Srinagar: It has been a month of unrests in the Kashmir Valley and on Sunday, with still no signs of respite, the government is reported to have decided to assign the Army a “bigger and more useful” role in resolving the crisis triggered by the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahedin commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.
It, however, won’t be any large-scale military operation as such but a firm hand within the velvet glove that the Army would be using as part of the government’s ‘carrot and stick’ approach as only harsh steps put in place in past one month have failed to control the situation, official sources here said.
The Army will work in close cooperation with the law-enforcing J&K police and the CRPF and will also, on its own, take various hard and soft measures depending on situation on ground to counterbalance the separatists’ diktats in the Valley.
The separatists — a recently formed ‘issue-based’ loose alliance comprising Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik — are calling the shots to the extent that on Sunday, curfew failed to stop volunteers and local residents from launching a ‘cleanliness drive in Srinagar areas in response to their call. The security forces did not get in their way.
On the political front, a section of the BJP is worried about a possible spillover of unrest to Chenab valley and some other Muslim-majority areas on the other side of the Pirpanjal Range which divides Kashmir Valley from the Jammu region.
The BJP members have asked for stringent measures to be put in place. Reports claimed BJP’s troubleshooter on Kashmir and party’s national general secretary Ram Madhav has discussed the current situation in the Valley during a meeting in Udhampur district.
He has brought together around 80 intellectuals, members of the civil society, senior ministers and a few RSS members to discuss the government’s new outreach to the people in Kashmir.