Security agencies launching a final assault against terrorists and their supporters in Jammu and Kashmir have pushed them to brink. Their agenda of separatism and sedition is finding no takers as the common man has realised that he can’t remain caught in a conflict forever.
During the past three years, the dispensation led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi took multiple steps to end the 30-year long Pakistan sponsored proxy war in J&K and has almost won it. Terrorism in the Himalayan region is on its last legs and Union Territory is witnessing an unprecedented development.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the State Investigation Agency (SIA) have played a pivotal role in breaking the backbone of Pakistan sponsored terrorism in the Himalayan region by acting tough against the terror sponsors and their financers.
After August 5, 2019 — when the Centre announced its decision to revoke J&K’s special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories — the investigating agencies have struck at the very core of the system that kept the terrorism alive in Jammu and Kashmir for the past three decades.
The NIA and SIA have managed to handle the terrorism related cases with an exceptional disposal rate and professionalism. Both these agencies are ensuring speedy and effective investigation and prosecution of all kinds of terrorism related cases.
Accused, who are responsible for providing logistic, financial, ideological support to terrorism are being identified and nailed as they are more dangerous than the terrorists.
They are the ones who allowed Pakistan to make inroads into Jammu and Kashmir and keep the conflict alive for 30 long years.
During the past three years the security agencies have ensured that the terror ecosystem is dismantled and the terrorist supporters pay for their nefarious acts.
The State Investigation Agency (SIA) in one year since its inception has investigated 450 cases of special nature with a disposal rate of 65 per cent generating tremendous fear among elements inimical to peace.
Since 2019, Jammu and Kashmir Police have arrested over 1100 over ground workers of terrorists for engaging in “unlawful activity” of which 500 have been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
The local recruitment in terrorist ranks has come down to zero due to youth realizing the futility of taking up the arms and the major reforms undertaken by the government after the scrapping of Article 370, a temporary provision of the Constitution.
The decision of the security establishment not to handover the bodies of the killed terrorists to the family members has proven to be a major step towards preventing youth from joining the terror groups.
Funerals of terrorists are no more allowed to be turned into a public spectacle; and their burial is allowed only in areas far away from their native places.
Politicians, who ruled Jammu and Kashmir till 2018, never made an attempt to prevent the funerals of terrorists from turning into events, which started with stone-pelting on the security forces and culminated by the terrorists offering gun salutes to their fallen accomplices.
During these funerals, many young boys were lured by the terror sponsors and were recruited as terrorists.
Decision about not to handover the bodies of terrorists to their kith and kin was taken soon after Mehbooba Mufti led government crumbled under its own weight in 2018.
The move prevented many youngsters from joining the terror groups as these funerals used to serve as a breeding ground for recruiters to glorify violence and declare slain terrorists as martyrs. Their fiery speeches and gun-salutes used to help them find new recruits, whom they used as cannon fodder to fight the proxy war of Pakistan in Kashmir.
Attaching properties another effective step that was taken to hit the terror eco-system hard post abrogation of Article 370 was attaching the properties of the terrorist supporters.
Till 2019, no action was taken against the people who used to give shelter to terrorists in their residential houses in cities, towns and villages. To provide shelter to terrorists had become a norm. In few cases the terrorists used to barge into the houses on gunpoint and take inmates as hostages but in many the terrorist supporters used to arrange accommodation for the ultras in lieu of money or some other consideration.
After 2019, J&K Police started the process to attach immovable properties used as hideouts by terrorists under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
In 2021, Jammu and Kashmir Police accorded sanction for the seizure of 75 vehicles, (which included mostly four-wheelers and two-wheelers), five houses, six shops, land, and cash under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
In 2022, many vehicles and houses have been seized and the process is continuing. This move has proven to be a deterrent. Incidents of providing shelter to terrorists willfully have declined and in case the terrorists forcibly enter into the houses of people they inform the Police. This has led to terrorists staying away from the mainland. These initiatives have made it difficult for the terrorists to operate freely.
Separatists, who used to call for shutdowns, stage protests and organize stone-pelting at the behest of Pakistan have been shown their right place. Most of them are languishing in jails and others have become irrelevant.
In the erstwhile J&K, Kashmir based political leaders looked more towards Pakistan rather than New Delhi.
They had created a notion that nothing will change in J&K till without the blessings of Pakistan and the terrorist bosses sitting across the Line of Control.
But all of them have been made to eat a humble pie after the Centre’s decision to merge J&K completely into the Union of India.
During the past three years security situation in J&K has improved. Centre’s policy of zero tolerance against terrorism is paying dividends.
There was substantial decline in terrorism related incidents from 417 in 2018 to 229 in 2021.
Various steps have been taken by the government to protect the lives of minorities which include group security in the form of static guards, day and night area domination, round the clock nakas at strategic points, patrolling and speculative Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs), security arrangements through appropriate deployment.
Battle against terror won in 3 years
A robust security and intelligence grid has been put in place in J&K to thwart any attempt of the terrorists. In 3-years, J&K has won the battle against the terrorism which kept it on boil for three decades.
Policies of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists, their supporters and Pakistan. Violence mongers have realized that they can no longer carry on with their activities as they stand exposed before the people and they can no more sell illusions to the denizens of Jammu and Kashmir.
To end terrorism in J&K looked like an impossible task just three years ago but PM Modi led dispensation has made it possible. What couldn’t be achieved in 30-years has been achieved in 3-years.