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Curbs on Kashmiri separatists likely to continue
10/23/2013 11:23:05 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Oct 23: If one tabulates the days and weeks separatist leaders have spent under house arrest in the Kashmir valley during the last one year one will find that they have spent most of the time within the four walls of their houses. Even during some religious festivals these separatists have not been allowed to offer prayers in mosques of their choice. What is interesting about it is that these separatists give a call for "march" to this or that destination and police are left with no other alternative but to foil such protest rallies to curb violence and casualties.
Invariably these separatists announce in advance their programme for offering prayers in particular mosque and in order to prevent their supporters from indulging in acts of violence these separatists are placed under house arrest. Additional companies of security forces are deployed outside their houses for preventing separatists from visiting places identified by them in advance. These steps are being taken on the basis of bitter experience the Government had to face when these separatists were allowed to move freely and permitted to offer prayers in different mosques. And the Director General of Police, Ashok Prasad, has justified restrictions imposed on the movement of these separatists by the Government.
Ashok Prasad has said that no authority in the country can prevent people from performing their religious duties but separatist leaders should not serve their 'political interests' under the garb of religion. He believes that these separatists were trying to play politics through religious sermons and have been found vitiating the atmosphere in the state by blending religion with politics. While defending Government action Prasad has said that to maintain the law and order situation in Kashmir, authorities have to keep the vigil over elements who try to 'instigate' violence. Is blending of politics with religion in India different from what is practised in Kashmir? Prasad alone can explain it.
"We are not sitting idle here, we only act when we receive reports that the situation could be destabilised," says Prasad who claims that the authorities have no problem if the separatist leaders perform their religious duties in peaceful manner. "The most unfortunate aspect is that they (separatists) always serve their political interests under the garb of religion." Commenting on the continuous house arrest of the Hurriyat (G) chairman Syeed Ali Shah Geelani, Prasad has said that it is an established fact that wherever Geelani goes, the situation turns violent. "We have the past records that reveal that the places turn violent where Geelani addresses the gatherings," the DGP alleged.
The Police and the administration have no problem if Geelani offers prayers anywhere but politics must not be mingled with religion. "Whether Geelani wants to offer prayers at Hyderpora or at Jamia Masjid Delhi, we have no problem with that but he should not instigate people for violence or stone pelting.
Well during the last two decades separatists in Kashmir have thrived on political and security uncertainty. They have been found establishing their presence, relevance and importance whenever the valley has witnessed violence. In fact these separatists foment trouble of various hues to increase aches for the Government. These separatists believe that as long as incidents of violence continue to disrupt peace the Kashmir issue will receive attention from the world fora. These separatists believe that sustained acts of violence alone could either motivate or force India to implement the UN resolution on Kashmir. And this is the main reason for Pakistan to support insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir since 1989-90.
And interestingly these separatists raise their voice whenever some excesses are being allegedly committed by the security forces but remain silent over human rights violations being committed by militants, most of them trained in camps in Pakistan and occupied Kashmir. Rough estimates reveal that more than 40,000 civilians have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir in militancy related incidents of violence during the last 23 years. Separatists have never raised a voice against those militants who have indulged in rape, murders, abductions and arson. And if Prasad's views are any guide restrictions on the movement of separatists may be a permanent phase unless those sitting on the other side of the fence do not change their outlook and mode of operations.
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