Tag Archives: Kupwara

Terrorist attack in Kashmir: 2 terrorists killed, 3 army personnel martyred

Newsroom24x7 Staff

Srinagar: Two suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists were killed in retaliatory fire while three army personnel, including Captain Ayush, got martyred when the army camp at Panzgam in Kupwara district of North Kashmir was attacked early this morning.

Five other soldiers, involved in road opening duties in the area, were wounded in this attack. They were rushed immediately by air to Army’s 92 base hospital here for treatment.

When India is fighting Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, the US talks of contentious issues between India and Pakistan

Lalit Shastri

One security personnel was martyred and eight of them were injured, when terrorists attacked a security force convoy at Zakoora in the outskirts of Srinagar this evening (14 October, 2016). The terrorists opened fire, targeting a vehicle carrying security forces from patrol duty to their camp at Zakoora.

 

The EDI building at Pampore during the encounter with Terrorists in February 2016 (representative photo)
The EDI building at Pampore attacked twice by Terrorists in 2016 (representative photo)

Going by the discourse and stand vis-a-vis Kashmir taken by the Deputy spokesperson of the US Department of State Mark C. Toner at the daily press briefing on Thursday, 13 October 2016, after a series of terror attacks on India by terrorists exported by Pakistan, one has no confusion and it is amply clear that the US is not interested in reining in Pakistan – a country that has become the epicentre of global terror.

During the press briefing, Toner did talk of Hafiz Saeed saying he is listed by the UN Security Council 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee for targeted sanctions due to his affiliation with the terrorist group Lashkar-e Tayyiba. And both the LeT and Saeed are designated by the U.S. Government. The LeT is obviously responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent civilians in terrorist attacks, including a number of American citizens.

Hafeez Saeed, co-founder of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and the chief of Jama’at-ud-Da’wah, is also considered by India as a most wanted terrorist because of his involvement in attacks against India, including the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

On his attention being drawn to the Pakistani Government led by Nawaz Sharif and the Army – “two strains within the Pakistani Government” (in Toner’s own words) and it being pointed out (by a journalist) that the Sharif government wants peace with India or in the region, but the military government doesn’t want peace with India, Toner remarked: “our general position on this is that we want to see greater cooperation and greater dialogue between Pakistan and India. It’s frankly to the benefit of both countries. That includes, certainly, security issues. We want to see tensions go down, and we want to see, as I said, a greater cooperation between the two countries. Now, we’re not there right now, but that’s certainly our inclination.”

Kashmir (representative image)
Kashmir (representative image)

Responding to a query on the “Kashmir issue”, Toner said that the US stand on Kashmir is already known – implying thereby that the US treats it only as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and refuses to acknowledge the fact that Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India, is constantly under attack by Pak-sponsored terrorists. By dragging its feet and failing to call a spade a spade, the US, through its spokesperson, has conveyed to India in ample measure that its war against terror ends when it comes to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Kashmir and other parts of India. As far as India is concerned, the US ought to know that the issue is not Kashmir but Pak occupied Kashmir, cross-border terrorism and the low intensity war being waged against India by Pakistan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was received by Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif at Lahore on 25 December 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was received by Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif at Lahore on 25 December 2015

India has tried its best to keep open the doors of dialogue with Pakistan. India’s message for strengthening the ties between the two countries was loud and clear when Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Sharif to attend his swearing-in ceremony in May 2014 and once more in December 2015, when returning home after visiting Afghanistan and Russia, he had landed in Lahore to attend a wedding at Nawaj’s residence – this was the first visit by an Indian PM to Pakistan in more than 10 years.

The first major obstacle was encountered by the Modi Government in its efforts to build ties with Pakistan when Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit met Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah in Delhi ahead of another meeting that was scheduled in quick succession between him and two more separatist leaders Yasin Malik and Syed Ali Shah Geelani in the second fortnight of August 2014. Immediately after Basit met Shabir Shah, the Modi Government had castigated Pakistan for interfering in India’s internal affairs and called off the Foreign Secretary level talks with Pakistan.

Battle with terrorists inside Pathankot Air Force base in March 2016
Battle with terrorists inside Pathankot Air Force base in March 2016

Earlier in March this year, India had allowed a Pakistan’s joint investigation team (JIT), which included ISI and military intelligence officers, to visit Delhi and Pathankot to investigate the attack on the Pathankot Air Force base by Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists on 2 January 2016. After seeing clinching evidence, apparently about the ISI role in the Pathankot attack, Pakistan developed cold feet and refused to reciprocate and allow a team of investigators from India to visit Pakistan.

