Kishtwar killings deplorable

Kashmir Times. Dated: 11/3/2018 3:06:18 PM

The communally sensitive Kishtwar poses a bigger challenge to the security agencies after BJP leader's killing

The killing of a senior Bhartiya Janata Party leader Anil Parihar and his elder brother Ajit Parihar on Thursday late evening by some unidentified assailants in Kishtwar is tragic and highly condemnable. It is also deplorable for the reasons that such an incident has happened when Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) elections have concluded and Panchayat polls are underway and security apparatus has been put in place to meet any challenge. In the aftermath of the killing, the situation has been tense as expected in the communally sensitive town of Kishtwar, which has been otherwise peaceful during the past many years with hardly any militancy related incident reported during the past almost 17 years. The community meetings and interaction between the members of various religious groups have kept the militants at a distance for the past almost two decades particularly since 2001 when 17 Nomads belonging to the minority community were gunned down by the suspected militants. But the killing of Anil Parihar and his brother will continue to remain a mystery like other such targeting of high-profile leaders and peace activists in Jammu and Kashmir where such incidents remain off the screen for a deeper investigation as to who was behind the killings. Though it is a matter of detailed investigation to find the reasons and motive behind such killings, mysteries continue to deepen with the passage of every year in J&K, yet the law enforcing agencies need to find out who benefitted from such senseless killings. In fact, it is for the security agencies to look into the circumstances that led to the killing of BJP leader when reports were pouring in that such targeted assassination may be attempted during the ULB and Panchayat elections when two main regional parties National Conference (NC) and People's Democratic Party (PDP) have boycotted the polls while the separatists have called for a total boycott. The BJP leader has been quite active in politics for the past almost quarter of a century besides having a stint as a journalist from Kishtwar for a few years. Disappointed with the BJP's policies, Anil Parihar stayed away from the party and unsuccessfully contested the J&K Legislative Assembly elections in 2008 on Panthers Party ticket. He returned to the BJP fold a few years later when he was promised a pro-active role in the party and that too not only in Kishtwar but the state level. Anil Parihar was also a votary of peace and communal harmony in Kishtwar and worked for it despite many odds including opposition from his own party.
Apart from what has been happening in J&K during the past many decades, the fresh killings in Kishtwar have once again brought into focus the policy of the central government on Kashmir, which has been witnessing strife for almost three decades now. The continued killing spree of the militants and stone-pelters has only added to the commotion to the existing confusion in Kashmir. The all out operations launched by the state police, para-military and security forces against militants and use of excessive forces against the agitationists in the post Burhan Wani killing in 2016 has added to the tally of those killed, blinded and injured in J&K. The BJP-government at the centre has not shown any inclination to open up dialogue process either with the separatists or Pakistan, which has been charged with aiding and abetting militancy in Kashmir. Despite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan expressing his willingness to resume Comprehensive Dialogue Preocess with India to resolve all outstanding issues including Kashmir, hawkish elements in India have outrightly rejected such endeavoures. These has been obvious for the reasons that the right wing party and its allies have been selling anti-Pakistan agenda to the electorate in India and continue to remain in electioneering mode even after staying in power for over four years. The BJP and its allies have continued to stick to their belief of garnering more votes by arousing the anti-Pakistan passions within India and refusing to hold any dialogue with the neighbouring country. It has to be borne in mind that whatever be the nature of government in India, it is ultimately the continued dialogue process that can resolve all the differences between the two Nuclear-armed countries in South Asia.



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