oppn parties What Next In J&K? The Lockdown Cannot Be Sustained For Long

News Snippets

  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
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What Next In J&K? The Lockdown Cannot Be Sustained For Long

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Has the government made a mistake by ordering the opening of educational institutions in J&K first? Consider it as a parent, will you allow your child to go to school when the situation is such that you are not able to go to your office or open your shop? No parent will allow his or her child to be exposed to an unpredictable situation which can turn volatile at any moment. The government should have first allowed shops and offices to open. It should have allowed adults to resume their daily routine. They would have allowed their children to attend school only after they were satisfied that there was no danger on the streets as they were going to the office or moving around freely.

Before attempting any critique of the government policy in the aftermath of the reading down of Article 370, two things need to be recognized: first, this is an extraordinary situation not amenable to everyday solutions. Second, the Kashmir valley was already a pot of conflicting emotions and given to violent protests every day, fueled by Pakistan-backed separatists and infiltrators from across the border. Having said this, extraordinary situations demand extraordinary solutions. If the government had the courage to read down Article 370, it must also have the courage to face the protests. A complete lockdown for nearly 15 days (and only God and Modi-Shah know how many days more) is in no one's interest. In fact, every passing day is inflaming passions further. The government must have had a plan on how it will lift restrictions. But what is happening is a cat and mouse game. Restrictions are eased and protests take place. Restrictions are re-imposed. Till when will this game be played?

If the government will continue to place restrictions just as some protests take place, it will never be able to bring normalcy. There were protests earlier too when Article 370 was in force. They were often violent. The government will have to lift restrictions district-wise starting with Srinagar and perhaps wait a week before taking further decisions. In that week, it will have to tackle the situation with compassion. It will have to be firm, but without force if it is possible. Let them pelt stones. Do not reply with bullets. Use other methods. Make preventive arrests. Do whatever is in your Plan A or Plan B or whatever. But bring normalcy, and fast. Otherwise, the reason for removing the special status will not be fulfilled. Kashmir will still be a disturbed place. It will still not be integrated with India.