Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir at a time when militant attacks in the State are in full cry and hardline Hurriyat leaders are under close watch for receiving terror funding is doubtlessly an act of courage. That the Home Minister has even gone to the interior in South Kashmir sends out a message that the government in New Delhi is prepared to stick out in the face of sinister forces that are out to disturb peace.
That Rajnath Singh visited Anantnag on Sunday and paid respects to a policeman who was martyred in a terror attack in the south Kashmir town the previous day should serve to reassure the Kashmiris that they have not been abandoned to the wolves. His address to personnel from the J & K police at the Anantnag police lines where he said that “it is unfortunate that people still don’t understand the value of your (security forces’) martyrdom.
It’s not ordinary but supreme sacrifice” was apt and morale-boosting. There is no mistaking the fact that South Kashmir, where Anantnag is located, has seen more than 100 home grown terrorists in the past one year and has become the most terror attack prone area in recent times.
On June 16 last, six police personnel, including SHO Feroz Ahmad, were killed in an attack in Achabal area. The slain SHO had requisitioned a bullet-proof vehicle in view of the danger posed by militants in south Kashmir, but was not provided one. During his visit, Rajnath Singh announced that the Centre has allocated funds for the purchase of bullet-proof vehicles for Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel.
The Home Minister has been meeting a cross section of community leaders and it is unfortunate that instead of lauding his initiative National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah has mocked at his effort and already proclaimed that his visit will serve no purpose. Earlier, Farooq had criticized the arrest/detention of Hurriyat leaders which was indeed overdue.
There is no getting away from a carrot and stick policy and traitors like the Hurriyat leaders need to be dealt with sternly and strongly to send out a clear message that the Indian government would not tolerate the nefarious activities of those who are playing into the hands of subversives and their henchmen.