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Modi’s Kashmir strategy boomerangs: Youth radicalised, Army faces heat

The situation in Jammu and Kashmir is grim and both the PDP-BJP coalition government in the state and the Modi government at the centre has failed to put an end to the killings and violence in Kashmir, increasing radicalisation of youth who are taking up arms rather the crisis has deepened after the kathua gangrape came to light and the manner in which lawyers of the bar council and BJP ministers shielded the accused.

Against the backdrop of the increasing violence in Kashmir,the Indian Army has concluded  it would prioritise bringing radicalised youth to the mainstream through a “collective approach” and convince militants to “shun violence and gun culture”. The issue of conducting de-radicalising exercises along with counter-terror operations in the Kashmir Valley was discussed during the ongoing biannual Army Commanders’ Conference  amid reports that Islamic State ideology was moulding new-age militants in the state.

Director General Staff Duties Lt Gen AK Sharma  said priority is to conduct counter -terror operations to minimise collateral damage  and de-radicalisation of youth who appear to be getting influenced by Islamic State ideology amid heightened violence in the Valley.

But after four years in power at the centre, Ministry of Defence under Modi government has decided to set up  a Defence planning committee  with National Security Advisor as its head.The DPC will prepare national security strategy, strategic defence review and doctrines; international defence engagement strategy; roadmap to build defence manufacturing eco-system; strategy to boost defence exports; and prioritised capability development plans for the armed forces.

Apart from internal situation in Jammu and Kashmir,there have been over 650 ceasefire violations in the state in 2018  that have claimed 31 lives, including 16 security personnel.

Moreover, the operations of the armed forces have also been  obstructed  by the locals in Kashmir.Modi was handed a peaceful Kashmir but his policy has created a mess in Kashmir .The similar policy is being implemented across India where minorities (Muslims,Christians ) are being attacked, Dalits are being lynched and ghastly incidents of rapes in Surat,Unnao and kathua (in which BJP ministers supported the accused) have taken place and the prime minister’s leadership is missing miserably .

But it appears BJP made it a point to change the demography of the state of Jammu and Kashmir by coercive action and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organization of BJP, has made strong inroads in the state  since the formation of BJP Government at the center.

“There has been an unprecedented growth in our Shakhas across the country in the last six years. As on date, there are more than 57,000 Shakhas,” said Dr Manmohan Vaidya, Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh (head of Media & Publicity) of RSS.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP used the surgical strikes by the Army to garner political dividends in Uttar  Pradesh elections  by putting up posters showing Pictures of army officers which violates army rules, traditions and military ethos.

Modi lacks the leadership quality that’s why he politicised military operations and did not realise the consequence  will be borne by the Army at the borders.

The Army has been defamed by the government as it has to work on the directives of the political ruling party at the centre, and the killings have only increased  and there has been a trust deficit  between the Army and the public.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti recently met Prime Minister and is learnt to have told that the situation is precarious with people getting killed regularly  and requested to find ways  to put a stop to this while also asking to urgently initiate the dialogue process to address alienation among the youths.

Modi has apprently no strategy to bring peace in Kashmir where armed forces are bearing the brunt of his unrealistic policies  and Kashmiris are adopting wahabism culture due to the harsh restrictions imposed by the government such as internet bans,blocking social media sites and section 144 and curfew.

Mehbooba Mufti  has requested repeatedly to the Centre to initiate the dialogue process with all stakeholders including Pakistan  but Dineshwar Sharma, the Centre’s special representative to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) for talks, was a very late approach of the Modi government.

It seams as if appointing Dineshwar is a lip service to the ongoing unrest in Kashmir as Centre’s interlocutor had expressed his concern about the trend of local boys joining the ranks of guerrilla outfits.

Mufti must understand that BJP has a tendency to defame its regional political allies in various states and this applies in Jammu and Kashmir too.The annual report released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday has revealed startling number of killings that took place in the year 2017, in the state.

According to the report, in 2017, there were 342 violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, in which 80 armed personnel, 40 civilians and 213 militants were killed. The report stated, “The year 2017 also witnessed a 6.21 per cent increase and 166.66 per cent increase in the number of terrorists incidents and fatalities of civilians respectively in comparison to the corresponding period of 2016.”

After the death of the Hizbul Mujahideen’s Burhan Wani , the protests were handled sternly  and the protesters turned to stone pelting .The most alarming situation was witnessed when students, particularly schoolgirls were throwing stones at security personnel convey a deeper problem inside the Valley.Due to the heavy handed approach by the government,the number of homegrown militants have swelled post July 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has transformed Kashmir to a volatile situation where Kashmiris which form an integral part of India , feel alienated  and Armed forces have to protect our borders from infiltration and due to politics  by the political parties even unarmed mob targets them. In the current scenario, security personnel and the Kashmiris are bearing the brunt.

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