Despite best efforts by India, Pakistan has continued with its Kashmir agenda. Earlier this year, much to the chagrin of India, separatist Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani and others were invited by Pakistan to attend the ‘Pakistan Day’ function at its High Commission in Delhi.

Subsequently, India told Pakistan in categorical terms that talks with Pakistan can be held only about terrorism.

uri-attack2
Terrorist attack on Army base at Uri

Before the Pathankot attack, a police station in Gurdaspur, Punjab, was attacked by terrorists in July 2015. The lid was off on September 18 this year when terrorists attacked the Army base at Uri killng 17. While the number of cease-fire violations by Pakistan have gone up in recent days, there have been more terrorist attacks in quick succession. On October 4, terrorists attacked a police station at Yaripora in Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir. The same day, a few terrorists escaped after attacking BSF and army camps at Baramulla and killing one BSF soldier and wounding another. On October 6, three terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire when they attacked an army camp in Langate in Kupwara. No security personnel died in this incident. Two days later, a Policeman was killed in the Shopian sector by terrorists, who managed to escape. Early morning on October 10, a couple of terrorists attacked the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute building in Pampore. Security forces were engaged in a fierce gun battle and it took about fifty hours to neautralize the terrorists. The same building was also attacked by terrorists in February this year.

India has responded to the violent situation by taking steps to isolate Pakistan and by telling every nation how Pakistan is continuously engaged in exporting terrorism in every part of the world. On September 29, India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh announced at a press conference in New Delhi that based on “specific and credible inputs that some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along Line of Control to carry out infiltration and conduct terrorist strikes inside Jammu and Kashmir and in various metros in other states, the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes at several of these launch pads to pre-empt infiltration by terrorists. The DGMO further said: “It has been a matter of serious concern that there has been continuing and increasing infiltration by terrorists across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. This is reflected, among others, in the terrorist attacks on 11 and 18 September 2016 in Punch and Uri respectively. Almost 20 infiltration attempts have also been foiled by the Army at or close to the Line of Control during this year.”

One fails to understand why the US State Department spokesperson had to do such a balancing act when asked to spell out the US stand on Kashmir. Choosing to ignore Pakistan’s direct role in spreading cross-border terrorism, all Toner said, in the interest of regional security, was that “there’s a lot of contentious issues between India and Pakistan. The US wants the two countries to take a more conciliatory approach to each other and to work through some of these issues for the greater good of the region. This observation, at its face value, shows how serious the US is in fighting global terror.

Terror attack in North Kashmir: 3 terrorists killed

Newsroom24x7 Staff

Srinagar: Three terrorists were killed as Army foiled a cross-border terrorist attack today on a security camp in the North Kashmir district of Kupwara.

According to reports received here, the terrorists, who came dressed in army fatigue,  were carrying arms , radio sets, other equipment and medicines with Pakistani markings. Search operation was going on at the time of filing this report.

Kashmir: Ethnic cleansing, exodus of Kashmiri Hindus and the continuing crisis

Lalit Shastri

Handwara- Indian flag was torn apart from the flagpost
Handwara- Indian flag was torn apart from the flagpost

The politicians in India have allowed the Kashmir situation to deteriorate for too long. But for the Army presence, the Hurriyat leaders and the terror outfits along with the State actors in Pakistan, who scripted the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from their homes and made them refugees in their own country, would have turned Kashmir into another war zone like Syria or Iraq. There has to be pro-active action in Kashmir before it is too late…

The situation is on the boil in Kashmir where there have been Incidents in quick succession that point the finger at the radical elements who appear to be working overtime not missing any opportunity to target the non-Kashmiris and tarnish the image of the Army.

First there was the clash on the National Institute of Technology (NIT) campus in Srinagar when the non-Kashmiri students had lodged a protest and opposed the rejoicing and raising of pro-Pakistan slogans by the local students on India’s defeat in the T20 World Cup Cricket knockout match against West Indies. The situation took an ugly turn when the non-Kashmiri students were not allowed to meet media-persons outside the NIT gate and were brutally beaten up by the police. A few of these students who were critically injured were taken to hospital with broken bones. The non-Kashmiri students at NIT-Srinagar, who received threats, want that either their institute should be relocated or they be allowed to migrate.

