Srinagar, April 20: Was the entire Handwara incident in Jammu and Kashmir just about bringing down the army bunker? Going by the investigations being conducted both into incident in which a girl was molested and then the death of a lady, it suggests that there was a larger ploy to whip up passions against the Indian army.
An army bunker was dismantled on Tuesday by the civil administration following angry protests that were triggered off by rumours of a girl being molested.
The army bunker has been a bone of contention for long with many locals questioning the need for the same. However to link the protests with the demand to bring down the bunker is not right and there is a larger agenda. There are many gaps that could be found in the incident and the reactions in which five persons were killed after security forces tried to fight the mob.
Was the girl molested in the first place?
For starters this incident at Handwara took place just ten days after the new government took over in Jammu and Kashmir. Many are not happy with the BJP-PDP alliance in the state and there had been ample warnings that protests would intensify in various ways to make known the displeasure.
There has been a sense of uneasy calm in Kashmir with separatists and terrorists going over board to paint the Indian army in bad light. Some of the officials feel that the entire exercise was to paint the army in poor light. The police have not yet been able to ascertain if the girl was molested or not.
Police officials are unsure if such an incident had happened. Moreover there were so many twists to this story. At first it was claimed that the girl was molested by an army official and the moment this rumour spread, the town had erupted and the army retaliated in which 5 persons were killed.
Later on the girl testified before a Magistrate that she was assaulted by two boys and not an army personnel. The police are now ascertaining if in reality such an incident had taken place or was it part of a rumour mongering propaganda to get the people up in arms against the Indian Army personnel.
A chain reaction:
The other puzzle is with regard to the death of Raja Begum. She was hit by a bullet in Langate. This death led to a massive protest which saw people come out on the streets and pelt stones. This also led to retaliation by the army and before anyone knew it the protest had turned violent.
The police are yet to get the postmortem report and this would help ascertain the exact cause of the death. The police say that the death is quite suspicious as there had been no firing at Langate. Only the postmortem report would confirm the reason for the death.
These incidents resulted in a chain reaction. The target was the Indian army as has always been in Kashmir. The idea was to spread a rumour and get the people on the streets up in arms against the army. Rumours such as these elicit a response in less than five minutes from the people.
Moreover, the death of five persons only added to the problem. In short whoever plotted this rumour campaign in the first place has managed to stir up the emotions against the Indian army.