spruce up

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Jul 2017 14:17:56

EVEN as the nation sees an outcry of anguished people for revenge against the terrorists who attacked a band of Amarnath pilgrims,and even as Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi issues necessary instructions to officials to spruce up security so that the remainder of the pilgrimage goes on unhindered, some serious questions need to be answered on an urgent basis. These questions relate not just to the breach of rules caused by the unfortunate pilgrims who met with disaster, and also to the slackness on the part of the authorities at various points on the long and arduous route of the pilgrimage. It is absolutely necessary to address all those issues so that no further attacks take place. However, this can be done only by an absolutely non-partisan approach so that those responsible for lapses are identified and duly dealt with. 

One of the most critical issues is about who is permitted to travel to Amarnath and who is not allowed to do so. For, as has now been known to all, the ill-fated vehicle did not have proper permission to travel. The natural question is about the reasons of this particular condition.Similarly, a few vehicles got separated from the main column of pilgrims’ vehicles, and got caught in the terror strike. This may be treated just a slight deviation, but in the peculiar conditions on the Amarnath route, this could be a dangerous lapse.

That was what actually turned out to be. These and other related issues need to be sorted out as immediately as possible so that future threats are avoided.
Amarnath pilgrimage is not an ordinary event. From the Hindu point of view, its importance is immense and that calls for an extraordinary care and caution to be exercised by the authorities. Though terror attacks on Amarnath pilgrimage had stopped, there was no reason to believe that there could be no more attacks. Of course, it must be admitted that the authorities never took things lightly, and often stayed alert. Yet, on that fateful evening, some lapses did take place, leading to the unfortunate event. Hence the need to be very alert all along.

The popular outcry after the terror strike is natural, and it is only expected that the people would ask for action -- against Pakistan, of course, as people believe that it is Pakistan that is supporting cross-border terrorism for decades. In this attack also, the Pakistani component could not be ruled out. Reports have us believe that it is Lashkar-e-Toiba that has claimed the responsibility of the said attack. Such claims cannot and need not be verified at all. For, the common popular belief has so far never been negated. This means, if the authorities are aware of who conducted the strike, then it is incumbent upon them to hit back with full force.

‘The Hitavada’ has often campaigned for a limited-purpose military action to wipe out terror groups operating out of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK). We have known from contemporary history that Israel has dealt with terror in such a proactive manner. Its security and spying agencies hunted down all terror groups from places of hiding in neighbouring countries and ensured their annihilation in a ruthless manner. Similar action by the Indian forces in elimination of terror groups would often be seen by the world as welcome. If the leadership allows such an action, it will be appreciated by one and all. This is the only way of hitting back.

Let us assert, this is not war-mongering. At best, this is a suggestion in national interest and for national security. Even though we are aware of the possible implications of such action, we still insist upon going for it because we believe that there is no other way to tackle the challenge of terrorism being thrust upon us from PoK beyond the border. And since PoK is ‘India’, we can certainly act without any moral hindrance.