There have been a series of incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in the past few months which has kept the already troubled state on the boil. On one hand 1,000s of students have left the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Srinagar and on the other there is a curfew imposed in Handwara.
The days ahead are going to challenging for Mehbooba Mufti who recently took over as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and faced trouble from the word go. An officer says that any new government takes time to settle down and in this interim period, there will be many trying to milk issues and create unrest. Mehbooba has been running from pillar to post to bring down the tension and in a statement issued just a while ago she said the students who have left must come back.
A host of problems:
Just as the government was dealing with the NIT issue, the trouble at Handwara added to the problem. The separatists called for a shut down of the Valley in protest against the firing by the army personnel that killed three people. Officials in Delhi and Kashmir say that the situation is delicate and could only worsen over the days.
One of the many suggestions that the officials give is to engage the local government more in state related issues. Any interference from Delhi may not go down too well in the long run. Moreover the separatists wait for meddling by Delhi so that they can use it as an issue to flag trouble.
For security agencies it has become a nightmare. On one hand they are dealing with terrorists from Pakistan and on the other they cope with the local issues as well. It has not exactly been easy for the army too in the recent days at Kashmir who have braved stones and insults when they have been engaged in a dangerous encounter with militants. There is a great deal of anger seething among many army officials over the attitude of some locals especially when it comes to dealing with militancy.