Editorial: Change of approach needed
Srinagar: Though much fanfare was put behind the event, the ‘freedom’ announced by the police proved very short lived for the separatist leaders in Kashmir. Just last week the state police chief announced that separatist leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Yasin Malik and Mirwaiz Omar Farooq are free to move around. Nonetheless, he put some riders for their free movement but all these assertions proved to be yet another broken promise.
The freedom of these leaders lasted for a little less than a week as all the three were detained or put under house arrest ahead of their Shopian Chalo call on Wednesday last.
Such were the directions provided to the police personnel that veteran separatist leader Geelani wasn’t even allowed to come out of the compound of his home in the Peerbagh area of Srinagar. Same was the case with Mirwaiz Omar Farooq who was detained and lodged at Nageen police station. Yasin Malik was arrested and lodged in Central jail in Srinagar for three days.
The continuous arrest of separatist leaders is raising many questions. If the state government harps on the assertion that their free movement is creating a law and order situation then how can they justify the protests and other forms of resistance by the population when these leaders are either put behind bars or kept under house arrest.
The fact that the separatist leadership is being denied any ground stands true as the government has been resorting to such oppressive measures out of sheer ignorance and wrong assessment of the ground situation in Kashmir Valley.
The situation across Kashmir is reaching a point when any incident can trigger a chain reaction that may lead to yet another chaos which will be much difficult to handle for the state administration and the police.
The release and free movement of separatist leaders can be a confidence building measure that the government can announce. Their free movement may seem to be irritating the hardliners but the fact is that such a measure needs to be announced for ensuring some good sense to prevail in those areas which have been on the boil since the past two years now.
The government also needs to understand that neither can an idea be jailed nor killed. Therefore, the policy that an idea can generate a new idea needs to be followed in true spirit.
Kashmir has seen enough of sufferings. It has been thirty years now that the seeds of uncertainty are being sown every year. Today a situation has been reached when the youngsters are feeling no fear at all.
Be it the young boys or even the girls, they are daring the situation and are looking quite agitated. This needs to be changed and their strengths need to be put in right perspective.
But for ensuring that an accommodative approach is needed.