The on-going strife in the valley has entered the fourth week paralyzing the normal life and bringing the government and the private business to a grinding halt.
More than fifty lives have already been lost and hundreds of young people have fallen to grievous injuries caused by indiscriminate use of pallet guns by the police and the security forces while dealing with rioters. A good number of those injured are children, both boys and girls, in their early teens who have been rendered blind for the rest of their lives. In some cases the unfortunate victims are much younger children..The brutality of the government forces has crossed all limits.
The brutality with which the police and the security forces have responded to stone pelting following the 'Hizb Commander' Burhan Mir's killing , shows a different and a negative mind- game at play. This mind game is not the same as we see in case of dealing with the riots of even the worst order that take place elsewhere in the country. Jat riots in Haryana this year would be an appropriate point in reference to show how police and security everywhere values human rights excepting in Kashmir.
The police action has but only complicated the situation than helping it to resolve crisis. Large scale deaths and injuries have left a deep hurt feeling on the minds of masses who seem more determined and united in their fight for their political rights than ever before. Even the Security apparatus and the Government authorities have accepted this unprecedented feature of the ongoing strife. Brutality thus seems to be producing counter-productive results. Entire life stands paralyzed for the past three weeks with no end in sight. The scenario has completely made a U-tun from what it was just before 8 July when the tourist season was at its best and the economic activity was so to say peaking. All that seems to be gone now.
The Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, is not in control of the situation which is why the situation is drifting away from control. The security forces too seem to be answerless to a situation where they face unarmed civilians determined to fight injustice than succumbing to their indiscriminate use of force.
Clearly, the situation is alarming and calls for political initiatives to resolve the impasse. Even the separatist leadership seems hardly of any consequence in the present situation though their need and essence in initiating a political dialogue can not be denied.
The present government seems to have miserably failed on all fronts and not much is expected of it to mollify the public mood that is as of now one of intense anger and hatred. Thus, there is a dire need to put the State under Governor's rule so that the ongoing crisis are halted from progressing further and semblance of order returns to the valley.
Mehbooba has many hiccups in coming to grips with the situation. She has no firm control on security forces and some other authority seems to be calling shots. This is evident from the fact that the Government could not do even the minimum of prohibiting the security forces from using pallet guns against the mob. The number of pallet gun victims continues to surge. Even specialists who were called from outside the State to treat victims whose eyes have been damaged, have admitted to the uniqueness of this situation.
The other hiccup that Mehbooba faces is her alliance with the BJP. Half of the Government is theirs and the two are treading different polices and mind sets on Kashmir. This renders cohesiveness in the approach of the government difficult. There is an appreciation of this serious limitation with the general public and even within PDP . Unable to justify this unholy alliance, Mehbooba harps on some dream that her late father had about it. She , however, is uncertain about it yet she swears by it.
So confused seems to be the Chief Minister that she gives out surprising statements day in and day out. One of it was her denial of being aware about Burhan's killing and the second that even the security forces were not aware that they had killed him. It only shows that either she is lying or that she is not in control of situation as the State's Home Minister. Neither she, nor her ministers and party-men are active on ground to contain the situation from deteriorating further. There has been no serious effort to do that as a matter of fact.
In these circumstances it appears that to bring any noticeable improvement in the situation and to see that working of the government is restored in some way is not her cup of tea. Her government is too inept to rise to occasion to resolve the crisis. There is thus urgent need for some other set up to be in place to wriggle out of this messy situation. The best under the circumstances would be to put the State under Governor's rule so that some order returns to the valley and a genuine political process is given a start in which all stakeholders, including the separatist leadership, is involved. Sooner the better.