuel to fire. National Conference  expressed disappointment and dismay over the “belligerent” remarks of the Army Chief about dealing “mercilessly” with the isolated and alienated youth of Kashmir and said such posturing would compound the situation and increase the hostility in the Valley.

” The unsettled Kashmir Political Dispute has taken a huge toll on Kashmir and especially the younger generation has risen above fear to seek justice and solution and thus embracing death .It is high time that Indian state leaves harsh attitude and adopts a pragmatic path to settle Kashmir dispute Democratically so as to put an end to painful cycle of never ending violence in Kashmir, states Bilal Bashir Bhat, Journalist While taking to News Kashmir.

 

 

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