Amarnath Yatra attack will only embolden Army's resolve to eliminate terrorists

The critics need to learn from the common yatris who believe that since the Army is involved in security, the yatra is no threat.

 |  5-minute read |   12-07-2017
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The brutal attack on the Amarnath yatris has had its repercussions across the region. There were large-scale protests against the attack and to criticise the failure of the government, in both Jammu and Udhampur, compelling the government to suspend internet services to restore law and order.

There was almost universal condemnation of the incident from across almost all political lines. The only one, which seemed to politicise the issue is the now almost-defunct, the CPI, whose spokesperson claimed that a similar attack had occurred during the time of the last BJP government, hence felt the way the party functioned was the cause. This cheap political comment was ignored by all other political parties and the media. 

The incident could bring about a volte-face in the Valley in the days to come. It is also a reminder of how volatile the situation is presently in the Valley and how ignoring basic rules and bypassing regulations could be costly in terms of human lives.

The vehicle was not registered with the board, not a part of the convoy and was moving once the road opening party (ROP), which was ensuring security of the move, was lifted. This was because of lack of knowledge within those who comprised this group. The fact is how could a vehicle move all the way from Jammu to the Amarnath camp and return to Srinagar on its own and that too with a non-J&K number plate, without being registered with the board. It should have raised eyebrows at some check point or the other. This itself is a major security lapse and should be avoided in future.

amar_071217115351.jpgThe local Kashmiri is against such strikes. Those working at the camp location to assist the yatris are there to improve their financial status. (Credit: PTI file photo)

Any single passenger bus moving at night is an invitation to disaster. Over-ground workers (OGW) of militant groups would have observed a single vehicle moving, with a non-J&K number plate and passed on the information to the lurking terrorists. Hence, the attack was an opportunity, not planned, and executed in a hurry by a small group moving on motorcycle. To give excessive credit to any group in such an instance is wrong and conveys a wrong message. That notwithstanding, the fact remains, that we are in India, where we should possess the freedom of moving at will and where we choose. This is the environment which security forces are seeking to create in the Valley and would achieve it in some time-frame, militancy or not.

The nation is now standing by the Army in its endeavours to secure the region from terrorists. The so-called human rights voices, who insulted the security forces, when the incident involving major Leetul Gogoi occurred, are now silent when innocent yatris, travelling back after a darshan are brutally killed.

Don’t these innocent travellers also possess human rights, don’t the terrorists who attacked them, deserve to meet their maker. There has been muted criticism from the separatists, reasons are well-known. The few who support their views are now isolated.

The local Kashmiri is against such strikes. Those working at the camp location to assist the yatris are there to improve their financial status. They have come from all parts of the state every year and in the period of the yatra earn enough to improve their lifestyle for a few months. They always desire a peaceful yatra and larger number of devotees, thus ensuring that their efforts of travelling this distance to work pays off. They represent the masses who have no desire for violence, but seek a life of peace and development. They are not part of the minority which operates against the state indulging in violence or stone-throwing and holding the state to ransom.

The Hurriyat is on the back foot, as having received summons in the NIA investigation for hawala transactions, are now a worried lot. They are scared to move to Delhi, knowing they could be held back for months, losing their support base in their absence, hence cry about their fears of security and seek questioning in Srinagar, which should be avoided at all costs.

Thus, to indicate support and win some goodwill and respite from the government, have criticised the terrorist action, a clear case of crocodile tears, which should be ignored. There were no crocodile tears when DSP Ayub Pandith was lynched because the summons had still not arrived.

The Army would now get into action, seeking to eliminate those involved. Their elimination is just a matter of time. The state and the Centre are on the same thought process and working in unison to ensure that the yatra proceeds unhindered.

For those on the move, as a part of the yatra, it is their faith and belief, which is far stronger than what any terror strike can deter and this is an indication that the nation is one. This faith and determination of the common Indian to complete the yatra, despite threats, is what makes we Indians different and special. Their faith in the Army is much more and from their heart, than the critics who seek a few minutes of media time.

The incident is a reminder that being lax on implementing operating procedures can lead to loss of precious lives. Further, the determination of those now moving, despite threats indicates the strength of the nation. The locals involved in the conduct of the yatra represent the masses seeking peace and are neither terrorists, nor support violence, isolating those who indulge in it.

Inputs on the whereabouts of the terrorists involved would flow in no time and their elimination is certain. Kashmiris who traditionally welcome visitors are equally shocked. Those supporting militancy are a miniscule, who would now face the wrath of the locals and security forces.

The critics of the Army need to learn from the common yatris who believe that since the Army is involved in security, the yatra is no threat, one incident notwithstanding. 

We will, if together, handle any threat to the nation as long as we trust our security forces. The incident only strengthens our resolve to eliminate those who seek violence as a means to an end, while supporting those who seek dialogue.

Also read: Why BJP is responsible for the attack on Amarnath yatris in Kashmir


Harsha Kakar Harsha Kakar @kakar_harsha

The writer is a retired Major-General of the Indian Army and author of the book, Harsha Kakar writes.

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