BOMBARDING A LOCALITY: SRINAGAR RESIDENTS LEFT HOMELESS IN THE ENCOUNTER TO KILL TWO MILITANTS

04 June 2020

According to newspapers’ reports security forces, it means military, got information about two Hizbul Mujahideen militants entering and holding on in a house in old Srinagar on 18th May night. On early hours of 19th a large number of military and CRPF forces surround the congested part of the city with very old houses so close that they have common partition walls. Soon they start bombarding the hose with very heavy guns to neutralize the militants. The residents jump out and start running away leaving everything, except their children and relatives. An encounter starts. Heavy firing for some time. Finally the two are neutralized, in means they are killed, in military language.  And the security forces with draws leaving the other formalities to police.

 When the residents start returning the wanton destruction of the houses got revealed to them. Almost all the houses were reduced to shambles. Soon angry residents threw stones and bricks at police who replied with teargas canisters.

Residents alleged the forces used heavy weaponry on the houses knowing very well that in the congested locality when houses are literally strapped on to one other. 15 to 18 houses are damaged, some of them razed to the ground? You cannot bombard a locality by using Heavy ammunition was used in an urban area in the name of fighting militants, After surrounding the area, they could have waited. But they wanted to finish the operation very fast!

At 2am on Tuesday, 19th May, when Srinagar was eerily calm and getting ready for another Sehri -- a predawn mealtime during Ramzan -- security forces walked silently past a maze of lanes near a government college and ringed a cluster of houses. They had credible leads that Junaid Sehrai -- a militant commander and son of a top separatist leader and his associate were in one of the houses. Soon an encounter ensued and through the day the area rent with firing and occasional blasts. Before evening both were killed. A policeman and three CRPF jawans were also injured. The gunfight had left behind a trail of destruction and shattered the life of residents who till hours ago had no inkling of what was to come when they were gotten out of the locality. On their return, they dreaded to see what had become of their beloved homes and belongings. Children, women and old men stood in trance looking at the destruction that wreaked the locality.

Where will they stay? Who will allow them in their homes in this pandemic?  They have to live under open sky till at least a shed is prepared. When the media people reached next day, the smell of charred houses and teargas still hang heavy in the air at the Nawakadal neighbourhood, a day after, according to CNN-News18.  As the action took place in a locality which gave shelter to militants, government will not assist in rebuilding their houses. The whole locality is punished. This is the way Indian state is dealing with militancy in the Kashmir valley. After decades of denial of the right of self determination to Kashmiri people, India and Pakistan, and their army establishments have turned it to a military question. As it is a very useful issue to spread Islamophobia, and to consolidate majoritarian Hindutva fascist control, soon after they found it is possible to get the scrapping of Article 370 and turn J&K in to two UTs, Modi government detained all political parties’ leaders except of BJP and has handed over the valley to military to teach a lesson to the people there. With all options for democratic action coming to an end more and more youth are turning to militants, and Indian military has turned it in to its killing field. As J&K question is a sacred cow which no mainstream party even want to touch the horrific situation in the valley continues.

The democratic forces in the country should seriously evaluate where the Modi government is taking the country to: firstly, by putting an end to even the bourgeois parliamentary system and judicial process in J&K, a war like situation is created with Pakistan; secondly by antagonizing all neighbours, now Nepal also; and thirdly, by even leading the country to get trapped in the conspiracy of Trump led US administration to make Modi government  the pro-verbila little monkey to test how hot is the rice is in its intensifying conflict with China for global hegemony. By inciting Modi its junior partner as a proxy to go for another confrontation with China, US imperialism has a history of using its junior partners repeatedly in its “use and throw” games to advance its interests. Recognizing the dangerous war games played by Modi government, the democratic forces should oppose them and defeat him in these acts of treason, before the country and people are led to a colossal tragedy. n

 

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Kabeer Katlat

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.