News Kashmir Exclusive
South Kashmir has become synonym of suffering, pain due to continued violence and protests. Daily killings , funerals, encounters, shelling on the protesters has become symbol of life in South Kashmir.
Over the past four years, Kashmir watchers have trained their gaze and analytical prism on four southern districts of the Valley – Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam. Since 2014, there has been a tremendous rise in the number of local youth taking up arms in these areas of South Kashmir.
Encounters between militants and armed forces are frequent and the local population resenting often when the encounter starts without fearing for their life have been vehemently expressing support for the rebels. In the local as well as the national media, a consensus has emerged: a new wave of local militancy is gathering strength in South Kashmir despite death of so many militants in encounters .
Estimates state that more than 100 militants have been killed in south Kashmir in the year 2017 and around 115 rebels are still active in the region.
The area of South Kashmir emerged as epicenter in the year 2016 post the historic agitation and unrest in Kashmir, also known as the Burhan aftermath, which refers to a series of violent protests in the Kashmir Valley of the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. It started with the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular commander of the Kashmir-based Islamic militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen, by the security forces .
“The situation in south Kashmir is challenging. The militancy is on the rise there and many locals are joining the militants. It is a cause for concern. Keeping that in view, the intensity of (anti-militancy) operations has increased in that area,” Inspector General, CRPF, Srinagar, Ravideep Sahi had told reporters more than a year ago. .He was speaking to reporters at a talent hunt sporting event organised by the CRPF.
From Shopian to Kulgam, Pulwama to Anantnag South Kashmir is simmering. On 1 February, 2018 a 10-year-old Musharaf Fayaz of Datmudoor village who had suffered major injuries after a shell went off at the site of a gunfight on January 25 in Chaigund village of Shopian succumbs to his injuries at SKIMS Soura . With his death, the number of civilians killed in Shopian since January 25 has reached five. A civilian Shakir Ahmad Mir was killed near the site of gunfight in Chaigund on January 25 while three civilians were killed after army opened fire on protesters in Ganowpora village on Saturday, 27 January.
“South Kashmir is burning with violence, protests and anger. The government is failing to douse the flaring situation in south Kashmir as bloodbath continues .We need a policy, vision to heal the pain of south Kashmir then only situation would ease out .Reaching out to the angry, pain hit youth of South Kashmir should be top priority to save our youngsters ,” stated a political analyst while pleading anonymity.