Other States

Several factors prompted Kashmir ceasefire

The Centre’s decision to announce suspension of operations by security forces in the Kashmir Valley in the month of Ramzan was in the works for the past two weeks. The decision followed successive reports given by Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma to the government that killings and encounters were not yielding the desired results and the emotional upsurge at funerals of militants killed in encounters was aiding recruitment by terror outfits. The killing of a tourist from Chennai in a stone pelting attack on May 7 and the upcoming Amarnath Yatra also triggered the decision.

As many as 64 terrorists were killed till May 6 this year in 24 operations in south Kashmir — the highest in a decade for the period. More than 40 men had joined the terrorist ranks during this period. For whole of 2017, recruitments to various terror groups stood at 147. There has been a surge in local Kashmiri youth joining terror groups after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016.

A senior government official said that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had analysed the ground situation and government was convinced to take a “calculated risk”. The official said that the policy can be revised any time in wake of the dynamics in the Valley and another decision will be taken after Ramzan is over.

The announcement by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday timed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expected visit to Srinagar on May 19. Separatists and various organisations have planned protests in wake of the visit. Mr. Singh is learnt to have had meetings with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on the subject.

The Hindu reported on May 11 that the Centre was set to roll out a calibrated policy for Jammu & Kashmir.

Mr. Sharma was appointed last year to carry forward the dialogue in J&K. The outcome of his meetings in the Kashmr Valley was overshadowed by the operations of security forces. “He had nothing to offer to Kashmiris whenever he met them. The government was convinced that to address the sense of alienation among Kashmiris, a more humane approach was required. It was on his advice that cases against youth involved for the first time in stone pelting were withdrawn,” said the official.

The J&K Police, the Indian Army and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been asked to undertake “specific intelligence-based operations” and go after hardened militants. Efforts should be made to arrest newly recruited militants and enable their surrender.

Indian Army sources said both Search and Destroy Operations, and Cordon and Search Operations, would not be carried out during the Ramzan period. “However, we can retaliate that if there is any attack on us or on civilians,” an Army officer said.

Army sources also said there will not be any change in their area domination operations, and the protection provided to convoys moving to Ladakh and Siachen for winter stocking, as well as through the valley carrying soldiers coming from, and going on, leave.

The Army’s initial assessment is that the ceasefire period would be used by all militant groups to regroup and build up a new leadership. Most of their key leadership has been wiped out in recent months through security operations, the Army believes.

“The government has been trying to create an environment free of terror and violence to enable Muslims to observe Ramzan in a peaceful manner so that terrorists do not exploit their religious sentiments,” a Home Ministry statement said.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 12:45:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/several-factors-prompted-kashmir-ceasefire/article23909957.ece

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