The widespread outrage in the Kashmir valley over the attack by stone-pelters on a school bus carrying class-II students in Shopian and the head injury to a two-year-old boy has shocked the conscience of Kashmiris and provoked even political parties that had goaded Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to announce an amnesty for the pelters to rethink.
It is revealing to see even former chief minister Omar Abdullah of the National Conference acknowledge that the goons are misusing the amnesty and to suggest by implication that the police come down hard on these protesters.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of the separatist Hurriyat Conference also described the incident as “quite disturbing” and warned that “such hooliganism” would “tarnish our movement.”
Weather-cocks as these politicians are, their about-turn is the result of the public’s revulsion towards such acts of senseless violence by misguided elements.
It goes without saying that these turncoats would go back to their old ways of supporting the enemy across the border and the terror outfits acting at their behest when public anger subsides.
It is indeed crucial that the Central government take these rare sane expressions seriously before they change their tune. The stone-pelters must be tracked down and brought to book. Indeed, they must be unmasked and shamed for such a cowardly and condemnable act. Their instigators and financiers suspected to be from Pakistan must be exposed for what they are, barbaric and unperturbed about who these boys were aiming their stones at.
For too long have we allowed the enemy country to misguide people at large in Kashmir and for their men to move about sowing seeds of discord. It is shocking how, among other things, pro-Pakistan elements are allowed to raise slogans of ‘Pakistan zindabad’ and ‘down with India’, especially after Friday prayers, outside mosques. Such sloganeers must be put behind bars without delay.
There has to be a threshold limit of tolerance and that has long been crossed. When the public gets the impression that the government is incapable of controlling the perpetrators of violence, fear of the militants forces them to act at their behest.
Why can’t the authorities start by ensuring that adequate protection is given to people to frustrate the designs of those who call bandhs and other disruptions to work?
The disruptionists must be made to realise that their show of strength would be met with strong counter-measures and that they would be made to pay a price, howsoever high their connections.
Nothing has been heard for months now on the status of cases filed against some Hurriyat leaders for financing terror operations.
It is time the Mehbooba Mufti government is told in no uncertain terms that it must maintain law and order or it would be dismissed and replaced by President’s rule.
At the same time, the law-abiding citizen must be rewarded for his good deeds. After all the appeasement of stone-pelters and other anti-national elements, Chief Minister Mufti has said that the child-attackers who unleashed violence on them in Shopian would be tracked down and punished. She must be held to her word.
It is heartening that the Kashmir police has, by and large, displayed commitment to duty in recent days. They need to be rewarded for their
commitment and encouraged to respect and uphold law.
The Modi government has shown that if the Pakistan army violates the ceasefire it would be given a bloody nose. Why have we stopped at one
round of ‘surgical strikes?’ More such forays to destroy enemy camps across the border are necessary. Also, terror perpetrators from across
the border must be tracked down through ‘hot pursuit.’
Indeed, a multi-pronged attack on terror proxies as well as army regulars with relentless force is the need of the hour.