Subtle Subtext

Shakir Mir

On Friday, during afternoon, news reports came in that two militants have been killed by the security forces during an encounter at famous tourist destination Tangmarg.

This is latest in a string of encounters that took place across Kashmir in recent times. The frequency with which these encounters are recurring suggests something very ominous. Even as security agencies claim that there are meagre 300 militants active across valley and that they have successfully curbed the infiltration – barring few one-off instances of uptick in the violence – the latest spate on incidents has a very unmistakable message.

Kashmir might well witness a horrific regression into the 90’s and this time militants have a strong justification for picking up the gun. This year there have been numerous killings in police action. The names like Shaheed Gowhar and Shaheed Nayeem have become bywords when the current mood of valley is discussed.

Even the majority of militants killed during the gun fight are locals. Very few turn out to be Pakistanis. There has been an immense support for them. This is only in wake of overwhelming human rights violations that have been committed with impunity.

For those who have always put faith in resolving the conflict through militaristic means, this should be an eye opener.

For all these decades, insurgency has been fought militarily only, yet the resentment against the Indian state has only grown stronger. From no-holds-barred monetary spending to shutting the expression through militaristic might, the state explored every means. The only recourse it didn’t make is the recourse of justice. Had timely justice been meted out to the victims, the crises might not have snowballed as much as this.

While returning from Baramulla, a young girl boarded the bus. She was crying inconsolably and her eyes were swollen red. “My brother has been martyred today,” she cried, referring to the slain militant who died fighting Indian forces at Tangmarg. The incident carried a subtle subtext: All is not hunky dory yet.


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