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Analysing Migrant Minority Targeting in Kashmir

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 19 called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as reported by the IANS and informed him about the steps taken by the Jammu and Kashmir administration and the Union Home Ministry to improve the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

This comes as in the last 16 days up to October 19, terrorists have killed 11 non-locals and minorities in the Valley.

This has led to an exodus of migrants as well as Kashmiri Pandits who are minority in the predominantly Muslim Valley.

On October 18, Mr Amit Shah held a marathon meeting with senior officials including DGPs, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, IB Chief and discussed the situation of internal security in detail. As an outcome Mr Shah is due to visit Jammu and Kashmir on October 23-25 and hold important high-level meetings with regard to the security situation in Kashmir. This will be the first visit of the Union Home Minister to the union territory after the abrogation of Article 370.

Attacks on soft targets with pistols are reportedly been carried out by what the police are calling “Hybrid Terrorists,” youth who are not listed as terrorists with the police and are living normal lives in their homes but have been indoctrinated to pick up the gun and carry out selective killings. This has made detection and interception of such youth difficult.

At the same time the overall socio political impact of this phenomenon needs to be studied as this appears to indicate a deep rooted resentment in the youth in the Valley which is leading to these taking up arms without deeper provocation.

On the other hand registered terrorists taking up targeted attacks also cannot be ruled out.

In response the police have rounded up around 700 over ground workers in an attempt to identify those who had indulged in the attack. This obviously has a backlash of negative anti state sentiment seeping in the innocent and more joining the hybrid terrorist ranks. The local police in their attempts to show an outcome generally indulge in such actions which do not contribute to security or to the overall fight against rooting out terror.

The mass migration of non locals and Kashmiri minorities is seen as creating a backlash in Jammu as well as in other parts of the country.

A political division between the two regions – Jammu and Kashmir could increase the divide. This in turn will feed in Pakistan’s attempts to divest the Kashmir Valley a predominantly Muslim populated pocket from the Hindu dominant belt south of the Pir Panjal.

There is thus a necessity for caution to ensure that the political divide does not occur which may also play into Pakistan’s hands.

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