Centre not to extend suspension of anti-terror ops in Kashmir after violence continues unabated

The home ministry announced on Sunday that it has decided not to extend the suspension of anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir, putting an end to uncertainty on whether it would extend the policy beyond Ramzan.

The announcement comes days after senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari was shot dead in Srinagar. Meanwhile, home minister Rajnath Singh said the government is committed to working for creating an environment free of terror and violence in Jammu and Kashmir. The central government had on 17 May decided that security forces will not conduct offensive operations in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan.

The document by Ministry of Home Affairs enlisting the rules.

The document by Ministry of Home Affairs enlisting the rules.

"The government commends the role of security forces for having implemented the decision in letter and spirit, in the face of grave provocation, to enable the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan in a peaceful manner," the home ministry's statement said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Two days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir to take a decision on extending the suspension of anti-terrorist operations. The meeting was attended by home minister Rajnath Singh, national security advisor Ajit Doval, and senior officials of intelligence and security agencies, officials said.

Many in the Valley expressed the view that the experiment failed to yield results. The chairman of the Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that the suspension in operations in itself was not a solution and would not "bring respite unless coupled with serious initiatives to address the Kashmir conflict."

On the other side of the political spectrum, Altaf Ahmad Thakur, a Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson, rued that the policy led to an uptick in militant activity. "Although there has been some respite from violence, and the number of youth getting pellet and bullet injuries has dropped, militant activities have gained momentum," he said.

The Kashmir Valley has witnessed the killings of over 55 militants and the deaths of 27 locals this year. Nearly 80 incidents of violence occurred there in the last four months. Militants had on Saturday fired at a security forces party at Lasjan on the outskirts of Srinagar, injuring a CRPF jawan.

The period of suspension of anti-terror operations was marked by a number of gruesome incidents of violence, the most recent being the killings of Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari and armyman Aurangzeb. Further, last week, two policemen were killed in a pre-drawn strike by suspected militants on a guard post of a court complex in Pulwama district. As this article noted, such killings of policemen have done 'what the security establishment could not do for years' — make militants increasingly unpopular.

As a Firstpost writer points out, in the same week that Bukhari was killed, two police personnel were also murdered and 10 CRPF jawans were injured in different terror attacks in Anantnag and Pulwama. Bukhari's murder and the rise in violence appear to be a desperate attempt to scuttle the peace process that was launched by the Centre to cool down the temperature and pave the way for a sense of calm in the Valley during the holy month of Ramzan, says the writer.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 17, 2018 21:00:12 IST

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