Peoples Conference president Sajad Gani Lone said Saturday that the recent spate of attacks on minorities is a deliberate attempt of ‘othering’ the majority community, of identifying it with the savagery of a lunatic fringe and that the administration doesn’t have the luxury of resorting to a randomised response.
“Attempts are being created to violently target the minority community. There is a deliberate attempt of othering the majority community and identifying it with the savagery that a lunatic fringe is indulging in. It is important to make a distinction between the majority community and the fringe consisting of a few individuals. They have not spared the majority community either, have killed at whim and continue to target all those who don’t subscribe to their world view”, Lone said.
Lone emphasised the need to remain steadfast and united.
“A helpless civilian can do nothing against the diktats of violence and the majority community is as pained and as scared as the minority community. I am under no illusions--the guns targeting the minority community today will target the majority community tomorrow. They have done it in the past for the last three decades, they have done it just a few days back and they will do it again. What matters is not their madness but our resolve to call a spade a spade. I am a Kashmiri Muslim and have lost my dear father to bullets and there are thousands like me. We are all in it together. We are connected through the pain of losing our loved ones to bullets. Those who indulge in terror, those who believe in violence have no religion, no faith and no nationality”, he added.
Lone underscored that while people of J&K cannot afford to give a scattered, disunited response, it is equally important for the state administration to understand that it just does not have the luxury of resorting to a randomised response.
“That would be walking into a trap laid by the killers. What we need is a specific targeting of those involved in acts of terror. Sifting through three-decade-old records and summoning old OGWs who have reintegrated into society may do more harm than benefit. Wholesale summoning is as harmful and counter-productive,” he added.
He said the state administration needs to understand that it may have been operating in an environment which was not as challenging as it is today or might be in the future and that they need to gear up to face these challenges.
“Our learning curves are bloodied and have been drawn over the last three decades in the company of a lot of pain and bloodshed. Not referring to these curves will be a waste of that sacrifice. We will have to refer to these learning curves and I can tell you with authority that our learning curves will never recommend a randomised response,” he added.
Fear gripped the Valley after the October 5 killing by militants of well-known chemist Makan Lal Bindroo at his shop in the high-security zone of Iqbal Park in Srinagar.
This was followed by the killing of a non-local Bhelpuri vendor in Lalbazar. In the third attack in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district, militants shot dead a civilian identified as Mohammad Shafi Lone. A day later, militants shot dead a school principal, Supinder Kaur and a teacher, Deepak Chand, inside the school premises in Eidgah.
The Resistance Front (TRF), claimed responsibility for the attack and said the teachers were killed for their role in getting students to participate in an Independence Day “function at the school on August 15”.
On the same evening, the CRPF personnel shot dead 28-year old nomad Parvez Ahmad of Larnoo. The CRPF claims the incident happened when a Scorpio ignored a signal to stop by a checkpost set up by the 40 Battalion.
On October 2, militants had killed Majid Ahmad Gojri and Mohammad Shafi Dar in Srinagar for their alleged links with security forces. The Resistance Front had claimed responsibility for the killings.