Killing of RSS activist

Kashmir Times. Dated: 4/11/2019 12:21:17 AM

While govt must ensure fair probe, it must also plug security lapses to defeat the divisive and disruptive designs of perpetrators

The cowardly killing of an RSS activist and his personal security officer in Kishtwar is shocking and condemnable. While official preliminary reports point out that the killing was executed by militants who also decamped with the weapons of the PSO who died on spot after the shoot-out, there is need to probe the case and investigate it from all angles. This is imperative on three counts - for dispensing justice, for plugging possible loopholes in security and for ensuring that militancy does not spill-over from the Valley into the Chenab Valley. Last November a BJP leader and his brother were similarly shot dead but these killings it appears served no lessons, revealing the monumental failure of the government in gearing up its security apparatus and making all efforts to check the horizontal and vertical expansion of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. The previous incident has till date not been investigated and the fresh one is a reminder that laxity of such kinds can lead to dangerous consequences. The killings once again put a question mark on the apparently flawed anti-insurgency policy being pursued. A heavy-handed muscular policy with no attempts at conciliation or reaching out to public is one of the sure-shot formula of failure in resolving armed conflicts. The other is inability to gear up intelligence inputs and plan security measures accordingly. From Uri to Pulwama, there are ample examples of the government failure in addressing its security lapses and intelligence failures. Far from investigating these for pinning blame and plugging the loopsholes, this government does not want to talk about it because it only knows how to cower behind the cosmetic and fallacious façade of machismo and bravado. The Kishtwar incident once again exposes the flawed nature of the policy that is being used to combat militancy and should serve as a wake-up call. The spread of militancy to pockets of Jammu region is a major cause of concern. If this remains unchecked, it will not only extend the ambit of violence to other parts of the state, it will have deleterious impact on the social and secular fabric of the region. The Chenab Valley, particularly, with its fragile demographic profile is extremely vulnerable to dangerous communal fissures and competitive religious radicalization. This must be stopped at all costs.
Secondly, it is important to defeat the designs of the killers. Unless the killing was executed for settling some petty personal scores, wider speculations are that this was a deliberate design to disrupt peace, communal harmony in the midst of electioneering process. While such questions about the precise motive behind the killing should naturally form part of the investigation, such acts are usually carried out by elements who want to subvert peace and calm as well as arouse communal passions. The immediate priority, therefore, should be to nip in the bud any attempts from any quarters to use the killings for furthering hate politics and hampering the communal amity of the Chenab Valley area as well as rest of Jammu and Kashmir. Imposition of curfew and other security drills necessary after such incidents that have the potential of flaring up tensions and sharpening communal cleavages is not the only necessity. The government must facilitate the process of community level interaction through the various peace-loving citizens and local NGOs already playing a role in calming the public. These need to be speeded up and made broad-based in which the government can play a role. The incident is a clear design to disrupt peace and secular fabric. Such nefarious designs need to be defeated with a sense of urgency.



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