The fine print and risk factor
The rehabilitation needs to be part of overall healing touch, but A the fine print has its own risks that are for the State apparatus to take care...
The rehabilitation needs to be part of overall healing touch, but A the fine print has its own risks that are for the State apparatus to take care of. The Jammu and Kashmir police has a crucial role in the process
The Jammu and Kashmir government's policy of rehabilitation of militant youth giving an undertaking to shun violence and return home to make a new beginning is a welcome initiative both in intent and purpose. However, the fact that it has come up for open discussion after being in operation for over five years is not without a ring of irony, coming as it does in the wake of the arrest of alleged militant Liaqat Ali Shah while crossing into India from Nepal. The scheme, commendable in its aim, is the brainchild of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in tandem with the Centre. It went into operation in 2010 to cover the militant fringe active since 1990. Liaqat's arrest got mired in the wake of an unexpected controversy between the Delhi Police and that of Jammu and Kashmir over the status of the arrested man. This, again, is a reflection on the official way of functioning that has become the norm in recent days. After all, the government should be seen functioning in unison in the eyes of the people notwithstanding its different arms. This is not to argue that the responsibilities of the State governments are uniform in a federal structure, but even so the point in question has a national dimension. Militancy is everyone's problem and, as such, what concerns one State as much concerns others. While it is for the National Investigation Agency now enquiring into the imbroglio to come out with its findings, the basic point of difference between the police of the two States centers on the circumstances of the arrest. The Delhi Police claim hinges on the charge that Liaqat Shah was on the way to Delhi to perpetrate terror in Delhi during festival time in April. This has evoked a strong rebuttal from the Jammu and Kashmir police; their contention being that Liaqat Shah was bound for Srinagar to surrender under the rehabilitation scheme. Thus the two versions vary rather sharply. Liaqat was picked up on his way from Gorakhpur accompanied by his wife and a child and, as such, according to the authorities in Srinagar, he could not be part of a terror plot hatched in Delhi. The NIA findings will help arrive at the truth but the mess-up has at least for the time robbed the police force in Delhi of what had looked to be its finest hour. However, there is also the other side of it: the Delhi Police is under the control of the Centre, but even so the Central government may not be blamed for any fiasco. As the situation stands, the rehabilitation scheme applies to those who took to gun culture in 1990 and that was about the time when rumblings of militancy began to be heard. Of the 4,000 of them, one-fourth are reported to have taken advantage of the scheme; not a discouraging figure in the context. More effective follow-up action can step up the pace of surrender; yet, the matter is far from simple in the face of the open war against India by the gun-wielding terror gangs of outfits of the Ilk of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba and affiliates ensconced in safe havens across the border. The aggressive postures of the ISI and the Pakistani military establishment have grown more pronounced over the last few months. Kashmir has been no breeding ground for home-grown terror and what the State had been facing is the threat of infiltrations. In fact, there was a time when it was generally believed that the closer the areas of the State were to Occupied Kashmir the more the hostility of the locals towards Pakistan. Over the decade, indoctrination of Kashmiri youth led to a change. The rehabilitation needs to be part of overall healing touch, but the fine print has its own risks that are for the State apparatus to take care of .The Jammu and Kashmir police has a crucial role in the process.
19 Feb 2020 6:27 AM GMT