Khalistan uprising not gaining desired traction, but we need to be cautious
New Delhi, Jun 01: The violence in Punjab have brought back traumatic memories of the 80s about the Khalistan movement. The number of killings, acts of terror and violence in Punjab appear to be on the rise and the current dispensation in the state appears to have no solution for the same.
While officials tell OneIndia that the movement has not been able to thrive as the ISI would have hoped for, there are however very disturbing signs that we have witnessed. Killings, hoisting of Khalistan flags, social media posts by fanatics such as the Sikhs for Justice have been on the rise of late.
Groups such as the Sikhs for Justice (SJF) have managed to gain a lot of traction. For instance on November 21 the SJF during his annual referendum asked Sikhs to vote for creating a separate nation.
Recently Khalistan flags were tied on the main gate of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly.
Former Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer, Amar Bhushan tells OneIndia that the current political, diplomatic and security scenario in India do not favour a repeat of what the scenario was in the 80s. The BJP practises zero tolerance for secessionist movements.
However India cannot take lightly these incidents and the government will have to maintain a constant vigil on all secessionist groups and then act promptly, Bhushan further adds.
Another reason why the Khalistan forces may not be able to thrive as they would have wished to have is because Pakistan is not in any condition to offer them open support. The Pakistan Army is busy in Kashmir while the economy is in doldrums. Further the country witnessed plenty of political instability recently and this is another reason why the dispensation in Islamabad is busy elsewhere.
An official however adds that what the security apparatus in India needs to watch out for is the use of local gangsters to spread violence in the state of Punjab. The probe conducted into the Rocket Propelled Grenade Attack on the Punjab Police's Intelligence Headquarters learnt that it was the handiwork of local gangsters who were assigned by the Khalistan elements.
Take the case of the Ludhiana Court blast. It was found during the probe that the local gangsters involved in smuggling were behind the attack. They would smuggle drugs and IEDs at the behest of the ISI and then strike in Punjab, the probe found.
This modus operandi has been going on for long and the Khalistan groups have been outsourcing terror strikes to gangsters in a bid to avoid the heat. The fact that they use a gangster to carry out the attack gives the agencies the impression that the same is done by a local criminal group and not the ISI backed Khalistan forces.