Contrary to their earlier stand that abrogation of Article 370 has improved the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir and has brought development to the region, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders are now predicting a doomsday scenario for the Valley in the coming days.
At a time when senior politicians like Ghulam Nabi Azad, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are raising concern over alleged fake encounter killings and seeking judicial probe in such cases, a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in J&K has come up with a statement that reads: “According to intelligence inputs, Pakistan-based terror handlers have instructed their proxies operating in Kashmir to ensure at least 10 civilian deaths whenever the security forces undertake counter-terror operations.”
The statement, issued by senior BJP leader of J&K Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo also raises concern for minorities living in Kashmir Valley.
“The security scenario that prevailed particularly over the last three months in the valley is certainly spreading scare among the minorities in Kashmir,” the statement said.
“Though it is true that a 'refined' approach to deal with terrorism has been put in place under a more nuanced framework of better coordination among Jammu and Kashmir police, intelligence agencies and the Army with an aim at minimising collateral damage, the minority population at grave risk require to be given a real sense of security in addition to physical security,” the statement says.
“The government is expected to take a serious view of the input received by it from its own intelligence agencies. The minority community government employees in the valley should be extended compassion, empathy and understanding by the administration so far as their routine duties are concerned. It is a very tough time for them when they are on target always in the valley,” Chrungoo says.
The BJP general secretary Ashok Koul has issued a statement on similar lines. He says statehood to J&K will be restored only when a common Kashmiri moves freely.
"Once J&K achieves normalcy, selective killings stop and a common man can move freely statehood will be restored,” Koul said in one of his speeches.
Two of the main reasons cited by the BJP for the revocation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, was that Article 370 was an impediment to the development of Jammu and Kashmir and it led to a worsening security situation in Kashmir. The BJP had argued that by revoking Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir will be on the path of development and it will see improvement in the security situation.
As no big industrialists have shown interest in Jammu and Kashmir in spite of the industrial policy of J&K, politicians are asking the BJP many questions. “It is November 2021. Two years have passed since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019 August. Have investors come to J&K from outside? We were told Tata, Birla and Ambani will come. No one came. The youths didn’t get employment,” asks National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah.
To Koul’s linking restoration of the statehood to normalcy, Omar says, “So the people of J&K will be punished, by having our statehood withheld, because of the collective failure of the Union Government & the J&K administration? They fail to protect people, they fail to manage the security situation & the rest of us are punished.”
Omar says in case of security situation those areas which were free from militancy prior to August 5, 2019, are now seeing a rise in the militancy.
In recent months Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu have seen many encounters. In a two-month-long Poonch operation around nine army soldiers including two JCOs were killed and there was no trace of militants.
There has been a surge in the violence in Kashmir. October marked the deadliest month with 44 killings, which included 19 militants, 13 civilians including five non-local labourers and three members of the minority community and 12 armed forces personnel in the Valley adding to the deteriorating situation.
Now with Koul linking restoration of the statehood to improving law and order situation and Chrungoo saying security scenario in the valley is spreading scare among the minorities, the BJP seems to have decided to go against their own arguments that Article 370 revocation and bifurcating J&K into two UTs has brought development in Jthe region and has improved security situation in J&K.