J&K Police – Loyal sentinels; Proud sons.

“In the past seven days in Kashmir, with curfew imposed, internet blocked and mobile network down, the police and paramilitary troopers have resorted to disproportionate use of force to quell the uprising, in which till now 39 people have died and 3,100 have been injured.” Economic Times Aug 2 2016.

Imagine 39 casualties and 3100 injuries in just seven days after Burhan Wani was neutralized in a gun fight in South Kashmir by Indian security forces. Valley was in boil, chaos and confusion prevailed all over the valley. The police had to go berserk to control the violent rioters and deal with rampant lawlessness. It is said that nearly 200000 people attended the funeral of slain militant. Police stations and security forces were attacked by mobs and stone pelting was rampant in every nook and corner of Kashmir valley. Mobs attacked the migrant employees transit camps across the valley raising slogans and pelting stones in the middle of night. Terrified PM package employees were left with no option but to leave the valley again for Jammu. The intensity of clashes and riots placed the entire valley under lock down for months leading to nearly 90 deaths and thousands of injuries.

Compare the incident of Burhan Wani’s death with the situation today on ground. No Kashmir watcher in India or outside can claim that the death of Burhan Wani was a must bigger catastrophe than abrogation of 370 , 35A and further reorganization of state into two Union Territories for the inhabitants of the valley. The pyramid upon which the politics of Kashmir region stood has been inverted by this move of Union government. In one single move the hegemony of Valley based political parties has been challenged and demolished. Separatism has received a death blow beyond any signs of infusing life back into the idea of separatism.

Yet, intriguingly NO CASUALTIES, NO INJURIES and NO MASS UPRISING!

Ever wondered Why? The only difference which comes to our mind today is POLICING. Yes, the presence of J&K Police personnel which has always played a yeoman’s job and stood as the frontline force against cross border terrorism and general law and order in valley needs to be commended for their maverick show of highest ideals in policing.

Police is the public face of security, to whom populations should turn for protection. That’s why the work of the policing is so vital. It can repair and reaffirm the community’s faith and trust in local authorities, build a sense of safety and security, and lay the groundwork for long-term stability and development. That is exactly what the J&K Police department did in these nerve wrecking and testing scenario.

Naysayers were of the opinion that in such a scenario, the police personnel of a particular community serving in department will post reservation and few went on to analyse that there will be a coup in police force serving in valley. However the truly professional forces, we may say has displayed extreme loyalty and faith towards the country and nation. The police personnel serving in these testing times have not only allayed the fears of disloyalty and non cooperation, but in an extremely tough situation presented itself as the a premier force standing tall on the ideals of policing.

While the pyramid of politics has inverted in Kashmir and separatism has received a death knell, the uneasy calm prevails. However as we have already said, no casualties or major injuries are reported since August 5 when the decision was announced in Parliament. The run upto the D-Day as we now understand by the J&K Police department was done in a truly professional manner. J&K police personnel were always on the front line and first sphere of contact with local population. Keeping calm in such situation was never going to be easy, but the trained and equipped police force in an exemplary manner has managed to maintain peace and tranquility on ground to a vast extent. The operational priority set by the administration for J&K police personnel was delivered exactly in a bookish manner with orders followed and executed as per the policy framed for this eventuality.

Our readers might be thinking, when the police force was same in 2016 and today, how could the lawlessness have prevailed then and not now. Indeed the thought is worth pondering, and equally pondering the statements and veiled support of the mainstream political parties to fuel unrest and chaos in valley. The fueling of tension can be gauged from the statements of political parties. Peopled Democratic Party’s leader Muzaffar Hussain Baigh alleged that the standard operating procedure had not been followed during the encounter involving Burhan and his accomplices. Baig demanded that a commission be appointed to probe Wani’s killing. A day after his death, former CM of state Omar Abdullah said that his killing had made him the new icon of the disaffected section of the Kashmiri society and further warned that more Kashmiris will join the militancy after his death as compared to when he was alive. Similarly, the state chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said he (Burhan) could have been spared had the security forces been aware of his presence in the hideout.

Analysing the statements of tall political leaders of valley, and knowing that the state was run by a coalition government with CM from PDP having direct control over Home affairs of state which gave her unbridled and unrestricted control over Police department, It can be said beyond doubt today that the expertise and skills of the state police force was purposely compromised to offer an easy run to mass uprising and rioters in valley in the aftermath of Burhan’s killing.

It is time to acknowledge the role and scope of our state Police department in dealing with militancy and general law and order issues. Our Police force has faced the wrath of terrorism and lost many brave men in upholding the unity and integrity of this country and like true sons of soil been at the fore front always.

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