A policeman is drowned in Kashmir in the line of duty, as his car is pushed into the Jhelum by anti-India agitators. Other accounts attribute the drowning to his losing control over the vehicle and falling into the river. At any rate, the chap lost his life. There are also reports of other cops dying or missing. The jihadist agitation is peaking, but what worries Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is whether or not excessive force was used by security forces!
After Mehbooba Mufti chaired a Cabinet meeting on Sunday to review the security situation the state’s Education Minister and official spokesperson Naeem Akhtar held a press conference. According to agencies, he appealed people not to agitate and sought the support of the mainstream and separatist political parties to restore the peace in Kashmir.
One wonders if this was a pro-forma statement or some thought went into it. For it is a well-known fact that the separatists are hardcore jihadists who hate India and love Pakistan. Usually, they are the mischief makers in the state. Seeking their support to bring peace in the state is like appealing to the arsonist to extinguish fire.
Even more bizarre is the pledge that the killing of civilians would be investigated to find if excess force was used against them. “Wherever the disproportionate use of force has been used we will go to the bottom of it,” Akhtar said.
The usual charade is on. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh called up Congress president Sonia Gandhi and National Conference leader and former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah to discuss the ground situation in the state and the government’s response with them.
In a statement Sonia Gandhi said, “There can be no compromise on matters relating to National Security… Terrorism must be dealt with firmly.”
Omar Abdullah tweeted that the home minister had spoken to him and said his party “will play whatever role is required to help normalize the situation.”
There are various figures of casualties. About two dozen people have been killed in the recent spate of violence in Kashmir.