All eyes are on Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Unending cycle of violence has consumed five precious lives, including a budding cricketer. Handwara is on boil. The so-called separatists have found the opportunity fitting for reviving their shops which had been virtually shut when ex-Chief Minister late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was in office for 3 years from 2002-2005.
Mehbooba needs to go back to the past and find out how his father dealt with dissent in valley. Anguish, pain and sufferings were part of discourse even during those days but Mufti ensured that young people do not fall prey to vicious mechanisations of Pro-Pakistan and anti-india elements. He knew how to deal with so-called separatists and Pro-Pakistan elements in the valley.
One needs not to jog one’s memory and tell Mehbooba how his father convinced the government of India to consider Jammu and Kashmir a special case and stop dealing with, the way you deal with rest of the states in the country. He was master strategist. Mufti worked overtime to deal both with issues of common man and the ones which would creep-up either due to misadventure of state security apparatus or due to the mechanisations of the agents of Pakistani agencies in Kashmir.
One needs not to remind Mehbooba how his late father would call Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of the districts almost every evening to find out pace of the developmental works going-on apart from asking them about law and order situation in their respective areas.
Mufti dealt directly with District Development Commissioners (DDCs) as well as District SPs. That was that the kind of persona Mufti Mohammed Sayeed had. He knew where to hit and when. Mehbooba should revisit pages of the history and find out for herself the way forward in this turmoil which has hit the state within days of her taking over. 4 youngsters which included a budding cricketer have lost lives to the bullets of security forces. Their families are mourning and one needs not to elaborate how this is likely to fuel alienation.
Mehbooba should not restrict herself to merely issuing statements through department of information, condemning the incident and consoling the families. She should reprimand the security apparatus for being lax in taking the instigators to task. She should issue directions for identifying the culprits and booking them under relevant sections of the law. None should be spared for vitiating the peaceful atmosphere in the state.
She needs to understand that if firm action is not initiated, the so-called separatists are likely to vitiate the atmosphere more and more. Their shops operate because the state gives them a chance to do so. State should not hesitate in putting curbs on all those who have always been inflaming the passions in valley and instigating youth to throw stones at the security forces. State should take drastic steps to restore peace and normalcy in Kashmir.