ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Kashmir: Jihadis and Jawans

While asking Islamabad to rein in the jihadis, New Delhi should also try to put its jawans on a leash. The latest revelations from Kashmir, where personnel of central security forces in league with the local police were alleged to have killed innocent citizens in fake “encounters”, indicate the dangerous depths to which India’s anti-terrorist operations have descended.

While asking Islamabad to rein in the jihadis, New Delhi should also try to put its jawans on a leash. The latest revelations from Kashmir, where personnel of central security forces in league with the local police were alleged to have killed innocent citizens in fake “encounters”, indicate the dangerous depths to which India’s anti-terrorist operations have descended. Investigations have revealed that at least five Kashmiri civilians – Nasir Ahmad Deka, a hawker of inexpensive perfumes on a Srinagar kerbside; Shaukat Khan, a cleric from Banihal in Doda district; Abdul Rahman Padroo, a carpenter in Srinagar; Ali Mohammad Padroo of Larnoo; and Ghulam Nabi Wani of Sumbal – were eliminated during the past year by security forces, who then claimed they were Pakistani militants killed in encounters.

Apart from the incentive of cash rewards and out-of-turn promotion, which induced the police and security forces to carry out such appalling practices, the additional tag of an “ISI agent” that they attached to their victims allowed them to enjoy impunity. It is reported that there is an unwritten law in Kashmir according to which senior officers turn a blind eye if told that those killed in fake encounters are Pakistani militants. The jawans who killed these civilians therefore found it convenient to dub them as Pakistani jihadis – to protect themselves from any investigation, and in the process win laurels as patriots.

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