Unfazed by violent protests in south Kashmir in the wake of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani ‘s killing, the security establishment will continue to go full-steam in its fight against terror. The encounter in Handwara and the foiling of an infiltration bid in Keran on Monday exhibit the security establishment’s resolve to deal firmly with those who pick up arms and indulge in violence.
According to a top officer of the security establishment, protests or no protests, there would be no compromise on crushing terror with armed action. Stating that J&K has witnessed several cycles of violence in the past, including the protests over Amarnath in 2008 and the stone-pelting attacks that killed 150 civilians in 2010, the officer said the violent protests following Wani’s killing were another phase that would pass.
“Angry mobs will not distract us from our goal to neutralise terrorists who endorse violence and hit our police and security forces. While we will ensure judicious use of force to deal with local civilians, a terrorist who dares to hit the state and indulges in mindless violence will have to face the consequences, including death as the security forces challenge him,” said an officer.
Whether Wani’s killing would spur a fresh round of local recruitment, the security establishment on Monday said any such fallout will be prevented by pushing a slew of welfare measures aimed at gainfully engaging the J&K youth and boosting local industries like tourism and handicrafts.
“The prime minister’s announcement of 80,000 crore package for J&K last year was a step in that direction. The welfare schemes and initiatives covered in the package will start rolling out soon, helping to generate employment in the Valley. This will reduce terror recruitment,” said a government official.
According to intelligence agencies, Wani’s killing may have acted as a trigger for outpouring of locals’ angst against the state government, lack of jobs, etc. “The violence was not an isolated reaction to Wani’s killing,” said an intelligence officer.
A top officer of the security establishment said that signs of return to normalcy were visible on Monday.