While the government has been lifting curbs in a phased manner, people in some parts of the Kashmir Valley are yet come out and lead a normal life. This has been largely due to the fear of terrorists, who have been threatening the people of the Valley.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it would take four months for Jammu and Kashmir to return to normal. Steps have been taken to maintain security and it would take 4 months to normalise the abnormal situation that has been prevalent in J&K for the past 40 years, Modi also said.
While the government has been lifting curbs in a phased manner, people in some parts of the Valley are yet come out and lead a normal life. This has been largely due to the fear of terrorists, who have been threatening the people of the Valley. Hence in many ways one could say that the restrictions are self-imposed by the people owing to this fear.
In a bid to assure the people and instil confidence in them, the J&K administration has been taking several steps. On Friday, an advertisement was issued urging people to come out and not fall prey to the threats of separatists and terrorists, who are being instigated by Pakistan and a part of the political leadership in Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials say that they are going on an all-out offensive against terrorists, overground workers and their handlers. The Army has managed to gun down nearly all the top terrorists in the Valley. However, there are a few left, and we will ensure that they are gunned down too, the official said.
The surveillance has been intensified and the Army has put in place a provocative strategy to hunt and gun down terrorists. We have managed to get them under control to a large extent. However, stray incidents could occur, and such things break the confidence of the people, the Home Ministry official also added.
It is extremely important to find and kill as many terrorists, enhance border security to prevent the infiltrations the officer further noted. Further the security forces along with the J&K administration has been carrying out confidence building measures to assure the people of normalcy, encouraging them to venture out and lead a normal life. The officer further added that while anti-insurgency operations are in full swing, enhanced security parameters too have been established around vital installations.
The Army has also prepared a hit-list of 20 most wanted terrorists in the Valley. Each one on this list would be dealt with one at a time and we feel that in the next two three months, we would have completed our target. Officials say that the terrorists are currently fighting a propaganda war. The idea is to keep the people on tenterhooks and ensure that they do not come out on the streets. There have been incidents in which a person was killed by terrorists for keeping his shop open, the officer notes.
Terror groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Hizbul Mujahideen continue to try and terrorise the people. Hence finding them and eliminating them is a top priority for the restoration of normalcy. Officials also explain that the battle against terrorists in this leg would be a hard one no doubt. However, the Army has been given a free hand and there is no interference from the political class, which has made it all the better for the forces to deal with such elements.
This leg of the battle would be a crucial one, sources say. It would be an all-out offensive and it is an extremely important one as the results of this operation would be crucial for the restoration of normalcy in the Valley, the source in the Home Ministry also added.
The changing mindset:
Former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, CD Sahay tells MyNation that if we look at the current phase of terror, it is actively and blatantly being supported and sustained by Pakistan. The battle ahead would be tough considering the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Jaish-e-Mohammad have upped the ante.
When the Prime Minister says that it would take another four months to bring the situation back to normal, he has only made a fair claim. 20 years in this century and 10 in the previous century, this is how long terror has been around in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan and its terrorists have been inflicting terror on us every day. In such a context, would it be unfair for the government to ask for four months to restore normalcy and set things right? Sahay asks.
The Army’s all-out offensive will help the people the most. They have suffered all these years silently at the hands of the terrorists.
Sahay says that while wiping out the terrorists would be the key challenge now. The most important thing is that people are no longer swayed easily. I want to compliment the people of Kashmir for staying away from the terrorists. Earlier there were a lot who would be swayed for sums as low as Rs 500 to hurl a stone or grenade. Today, I find that change and the people have remained peaceful and have realised that this is just not worth it.
The situation is by and large returning to normal. Most of the restrictions have been removed or relaxed. Shops are open in many places, vehicles are plying and most importantly, progressively there have been no regressive steps taken in between, the former R&AW chief says.
No fatal shots:
Sahay says that it is easy for people to criticise the decisions taken by the government. There is a lot of pressure on the government to restore normalcy. However, those blindly criticising the government must also realise that the armed forces in the Valley are undertaking a very difficult job. However, what is commendable is that they have executed it very well and they will continue to do so.
Now take for instance, the incident in which a shopkeeper was killed by terrorists for keeping his shop open. Has anyone raised concerns about it? Have the Left liberals raised their voice? asks Sahay. The locals know who a terrorist is and who is not one, and I am sure that they are fed up of living in fear. I am sure that the Army’s all-out offensive will indeed ensure that normalcy is restored in Kashmir as assured by the Prime Minister.
Sahay says that the government took a great amount of risk in abrogating Article 370. It had to counter the risk of everything going wrong. There could have been a massive uprising and large-scale violence. Yet, the risk was taken, Sahay says.
The forces have done a commendable job and not one fatal shot has been fired. Show me in the history of Kashmir, where for two months in a row a single fatal shot has not fired, Sahay asks.
Last Updated 7:10 PM IST