Renewed militancy in Kashmir – UPSC GS3

  • Deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir
  • Militants responsible for the bulk of the current wave of violence do not appear to have a direct link to pro-Pakistan militant outfits such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad
  • After the dangerous 1990s, militancy has once again regained social acceptance
What is happening?
  • The authorities are losing the propaganda war
  • Social media is playing a big role in ruining the scenario. People put their own biased account of events. Several thousand accounts are being operated from other side of the border.
  • Social media is altering ground realities
  • This is what is providing oxygen to the ‘unattached militant’, and more significantly, leading to a ‘rainbow coalition’ between the ‘unattached militant’ and the ‘Deep State’ in Pakistan
What can be done?
  • Policymakers must ponder deeply as to why ordinary citizens are prepared to gravitate to areas where actual encounters are taking place risking death and injury even though they are not involved in the protests
  • Resorting to pyrotechnics such as the novel idea of tying a protester to the bonnet of a security vehicle and driving it through a crowd of agitators are best avoided
  • There is a need to go back to the drawing board and effect changes in Kashmir’s Constitution that were introduced post the 1960s
    This would help establish a measure of credibility to India’s claims that it is not seeking to undermine the autonomy that Kashmir prizes so much
  • Make an open and impassioned appeal for peace in the Valley accompanied by meetings and consultations at several levels
  • Some of the ideas set out in the ‘backchannel’ proposals (2005-2008) should be revived
  • Jobs for Kashmiri youth must be a priority and a massive job-oriented programme launched
What has been done?
  • Indian Army has planned to re-introduce cordon and search operations (CASO) as a part of its counter terrorism operations after a gap of 15 years.
  • CASO was a regular feature of Army’s counter-terrorism operations in the 1990s. The security forces made use of “area domination and sweep” operations in the 1990s. During those times, such operations were commonly conducted by the Indian Army. Later, following the complaints of discomfort caused to the local population, the Army switched to specific intelligence-based operations involving small teams and CASO was discontinued.

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