The situation in Kashmir took a turn for the worse following the death of four civilians during protests at Handwara and Kupwara in North Kashmir on 12 April 2016.  The situation got ignited and there was firing at Handwara when an Army picket was ransacked and a mob tried to set it on fire. The Indian flag was also torn off its mast after the rumour that a security personnel had molested a girl had spread like wild fire. The girl in question has even denied being a victim of any such incident.

For several decades the politicians have allowed the situation in Kashmir region to deteriorate. So many boys in Kashmir valley, who were not even in their teens, had been radicalised to such an extent even in the pre-1971  war days that they missed no opportunity to target tourists visiting Kashmir from other parts of India. As if trained to follow a set pattern – they used to follow the tourists, generally in isolated parts of downtown Srinagar, and then, as if playing a role they were trained to perform, these kids would hurl abuses at the tourists and run away from the spot.

The NIT and Handwara incidents should be treated as a manifestation of the subversive activities of the anti-national forces in Kashmir, who have the backing of the hurriyat leaders drawing sustenance from Pakistan. After its successive defeats in conventional wars, Pakistan is also using terrorists from its soil to strike targets in Kashmir and other parts of the country to keep India engaged in a low intensity war.

To understand the game-plan of the forces who want to secede from India, one will have to look closely at the ethnic cleansing and exodus of Kashmiri Hindus in January 1990 when they were targeted by the Islamic radicals in Kashmir.

A Report of CSIS South Asia Program with the Kashmir Study Group by Teresita C. Schaffer titled “Kashmir -The Economics of Peace Building”, relies on the Indian Census of 1989, which counted 123900 Hindus living in the Kashmir region of Jammu and Kashmir, and goes on to point out that the vast majority of the minority Hindu population had left the Kashmir valley in 1990 after a spate of violence and attacks targeting  their community.

The Report underscores, on the basis of limited census figures available from 2001, that the number of those who were forced to join the exodus and become refugees in their own country is around 100000. However the number of Kashmiri Pandits registered as refugees in Jammu is 140000. The Central Government pays a monthly compensation of Rs. 850 per migrant family of four across states where these families are now located.

It is also reported that of the approximately 24000 Kashmiri Pandits employed by the J&K Goverment prior to the 1990 exodus, only about 3000 were left in government service after the minority Hindu population was driven out of the State.

Indian Defence Review has also published a piece under the heading “Kashmiri Pandits offered three choices by Radical Islamists” by Col Tej Kumar Tikoo. It is based on his book “Kashmir: Its Aborigines and their Exodus”

Tikoo wrote: “On Jan, 04, 1990, a local Urdu newspaper, Aftab, published a press release issued by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, asking all Pandits to leave the Valley immediately. Al Safa, another local daily repeated the warning.These warnings were followed by Kalashnikov-wielding masked Jehadis carrying out military-type marches openly. Reports of killing of Kashmiri Pandits continued to pour in. Bomb explosions and sporadic firing by militants became a daily occurrence.

Tikoo quotes the former Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, M M Khajooria who said: “The mischief of the summer of 1989 started with serving notice to the prominent members of the minority community to quit Kashmir.”

The notice said, ‘We order you to leave Kashmir immediately, otherwise your children will be harmed- we are not scaring you but this land is only for Muslims, and is the land of Allah. Sikhs and Hindus cannot stay here’. The threatening note ended with a warning, ‘If you do not obey, we will start with your children. Kashmir Liberation, Zindabad.”

Postscript: The Handwara firing and what happened at Srinagar’s NIT cannot be viewed as isolated incidents.  There is a larger conspiracy against the sovereignty of the nation. The conspirators are the radicalised Muslims. They were behind the ethnic cleansing and exodus of Hindus from Kashmir. The same people hoist the Pakistani flag and raise pro-Pak slogans in Kashmir valley and want the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, an emergency law that provides legal cover to the armed forces operating in disturbed areas from prosecution. They will do anything to discredit the Army because till the Army is there the cessationist elements in Kashmir and their Pak handlers will never succeed in their nefarious designs. It is high time those who shout from rooftops to maintain the cultural identity of a region should become proactive and ensure the Kashmiri Hindus return to their homes. This will be the first step towards restoring normalcy. Of course it will also be the constitutional responsibility of the PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir to protect the life and property of the minority Hindu community.