Spike in killings of anti-India protestors near gun fight sites across Kashmir has prompted wide spread criticism and attracted attention even at international level.
This has posed a serious challenge before state authorities to conduct counter insurgency operations in Kashmir. In recent months at least 13 protestors have been killed in alleged security forces firing near encounter sites in Kashmir and significantly these killings have further intensified clashes between government forces and protestors leading to injuries of many more.
It appears after the army chief issued warning asking people to stay away from encounter sites, there has been a surge in such incidents.
The state government cannot deny growing support to militants fighting against Indian rule in the disputed Kashmir region for past over two decades. The support has increased manifold after Burhan Wani, a top Hizbul commander was gunned down by security forces in July last year.
Three teenaged protestors were recently killed in alleged security forces action near an encounter site in Budgam district. Several others were injured during clashes with government forces in Budgam. Appeals and warnings by state authorities to people to stay away from encounter sites seem to have almost no impact. Instead it seems to have strengthened resolve of people to clash with security forces and help militants escape.
The Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the civilian killings in Chadoora Budgam. The chief minister is of the opinion that violence is not the solution to the issues. She said that the people have to change their mind set to bring peace in the region.
Issuing statements, condemning killings, is not going to help the government as well as security forces to tackle the situation. Need of the hour is that the central and state government should bring all sections of representatives of the people on table to make strategies for keep the youth away from violence.
It will be interesting to see what the government will do next to deal with protestors virtually throwing their lives to help militants escape or survive to fight Indian security forces.