New Delhi, April 8: Kashmir is witnessing a very dangerous precedent and the question to be asked is if the 1990s are returning. Yesterday following the encounter at Shopian in which two terrorists one of them a former cop were killed, two persons on a bike arrived at the funeral spot and gave a gun salute, before leaving the place.
It may be recalled that in January a similar incident had taken place. When a terrorist was killed in Pulwama not only did thousands attend his funeral, but his colleagues were seen giving a gun salute too.
Security forces in Kashmir are having a torrid time in dealing with the problem. In several encounters that the security forces have been involved in, they have not only had to face the bullets of the militants, but also stones from protestors. There is a great deal of support that has been building up especially for the Hizbul Mujahideen.
Also read: Gunfight on in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama
Yesterday's encounter at Shopian in which two terrorists were killed was another such instance of defiance and determination. The crowds had gathered in large number to attend the funeral of the militants and the police just stood there and watched helpless.
The administration in the state has a lot to do regarding this issue. Such acts are an act of defiance and the intention is to agitate the security forces so that they open fire. In the 1990s there were some instances of firing in which civilians had lost their lives. If civilians die in police firing then it becomes a point for these terrorist organisations to drive against the Indian administration.
Recruitment has increased:
Over the past year, the recruitment into the Hizbul Mujahideen has increased. Intelligence Bureau officials say that at least 90 youth have been recruited into the Hizbul Mujahideen. What is worrisome is that out of the 90 there are a few who have left the police force to join the outfit.
In the 1990s similar instances had been witnessed. At that time militants had raked up in a big way the hanging of Maqbool Bhat and this time around it is Afzal Guru. These hangings have been made into emotive points to tell the youth that India is indulging in judicial murders. From Kashmir to the JNU in Delhi, there are attempts made to portray these persons as martyrs.