hit back

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Jun 2017 10:45:25

THAT a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), Mr. Mohammed Ayub Pandith, was lynched to death by a mob outside Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid outside which was engaged in ‘access control’ -- frisking -- duty, a very serious matter which cannot be ignored. Mr. Pandith was on official duty, and was tasked to check if there were people carrying weapons into the mosque where separatist Hurriyat leader Mr. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was to join prayer meet.

The mob got together and stripped the officer and stoned him to death. This incident cannot be done away with only by condemnation by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ms. Mehbooba Mufti or Mr. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq himself. For, it denotes an ugly situation in which the cops are being treated as easy targets by mob for quite some time. This new and undesirable culture can be countered only by putting up a counter-offensive by the Government forces plus by political workers of the ruling combine of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

This is not suggesting a civil-war-like situation in which people are fighting people. Much to the contrary, this is suggesting a people’s initiative to stop utter lawlessness by some sections of the Kashmiri population. This also means asserting the need to protect Government forces from angry mobs when they are doing their duty properly. And at any cost, this must be done, no matter the political ramifications.

The political leaders are capable of taking care of those side-effects, but it is the first and the foremost duty of the Government and the ruling parties to ensure complete safety of the rank and file of their forces. If this is not done in total honesty, then the subsequent ill-effects could be terrible. Hence the urgency.

For the past few months, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing ugly scenes of stone pelting by mobs of young people obviously influenced by pro-Pakistan forces. So ugly has the situation become that any attempt by the cops or the Army to hit back is condemned as a violation of human rights. The people who raise this bogey ignore the helplessness of the security forces. So blinded are these sections by political motivations that they have no considerations for the Government officials on duty. This is totally unacceptable.

Hence the suggestion of a counter-offensive, including action by rank and file of political parties in power. There certainly is a rather difficult angularity to this suggestion. Yet, considering the overall situation in Kashmir, this could be one of the potentially practical remedies and responses to the challenge on hand. Such a response may trigger a stiffer reaction from the separatist elements. Yet, its effect would be only temporary. For, ultimately, the Government has the moral and constitutional authority and legal sanction to take such steps.