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Posted at: Oct 12, 2018, 12:06 AM; last updated: Oct 12, 2018, 12:06 AM (IST)

Kashmir militancy spillover

A scholar and engineering students take to arms
Kashmir militancy spillover

Jalandhar woke up on Wednesday to find that three students from Kashmir in their midst had been arrested for suspected terror links. Significantly, an arrested student was a cousin of a terror module chief. In Kashmir, a PhD scholar went down in an encounter with the security forces. The spillover of Kashmir’s militancy from the containerised cauldron of disaffected, barely-literate students to include the decently-educated and urbane youth may be slowly taking place. J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik’s homilies, pointing out the hopelessness and futility of pursuing an armed struggle are water off a duck’s back. 

In terms of the body count, the Army’s ‘Operation All Out’ is a statistical success. Over 200 militants have been killed after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in mid-2016 set off a wave of violence. But the flip side of the story is that a greater number of fresh recruits have joined the ranks, often motivated by the emotional funerals of the killed militants. The gap in the perception between New Delhi and Srinagar could not be starker. What is being touted as hammer blows to militancy by the security forces is also a call for recruitment into militancy. The entire process has become a never-ending cycle on violence. The neighbour, friend or relative of the youngster gunned down is influenced by the incident as well as by the heavy hand of the security forces in day-to-day life to take to arms.

Despite committing the blunder of an ill-suited political marriage with the BJP, former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti may be right in pointing out that things have gone terribly awry when a PhD scholar takes to arms. The Jalandhar incident may acquire a lower billing when compared with the news value of a PhD scholar getting killed in an encounter. But the arrests could be a grave pointer to the fact that the relentless chalking up of kills without addressing the core issues may be exposing the Indian heartland to a spillover of the violence in the Valley.

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