16 September 2016

Kashmir: The Soldier Betrayed

By Danvir Singh
14 Sep , 2016

As per the media reports, “in the next 48 hours, thousands more soldiers will be deployed in south Kashmir, with an emphasis on rural areas. The military is moving back into areas that it vacated in the last two years as they were considered militant-free”(TOI).

Ironically all those voices that said AFSPA was draconian and should be removed are keeping silent.

Probably they are waiting for that opportune moment to strike back and blame the soldier, curse him, redicule him and demonise him.

Finally put the complete burden of continued insurgency in the valley as a direct fallout of the soldier’s misdeeds.

Elide the truth by questioning his medals and citations; gross human rights violation as they killed the innocent civilians for professional gains. Well! Such a moment may take many many months.

The Left leaning Lutyenati is also quiet. While the Maharaja who could not be is giving interview to a Kashmiri daily, claiming to be holding a lasting solution, but waiting for a right moment.

Omar Abdullah is talking of pre 1950 autonomy status in an effort to revive his fortunes.

The Pandits are happy seeing Kashmiri Muslims suffer, as they had caused heavy suffering to them once upon a time.

Our Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) is touring Kashmir, vetting redeployment plans. After all the political bosses would have given him a deadline for restoring normalcy.

Unlike his Pakistani counterpart, our COAS will have to get that plan finally perused and approved by the politicians. And thus shall start a new phase.

Here I would like to recall an incident at Bijbihara Anantnag a few months back. The Paramilitary troops returning from a training event were ambushed there.

An Army QRT close by rushed to the spot and neutralised the militants involved. The police officers blamed the army of stealing the spot light by wrongly claiming the victory in this counter action.

The police also disagreed to the assessment of the military that this ambush took place due to non adherence of laid down Road Opening drill on their part.

The security forces battled for the spot light while the Pakistani elements were busy structuring an uprising. The strategy of which was planned at Rawalpindi Since the terrorists within the valley had dropped drastically, mass uprising was the best solution available.

Killing of Burhan Wani was just a pretext for these handlers here to resort to mass unrest, the symptoms of which were existing for long but ignored.

Probably they got buried under the turf war amongst the security forces for cheap recognitions and shallow fame.

The situation was systematically allowed to deteriorate by the civilian establishment to a point of dangerous levels.

Now no one seems to be debating and holding those in power responsible and accountable, for the current unrest.

How about the lost lives of Indian soldiers in the past over the years in getting the terrible situation since 1989 to normalcy at first place? Has any one ever bothered?

Don’t forget the Indian Army had to battle for almost 18 years day in and day out to do so. But, as a Bihar MLA had once said “soldiers are paid to sacrifice their lives for the nation so what’s the big deal” and this summarises it all.

Two years of civilian control and the mess is at its worse. Army is coming back. More soldiers will loose their lives. More medals, more victory songs and blah blah. As the things begin to normalise the cycle of cursing a soldier will restart all over again.

Once the army is redeployed what will actually happen?

The Army will take control of population centres, this time around only the rural areas.

They will delineate areas of responsibilities amongst their formations, battalions and the companies.

The company commanders will be the person who will finally make all that difference.

They will set up and prepare population registers. Account for each and every person of the village(s).

Relentlessly carry out day time Area Domination Patrols. Establish multiple night ambushes during the dusk to dawn curfew.

Develop a strong network of intelligence through human sources.

And most importantly make the village Sarpanch/Nambardar accountable for his village and the villagers.

The AFSPA will be exercised and any suspecting individual or a house or a vehicle will be checked without a warrant upfront. If it is evident that there exist a presence of terrorists, that will be neutralised forthwith.

Dare not the boys gather for stone pelting. Parents and the elders would be questioned effectively if that happens.

Soon these young stone pelters shall develop deep hatred for stones. At the very site of an innocent stone lying by the road side, they shall shiver, forget the pelting of it.

They will start going to school. Elders will get back to their work as normal. Civil police will reestablish their posts Thanas and Chowkis. Patwari and SDM will restart their administrative business. District Magistrate and Police SP will start moving into areas of their jurisdiction, something, that they could never dream of before. Politicians will restart their dirty politics.

All this may take several months to fructify. By than many soldiers may get martyred. Hundreds of them would go unsung carrying deep psychological trauma throughout their lives hereafter.

Many would feel betrayed after false allegations of human rights violations.

Many would end up fighting for their rights at Jantar Mantar. And the cycle shall carry on.

© Copyright 2016 Indian Defence Review

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