In yet another retaliatory action, six terrorists and their Over Ground Supporters were gunned down by the Army in Shopian district but no FIR was registered by Jammu and Kashmir Police, as it did on January 27, this year. Like in the previous incident, in which three stone pelters were eliminated, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed her ‘distress’ in the latest terror episode and described the killed ones as civilians.
Why didn’t police or its chief take cue from the Chief Minister’s ‘displeasure’ this time around? It can’t be that the CM has lost her sheen as political executive of the State but because of the countrywide drubbing the police got from intelligentsia, patriotic activists and even the army veterans over ‘framing’ the armed forces. The highest court of the country is seized of the police and political activism against Major Aditya and his personnel. The final judicial pronouncement is yet to come.
Had the police preferred to discharge its role professionally in the Ganovpora incident late January, its chief and the political masters would not have encountered the embarrassment they met?
The circumstances in both the Shopian incidents are almost identical. In January, minutes after gunning down three stone pelters, who menacingly attacked the army, Mehbooba Mufti had gone public, expressing her ‘deep anguish and sorrow over the death of the two civilians’ (third succumbed to injuries days after) and announced probe. Gauging the mood of the Chief Minister, the police rushed to register FIR against the army and preferred to remain muted over the action of stone-pelters-Intifada gang. They were allowed to go scot-free, leaving the pitch to India bashing separatists and soft-separatists in the so-called mainstream parties to hammer India and Indian forces, who are working in extreme difficult and hostile conditions in the Valley to fight Pak sponsored terrorists and radicals.
This time, ironically, the Chief Minister again jumped the gun by describing the killed terrorists and their workers in Trenz-Pinjoora road near Pahnoo village as civilians. Mehbooba Mufti tweeted, “Deeply distressed by more deaths of civilians caught in the crossfire in Shopian. My heartfelt condolences to the deceased’s families.” Being Chairperson of the Unified Headquarters, why didn’t she seek a report from the army before pronouncing her ‘verdict’? The army, in the process, retorted back, saying all those killed were linked to militancy. They issued a graphic account of the incident with all relevant details about those killed.
In the midst of political scrambling, however, the police exposed itself as a biased and anti-army organisation, despite losing many of its men at the hands of brutes pushed in by Pakistan and harboured by her lackeys in the Valley. Director General of Police S.P Vaid went on record saying they were investigating the latest firing incident in which six people, including two terrorists, were killed by the Army. He said the troops retaliated after they were attacked and bodies of two terrorists and four others were recovered and the matter is being investigated.
The two Shopian incidents in 36 days should be eye-opener for the police to call spade a spade. They cannot be selective as per political exigencies. The organisation, which took its own time, in identifying the lynching mob that pounced upon Dy SP Mohammed Ayub Pandit in Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid and allowed Maulvi Umar Farooq go scot-free, lost no time in booking the army in Ganovpora incident.
The police cannot behave like an ostrich, on the face of one after another of its brave jawans falling to terror bullets. Over 75,000- strong police force can ensure complete turn-around in the Kashmir situation, if commanded with a sense of commitment, given its advantage of viable local intelligence and source base. But politics has all along taken toll of its capacity and capability. For remaining in the good books of political bosses, the top brass has compromised with fundamental ethics of the force, which is why attacks on it are growing. By allowing his subordinate staff to act against the army, the DGP has created a wedge between his organisation and the armed forces besides demoralizing police.
Kashmir is passing through a most difficult phase with terrorism spreading its tentacles in the Jammu region. To meet this challenge, the police which has to take driver’s seat, of course, with logistical support of the army to win the war against terror. The two have to be complement and supplement to each other rather than adversaries, which, the police is unfortunately promoting under political diktat.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper