February 2001 News

Ceasefire has seen rise in militancy

15 February 2001
The Pioneer
Binoo Joshi

Jammu: Nearly three months of unilateral cease-fire announced by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in rise in killings of the and attack on security forces. This has not only created fear in the minds of the common people but also put the security forces on the defensive. The statistics reveal that the militants killed more than two hundred civilians since November 28, when the security forces were ordered to halt their operations against all militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir. The Fidayeen or suicide attacks squads have also gone up in number with this period registering major attacks by the militants. While the frequent targeting of security forces have put them on the defensive it was the other way round earlier when offensive launched by the security forces had put the militants on the run. The observers in the State point out that the unilateral cease-fire and its extension without a positive response from other side suggests that "the forces are tired of fighting the separatists in the State." They go on to add that rise in the level of militancy related violence in the State "would shatter the confidence of common people on the security forces." The pattern of attacks by the militants shows that they have permeated the urban areas where from they had earlier fled. This factor is helping the militants to regroup and activate in the areas they had fled earlier. The security forces who were earlier carrying on with their offensive in seek and destroy operation are now bound by the chains of acting in self defence only with focusing on efforts to protect themselves. As a result the unilateral cease-fire has re-inculcated fear of the militants in the minds of people and has left the security forces on the defensive. The relentless efforts of all concerned had started yielding results in the return of peace and normalcy in the State when the Prime Minister while announcing the cease-fire had noted: "The people of India are heartened by the steady improvement in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Our sisters and brothers in the State have always longed for the return of peace and normalcy, which is now happening steadily and perceptibly..." The statement concluded by saying, "I hope that our gesture will be fully appreciated and all violence in the State and infiltration across the Line of Control and the International Border will cease and peace prevail." The situation on the ground today in the State is a clear indicator of the fact that the spirit behind the cease-fire has been defeated. The fact that there was violence and killings earlier too, does not in any way justify the extensions of the cease-fire without getting tangible outcome.


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