Playing With Fire
It is now more than obvious that the administration has run out of ideas. It has been leading the state from one dark tunnel into another and yet another, without any signs of light anywhere. On Saturday the state administration resorted to ‘crackdown operations’, a much hated public memory of 1990s. The first to be brought under these operations was the Bemina Housing Colony. Reminiscent of nineties, truckloads of battle ready paramilitary troops armed to teeth and police, descended on the colony in the wee hours and ‘without making any announcement barged into the houses, made searches and ordered men and children to assemble in the compound of the local Masjid and rounded up dozens. The arrested included an octogenarian and a child. The people were baton charged and the most disturbing stories about these operations have been the treatment meted out to women. These operations were not only confined to Bemina Housing Colony but many other areas were brought under it during past two days. The operations of such nature with far reaching political consequences for the ruling alliance cannot be bureaucratic but must a political decision having the approval of the State Cabinet. But even if the decision for carrying out these operations has the approval of the State Cabinet it needs introspection.
This repressive method of cordon and search operations was introduced in the State after invoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Disturbed Areas Act in the State in 1990. At that time these operations had stained India’s image at the international level. Many important human rights organizations across the globe had criticized the largest democracy in the world for these; they had termed these as ‘Nazi’ operations. In 1990 militancy was at its peak in the State, more than thirty five thousand guerillas and over hundred militant organizations were engaged in pitched battles with army and paramilitary troops mostly in the urban areas. The State was confronted with an urban guerilla war. Notwithstanding a war like situation prevailing then in the State the ‘crackdowns’ had not only ruffled feathers but placed New Delhi in the dock. Many a think tank in the country were convinced that taking people hostage, breaking into the houses, dishonoring woman folk was not only contributing to the alienation but grooming a resentful and embittered generation. It is a hard reality, as candidly put by a New Delhi based human rights activist who visited the state in nineties in a recently published article; “Today, the movement is being led by the youth who grew up seeing their parents being thrashed mercilessly by soldiers. They trembled and hid under the bed when soldiers broke into their homes in the dead of the night and broke up everything and pulled them out of their beds. At a tender age they learnt about rape as the women committed suicide while mothers, aunts and sisters cried quietly to cover their shame. Most of them never played any games. They grew up hiding from the hawk eyes of the soldiers.” The cordon and search operations started by the State authorities from Saturday are posing many a question. If New Delhi could not justify the crackdowns on civilian population in nineties when militancy was at its peak how could the State government justify these operations against the peaceful agitators who largely are echoing the demands that have reverberated on the floor of the house during past few years. The State government is not justified in carrying out crackdowns on hundreds and thousands of people who are voicing their political demands such as repealing of the ‘draconian’ laws and ‘demilitarization’ of the State or protesting against the killings of school going children by men in uniform. The decision of carrying out crackdowns against the agitating youth is not only myopic but fraught with serious dangers and is as good as playing with fire. Such operations are bound to produce yet another angered generation.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Aug 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 23 Aug 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 24 Aug 2010 00:00:00 IST
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