On the brink of crisis

Let us not blindfold ourselves to the harsh realities. The state is on the brink of as dangerous and disastrous a situation as it was at the begening of 1990.  Neither blame game nor burying one's head in the sand is an answer to the impending crisis that for lackadaisical attitude of the government is gathering momentum. It is of no consequence at this juncture if the mistakes of the previous administration have had a role in bringing the state to such an impasse, but the question that should engage our attention is what the present dispensation in the state is doing to prevent the situation from going from bad to worst. The massive security grid and huge deployments of troops in the civilian areas cannot help in bringing semblance of governance in the state – these have not worked in the past and are not going to work in future. Instead, this strategy has always proved counterproductive and added to disaffection amongst the people against the administration. It is high time for the Chief Minister, who is head of the Unified Command, the apex decision-making body on security affairs in the state, to revisit the policy of heavy deployment troops in civilian localities, and their role thereof. Stories about men in uniforms going berserk and indulging in wanton destruction of civilian properties have become a routine reports in the press but without evoking a response from the coalition government. On Sunday, in Bijbehara town in South Kashmir troops thrashed civilians inside their houses leaving thirty persons injured. Many of them with fractured bones were admitted to the hospital.  Earlier on Saturday, the government forces in various localities of the same township had barged into many houses and seriously injured ten persons. Earlier on reports of nocturnal raids, rampage and vandalization of homes, shops, and private vehicles by soldiers had poured in from Vehil and Turakuwangam villages in Shopian district. There are indications that such incidents, particularly in rural areas, are increasing.  There is a need for stopping recurrence of such incidents and reigning in the forces.

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