Facing the heat

The ground situation has changed and the security scenario has improved
NIA officials attach the property of Mushtaq Zargar in Downtown Srinagar [Image for representational purpose only]
NIA officials attach the property of Mushtaq Zargar in Downtown Srinagar [Image for representational purpose only] File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

The National Investigation Agency has taken yet another step towards ending terrorism in  Kashmir.

The premier investigating agency has attached the property of Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar alias ‘Latram’ at Nowahata in Srinagar’s old city.  

Zargar, along with two other terrorists was released in exchange of passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane in 1999.

Mushtaq Latram, who after deserting JKLF had formed his own outfit Al-Umar, was arrested in 1992 and he remained in jail for 7-years. Since 1999, Zargar, a ‘Designated Individual Terrorist’ under the UAPA has been operating from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and was responsible for planning and getting many terror attacks executed in J&K.

Prior to his arrest in 1992, Mushtaq Latram, was involved in offences like murder, extortion, dacoity, kidnapping, contract killing and sedition. The terror group headed by him was responsible for unleashing terror in Srinagar. It used to kill people in a very barbaric way by tying grenades to their bodies.

The NIA’s tough action against the terror-gangster syndicate models in Kashmir deserves appreciation. The investigating agency by taking stern action against the terrorists has played a pivotal role in wiping out terrorism from Kashmir.

Leaders of mainstream parties from Srinagar’s Downtown area didn’t muster courage to raise their voice against the atrocities that were committed by Latram and his group. They acted as mute spectators and allowed him to call the shots till he was arrested. 

Even after Latram being caught, none of the politicians from Srinagar’s old city dared to utter a word against him. They didn’t want to annoy him in any way. 

After the terror kingpin was released in exchange of the abducted passengers in 1999 and he shifted his base to PoK the so-called tall leaders, who used to win the elections from Downtown due to boycott politics, never spoke a word against the terrorists and the Pakistan sponsored terrorists.

In fact the so-called elected leaders carried forward the mindset of Latram to keep the fear alive in the hearts of people.

After the scrapping of Article 370, many things have changed in Kashmir. The ground situation has changed and the security scenario has improved. Fear of guns is vanishing and so is the threat which the Latram and the ones who followed in his footsteps created.

After August 5, 2019, a common man in Kashmir has been able to breathe freely without any threat and intimidation from any quarters. Terrorism in Kashmir is on its last legs and the leaders, who used fear as a weapon to carry forward the legacy of the terrorists like Mushtaq Latram, have become irrelevant.

During the past three years, the government has dismantled the terror ecosystem by nailing the terrorist supporters and the ones who used fear as a weapon to grind their own axes.

The NIA seizing the house of Mushtaq Latram is a message to all the terrorists operating from PoK that the government led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has embarked on the mission to erase all the symbols of terrorism in Kashmir.

Proxies of terrorists, who never opposed the actions of people like Latram, can no longer take the common man, especially from Srinagar’s old city for a ride. They have to answer why they kept quiet for 30-long years and allowed the terrorists like Latram to ruin Kashmir.

The abrogation of Article 370 has hit the so-called leaders of Srinagar’s old city hard. Their power to play games has been snatched.

Their statements and actions depict that they want terrorists like Latram to return so that they can once again blackmail New Delhi by claiming that they are the only ones who can control the situation in Kashmir.

They played this dirty game for three decades by telling the Centre that they are the only ones who can rule J&K and prevent it from falling into the lap of Pakistan. They tried to give the same notion to the regime led by PM Modi but failed to carry forward their tryst with power as present dispensation is the Centre outsmarted them. 

The past three years have proven that the leaders who used to claim that they represent the people actually used to represent the mindset of terrorists like Mushtaq Latram as they believed in the theory of “Might is Right.”

They used fear as a tool to rule but as of date they themselves are terrified as they apprehend that their properties also could be sealed for supporting the terrorism and promoting violence.

The writer is a acclaimed author & director of International centre for Peace Studies , New Delhi.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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