For the first time after 4 months, Kashmir has come back to life and normalcy : But how did it happen all of a sudden ??

After 4 months of terrible unrest, curfews, attacks and tension, which led to deserted streets and loss of business, finally Kashmir has sprung back to life. The roads inside the cities were full of vehicles. Shops, banks, business and private firms opened and a large number of people came out for their activities. Postpaid mobile services, SMS services and internet services were also restored today. Various business centres and key shopping areas of various cities in Kashmir valley, including the famous Lal Chowk of Shrinagar was bustling with activity. It seems valley has finally been blessed with normalcy. But how did valley jump back to life yesterday all of a sudden ? Let’s explore the reasons !

On 8 July 2016, Indian Army tasted one of the biggest successes in valley when they killed the dreaded Hizbul Mujahiddeen terrorist leader Burhan Wani in a fierce encounter. Various anti-India groups such as separatists, Pakistani terrorist groups led by Syed Salahuddin and Hafiz Saeed fuelled a massive unrest in the valley. Everyday thousands of people came on the streets, pelting stones on government buildings, attacking the vehicles, bunkers and offices of the security forces. Acdording to the Jammu & Kashmir home ministry, the number of incidents of violence are as follows –

July – 820
August – 747
September – 537
October – 159
November – 49

Though the number of incidents of violences have been declining through the months, there are two times when the decrease in incidents of violence is extremely sharp. The number of incidents came down sharply in October and then again after 8th November. So, what were the key events in that happened during these periods that led to sharp decline in these incidents ?

1. If you recall, it was the early hours of 29 September when Indian forces conducted a “surgical strikes across the border where multiple terrorist launch pads were destroyed and a large number of terrorists were killed by the elite para units of Indian Army. These terrorists were ready to inflitrate into Kashmir and fuel further unrest. These terrorists not only carry arms, but also bring with them a huge amount of money – mostly in form of counterfeit currencies which are further used to fuel unrest and carry out antinational activities. It is no longer a secret that the unrest was fuelled by separatists and terrorists who used to pay the youths of Kashmir on a daily basis for pelting stones.

2. Then, the second massive dip in the number of incidents comes in November. This was the final blow on the separatists who were fuelling unrest. It is no longer a hidden fact that almost all the youths indulged in stone pelting did NOT do so voluntarily. They were incited to do so by separatist leaders and PAID on a daily basis. With the Prime Minister ‘demonetising’ the 500 and 1000 rupee notes, almost everything was over. With the notes ceasing to be legal tenders, the separatists could no longer pay the youths to come in large number and create unrest in the valley. This was one of the major goals of demonetization, which seems to be successful. After 8 November, there have been only 14 cases of stone pelting, all of them being minor incidents.

3. In between Indian Army and security forces were regularly engaging the terrorists who  were trying to infiltrate or had already infiltrated, eliminating them quickly. A large number of terrorists have been neutralised by Indian Army, BSF and other security agencies post Uri attacks. With a free hand given to various security forces, it has become almost impossible for the terrorists to carry out any attack or fuel the unrest in Kashmir.

4. Gradually tightening the noose throughout the period from August to October, Government of India took strong action on separatist leaders by withdrawing their security, refusing to acknowledge their demands or to engage in any dialogues with them. Many were arrested and others put under house arrest, due to which they could not influence the youth to carry on the violence.

This is how Prime Minister Narendra Modi very systematically and in an impeccably planned way, has broken the back of the Jihadi-Separatist nexus who were fuelling unrest in the valley. With giving security forces a full hand to launch an all-out offensive against the anti-national elements on one hand, and choking them financially & logistically on the other hand by powerful policies, PM Modi has tried to restore peace and normalcy in the valley. The strong political will of Government of India, various security forces, J&K government and agencies of the state government – all of them deserve their due credits to bring back the situation under control. Not to mention the youth of Kashmir who showed their pro-development mindset when more than 95% of them appeared for the board examinations.

Kshitij Mohan