JKNT Commentary

The Ramzan ceasefire was a good peace initiative  to provide relief to the suffering masses of Kashmir .The whole purpose of the ceasefire, was to <’ Help Muslims to observe  Ramzan in a peaceful environment.”

Now , when its end has been declared , and the security forces tasked with  restoring peace through their “operations  against terrorists”, the responsibility of the men in uniform has increased multiple times . they have to take care that the situation  has to be dealt with a better methodology in which there  is no collateral damage .  The forces  may still have to  show extraordinary restraint in the wake of the provocations , and there would be many ,  for the overall interest of peace .

The suspension of operations was  meant for the common people who were becoming victims of the clashes  near the  encounter sites, and any operations during the month of fasting and prayers would have  complicated the  situation. This is the most pious month in the Islamic calendar  and India being a multi-religious society  lived by its commitment to the religious freedom for all .

An objective study of the intention of the halting of operations , as announced by Home Minister Rajnath Singh , on  May 16, was that  when the security forces would not initiate the  anti-militancy operations , the militants too should  keep their guns silenced . the larger intention was to set up a violence-free atmosphere . That  could be interpreted as an attempt to reach peace or retrieve peace from the forces of violence .

Now when the security forces have been asked to resume their operations  as  it was seen during the month as Rajnath Singh noted: “  While the security forces  have displayed exemplary restraint  during this period , the terrorists have continued  with their attacks , on civilians  and security forces, resulting in deaths and injuries.”

In the light of the fact that the militancy-related violence was showing no signs of ebbing , and  there were some unpleasant situations   in the capital city of Srinagar  where a youth  who was part of the stone throwing  crowd was  mowed down by  a CRPF vehicle ,  journalist Shujaat Bukhari was  killed in a broad-day light on June 14 , it was becoming difficult to sustain the peace initiative . The idea was o stop the killings , and it was not to give a free hand to the other side to kill  and maim the people .

The forces of violence had to be tamed .

It became all the more necessary when Hajin in north Kashmir became a nerve-center of the militants’ campaign to abduct and kill the civilians- throat of one of them was slit  in front of his wife and other family members . In addition , there  were frequent attacks on policemen and CRPF personnel. . Two policemen were killed “Shab-e-Qadr”  – the  sacred occasion when the Muslims  offer night –long prayers  for betterment of the humanity . Islam preaches peace as  the foundations of this religion are rooted in the message of world peace .  On  June 14 , the militants abducted, tortured and  shot dead a soldier who was on his way home to join the family for Eid festivities .

An atmosphere of  fear and violence had started building up .The government of India had to take the call.

There were two choices . One was to watch the deteriorating situation helplessly. What was worse that the situation was showcasing the humiliation that the security forces were suffering  at the hands of the militants – the case in point is a video of the Rifleman  Aurangzeb in captivity – and the insults that were heaped on the security forces.

Second , was to resume the operations . That is what the GoI opted , because when the cessation of  hostilities  from one side was making violence to  swamp the  landscape and the atmosphere , the option  ensure peace through other means had to be undertaken .

To say that the end of the ceasefire has made peace a casualty is blatantly wrong. The violence needs to be checked , it cannot be allowed to  roll over forever . It is the duty of the State to protect the innocent people . There may be occasions when some unfortunate situations may  hamper the progress on peace , but that should not  mean that anti-violence campaign should be halted. But, care should be taken by  the security forces not to repeat the old mistakes . This time , post-ceasefire, their responsibility has increased manifold.