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Jammu Kashmir

Posted at: May 28, 2017, 12:44 AM; last updated: May 28, 2017, 12:44 AM (IST)NEWS ANALYSIS

Kashmir is in perpetual trouble

Arun Joshi

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, May 27

Kashmir is always waiting to erupt and it just needs a spark. The killing of Sabzar Bhat, believed to be the successor to Burhan Wani whose death last year had sent tremors across the Valley, played out some flashback scenes of 2016 on Saturday, though at a miniature level to show that the place and the people are not at rest.

The efforts of the government to keep the situation calm did not withstand the test that came after the killing of Sabzar Bhat and one more militant Faizan in Tral on Saturday. Spontaneous protests and the usual use of force, showed that nothing had changed. The contingency plans were executed after the killing of militants. The anticipation part was missing as was in the case of Burhan Wani in July last year even after the Valley suffered an incalculable damage in the unrest that set new precedents in protests.

Today, Kashmir may not be standing at the threshold of the disaster of last year because of the fatigue factor, yet the fact cannot be ignored that Kashmir did wail the death and prepared obligingly to observe the shutdown call by the separatists. Kashmir is not afraid of the separatists as they have reconciled to the fatalities of the situation, but they do not want to give an impression to the world that they would let the militants die unmourned.

“Sabzar was not a match to Burhan, who had gained popularity through social media, but his being the aide of the high-profile militant who was described by Pakistan as a martyr and his name broadcast at the United Nations General Assembly last year, was enough of a reason for hundreds of militants to throng his village,” said Gulam Rasool Bhat, hailing from Tral. “It should serve as an eye-opener to the Government of India to know where sympathies of the people lay.”

Two factors weigh with the people after such incidents: one, they feel that it is their duty to demonstrate their sympathies for militants because the “movement for azadi” is work in progress, and, secondly, they want to stay away from the trouble as much as possible. No driver is willing to risk his vehicle to be smashed by stones, and the showroom owners are more than cautious. They shutter their establishments at the first signs of trouble.

It brings out the fact that they are not convinced that security personnel can save them from any trouble. That is where the faith in the system is getting eroded, and the government is shaking uncontrollably. That is where the problem lies. Security forces cannot be buffer in such situation when the politicians abdicate their responsibility and cocoon themselves in seclusion.

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