Month after abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Army and terrorists wage 'poster war'

  • More than a month since the abrogation of Article 370 and the Centre imposing a communication blackout in Jammu and Kashmir, there have been reports of posters by terror organisation and the Indian army cropping all around the region

  • While terror outfits distribute pamphlets slamming the government's decision of revoking special status given to the region, the army is seen distributing pro-Article 370 posters in the Valley

  • Such clashing narratives are seen as an attempt to influence the people of the region to a particular narrative

A month after the abrogation of Article 370 and the Centre imposing restrictions on communications in Jammu and Kashmir, a poster war has broken out between the Indian Army and terror outfits.

While terrorist groups are distributing pamphlets slamming the government for revoking special status, the Indian Army is countering with flyers listing the benefits of such a decision.

 Month after abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian Army and terrorists wage poster war

A paramilitary soldier stands guard as Kashmiri Muslims offer Friday prayers in Srinagar. AP

Terror outfits threaten

According to India Today, terror outfit Al Badr has been putting up posters across Srinagar warning of "major consequences" for those keeping their shops or businesses open beyond 8.30 pm. Al Badr has also targetted the police and demanded that the public boycott families of police.

Posters belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba have also been recovered, say reports. A Hizbul Mujahideen poster recovered from Kulgam district warned locals against plying vehicles.

"We have registration numbers of certain private vehicles that are still plying on the roads and we issue a final warning to their owners. No schools should be opened. No woman should be seen on the road. Keep your womenfolk inside your houses," a poster said.

On Sunday, Hizbul Mujahideen warned apple growers against sending their produce to Indian markets on posters and pamphlets signed by the Hizbul commander Naveed Babu.

According to Reuters, posters across Srinagar have instructed shopkeepers to only open late in the evenings and early in the mornings to enable residents to buy essentials, while in Soura posters calling for 'civil disobedience' have been put up.

According to a report in Pakistan Today, posters and handbills with Pakistani military’s chief spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor’s photo appeared on all major roads and streets of Kashmir. These posters called for 'fight till the last soldiers and the last bullet' for the people of Jammu and Kashmir and carried Hurriyat's prayers for Ghafoor's long life.

Indian Army counters

The Indian Army, meanwhile, is putting up posters in parts of South Kashmir, explaining to the locals the benefits of abrogation of Article 370. These pamphlets speak of new factories and job creation. They also emphasise that women marrying men from outside will retain rights to their properties.

“Some days after the special status was removed, the Indian Army came and handed these photocopies to us and they also stuck posters to the walls, trying to explain to us why this will be good for us,” Zahoor Ahmad, a shopkeeper at the Arihal crossing, told The Indian Express

A senior police officer told The Hindu that the security forces are not taking the terrorists' posters lightly “as they have the potential to mobilise street protests in the current situation”.

There also have been reports of posters being put up in parts of South Kashmir’s Pulwama listing the benefits of the government's decision. “The suspension has led to the introduction of the Right to Education, mid-day meals in schools, new central health schemes, central schemes for farmers. Jammu and Kashmir will see equal development of Pondicherry. The land prices will go up,” reads one such poster.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 09, 2019 16:23:01 IST