Atrocity is defined as an act of being exceptionally cruel and inhumane; the word is normally applied under circumstances where excessive force is used against civilians and innocent people. Atrocity is normally committed by invading armies against a defeated enemy, now we have a situation where some armed terrorists groups, in the garb of fighting against the state authorities, inflict the most terrible atrocities against their own people.
There is no place in the world as much affected by terrorist atrocity as the state of Jammu and Kashmir. For many years, the unfortunate land has stayed under the shadow of the gun with armed, foreign sponsored and ruthless terrorists ruling the roost. There was no form of barbarism that the terrorists did not resort to in their mindless ambition to gain control of the lives and the very souls of the local populace. Cold blooded killing, cutting of limbs, torture, rape, abduction, open loot, devastation of property and other forms of sadistic and brutal violence was inflicted on the hapless people.
It was sustained efforts and great sacrifice by the people and the security forces that brought this terrible catastrophe under control. The desire of the populace to live a peaceful life under democratic values has resulted in the institution of a stable democratic government in Jammu and Kashmir. The government puts in a fair degree of effort towards providing development and stability to the people who defied great odds and fear of terrorist reprisal to come out and vote it into power. The law and order situation is well under control and terrorists have been finding it increasingly difficult to fructify their unholy agendas.
Unfortunately, there are some powerful lobbies in Kashmir that have a vested interest in keeping the pot boiling. The perfectly legitimate executions of Ajmal Kasab and Afsal Guru, carried out in accordance with the due process of the law of the country are being exploited by these lobbies to create divisiveness and disruption in the Kashmir valley. To a keen observer it is evident that this political movement is restricted to only a few districts in the valley that have high visibility and good media presence; it does not find support in the rural areas, especially the higher reaches where people do not relate to the terror politics that give birth to the likes of Ajmal Kasab and Afsal Guru
The attendant turmoil, however, is being seen by masters of the terror movement across the line of control as an opportunity to carry out a revival of terror in the state. Recent events and actions by terrorist groups give a clear indication of this very well laid out plan. Terror groups have, in the last few weeks, increased their presence in the population centres and have put in calls for extortion and support by activating the recruitment machinery with calls for joining the Jihad against perceived injustice to the Muslim community. The pressure on the population is being supplemented by terror attacks that give an impression that terrorists are gaining a foot hold once again. The last few weeks have witnessed attacks on security forces, something that has not happened for many years now; five CRPF Jawans were killed in an attack recently and two Indian reserve Police personnel were shot earlier. Terrorists have, once again, identified persons who are close to the security forces or government establishments and are attacking them. A youth was recently shot at point blank range simply because he was organizing a cricket match sponsored by the army. In yet another instance a reformed militant was also killed in North Kashmir. The democratic political establishment is being put under attack; workers of mainstream parties especially the ruling National Conference are being attacked, Panches and Sarpanches have been threatened and killed with a view to derail the grass roots democratic process.
Such incidents, when viewed in totality, point towards a well laid out plan to resurrect terrorism. Security personnel, political workers, elected representatives of the people, supporters of the peace process, reformed militants all are being identified and attacked in order to send an ominous message across the region. The intention of the terror groups operating in the valley and their masters across is loud and clear.
The aspirations of the forces of evil need to be countered by all the force that can be mustered for which the first and foremost requirement is to display a strong intention of keeping the terror mongers at bay. This is possible only if public turmoil is kept in control and the constituency of peace, progress and prosperity is kept at centre stage. There should be no indication of schisms between the government and security forces, any differences that are there in the conduct of law and order duties and counter terrorist operation should be resolved behind closed doors rather than coming out in the open. Instances like the CRPF Jawans coming on television to say that they felt unwanted by the state government, though an expression of their genuine frustration, should not be allowed to come by since they are used by the terror masters in their psychological operations as a part of the terror revival plan.
Under no circumstances can terrorism be allowed to raise its ugly head in Jammu and Kashmir once again. What is being seen now is the last desperate attempt by the terrorists to stage a comeback; a strong response that negates this design may well serve as the last nail in the coffin of this evil activity. A solid display of strength will put paid to terror designs once and for all. The responsibility this time round is more of the government and its security forces rather than the people who have already given their full support to peace, freedom and democracy. It is fervently hoped that the government wiAll not fail in this responsibility.