Kashmiri Muslims and Muslims of the Jammu division of the state — resident in the city — had their properties attacked.
In the past few days, in the aftermath of the fidayeen attack by Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama district of south Kashmir last week, which killed more than 40 jawans of the Central paramilitary force, the very notion of national integration has been laid low. The sorry aspect of this development is that it has occurred even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi assures the country that the armed forces have been given a free hand to plan its retaliation. It is in such a moment that national integration and national unity ought to be of the highest consideration.
Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s Rule over eight months ago, and in December last year was brought under the direct administrative supervision and control of the Centre. Thus, currently, it is the Government of India that runs the show in the state. And yet Jammu, the winter capital of the state, reeled under communal violence in the shadow of the Pulwama attack.
Kashmiri Muslims and Muslims of the Jammu division of the state — resident in the city — had their properties attacked. The curfew imposed was fairly ineffective and lax in several instances. Flag marches conducted by the Army also did not prove a deterrent against the communal outfits that engaged in violence. It’s time that governor Satya Pal Malik be asked to explain the situation.
As the communal situation in Jammu was on skids, several other parts of the country saw attacks against Kashmiri people living in those areas. The worst reports came from Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand, where hundreds of students from the Kashmir Valley were proceeded against by their educational institutions, compelled to do so by outfits that are treated with kid gloves by the government and the ruling party. In reaction to these developments in different parts of the country, the Kashmir Valley staged a protest shutdown on Sunday.
In moments of difficulties, ruling parties and governments put their best foot forward to shore up national morale and take steps to enthuse all sections of society. But it is the first time in India that Indians were attacking fellow Indians instead of coming together in a mood of solidarity to take on externally-backed terrorists. It is therefore hard to escape the thought that certain elements have seized on the Pulwama attack by a Pakistan-based, ISI-nurtured terrorist outfit to undertake communal mobilisation in an effort to derive political mileage as the Lok Sabha polls are only a few weeks away.
West Bengal chief minister and Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, at a press briefing Monday spoke out these thoughts without hesitation, and also referenced an American intelligence assessment of January 29 which said communal conflagrations and violence are feared in India if communal tendencies gain ground before the parliamentary election.