Is the Indian Army Losing Grip with Escalating Violence in Kashmir?

Is the Indian Army really losing control with rising Violence in Kashmir? Sepetarism and Violence in Kashmir have been major issues that the Indian Army has been encountering from at-least last three decades. Violence in Kashmir was at its worst in summer of 2016 when more than 100 civilians lost their lives, besides continued deaths of Indian Army and other defence personnel including the J&K Police.

Rising Violence in Kashmir Disrupting Civilian Lives

On Tuesday, March 23, 2018, rebels open fired on Indian troops near Halmatpora, a village close to the Line of Control (LOC), which began a gunfire that killed 5 security personnel (including two members of Jammu and Kashmir Police) and 5 terrorists. The operation ended on Wednesday.

Read Kashmir News at EurAsian Times: Why People Love to Hate India in Kashmir?

Earlier, Pakistani shelling on Sunday claimed lives of 5 family members and left 2 with critical injuries in the Poonch region of Jammu & Kashmir.  According to the Former Chief Minister and the regional National Conference party, Farooq Abdullah, the violence in Kashmir would result in India “losing Kashmir” and to prevent this, a dialogue between the government and the stakeholders like Pakistan, the separatists, the mainstream parties and the minority Kashmiri Hindus should be started.

More than 500,000 Indian Army Personnel Deployed To Check Violence in Kashmir.

With such a large security force present in Kashmir, India may not lose its control over the Kashmiri territory. But as put by a leading columnist, Shekhar Gupta, while Kashmir is “territorially secure, we are fast losing it emotionally and psychologically.” Record low turnout of 7% in the April 2017 Srinagar polls show that “while your grip on the land is firm, you are losing its people”.

Indian Army Concerned by New Faces Behind Violence in Kashmir

Young people who form a part of the local youth have felt alienated, helpless and humiliated through years of violence in Kashmir and have now taken matters into their own hands by leading anti-India protests.

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National Conference party leader, Junaid Azim Mattoo, was quoted in BBC as saying “It is wrong to say that the Kashmiri youth has become fearless. He just feels alienated, sidelined and humiliated. When he feels like that, fear takes a backseat, and he becomes reckless. This is irrational behaviour,”.

The new young militants come from educated and well to do families. Wani, the leader of a rebel group, who was killed in July 2016 and his brother Khalid, who was brought down in 2013, were both well-educated and came from well-to-do educated families.

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There is a difference of opinion between the Indian Army who is worried about the rapid religious radicalization of the Kashmiri youth and the Kashmiri population, who are afraid about political radicalization of the young population of the region.