This is Kashmir, Where Protests, Strikes and Funeral Are ‘Normal’

A senior police officer was killed and an army officer injured in an encounter between militants and Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district. Three terrorists were killed in the joint operation by the army, the CRPF and the police.

Senior Cop Killed, Soldier Injured In Jammu And Kashmir Encounter

The security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation (CASO) in the Turigam area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam following information about the presence of terrorists in the area, a police official said.

He added that the terrorists opened fire on the security forces, who retaliated, triggering the encounter. Deputy Superintendent of Police Aman Kumar, who was killed in the encounter, was leading the police team from the front in the encounter with the terrorists. The 2011-batch officer from the Jammu and Kashmir Police Services was posted in Kulgam for the last two years.

The centre sent around 10,000 soldiers of various paramilitary forces to Jammu and Kashmir over the weekend amid a major crackdown on separatists in the state. There has been a considerable build-up of security forces across Jammu and Kashmir after the terror attack in Pulwama.

Since then, the situation has been tense across the state, especially the Kashmir Valley. Earlier this week, three Jaish terrorists – one believed to be a conspirator in last week’s terror attack and another, a local Kashmiri bomb specialist – were killed in a military operation in Pulwama. Four soldiers and a police constable were also killed in the encounter.

Another Day in the Valley

It’s another day of chaos in Kashmir. And its a strike too, to protest against the 1991 Kunan & Poshpora alleged mass rape of women and young girls of the two villages. Since the recent Pulwama terror attack, the conflict-riddled state of Kashmir has plunged into uncertainty. There is a disarray of sorts and the authorities have not been helpful at all. And in any situation like this, rumours and fake news spread like wildfire.

There have been long queues of vehicles at the petrol pump to fuel up. Supermarkets and local grocery shops are buzzing with families trying to stock up. The vegetable vendors and local shops are run out of supplies because of the harsh winter as trucks full of supplies had been stuck on the highway for weeks. The natural mayhem had people indoors for weeks at a stretch, only strolling out to get the much-needed supplies. This is Kashmir. Protests and strikes are ‘normal’ here.

Thursday and Friday’s crackdown on separatists and Jamaat-e-Islami has added on to the confusion, and this has been topped with the deployment of 100 additional regiments into the Valley. And the icing on the cake is that the Indian Supreme Court is yet to give its verdict on a petition challenging a special provision, ‘the Article 35A and Article 370’, that has been in the court for more than a year.

Kashmir is a political problem that goes beyond the 1947 independence. And it can only be resolved through political dialogue. Over the years, the state and central governments, respectively, have let down the people of Kashmir. And the result is, well, its before our eyes.