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November 18, 2019

Indian army in Kashmir Valley


November 18, 2019

A senior Indian Army officer has openly demanded that the army must be kept insulated from prolonged exposure to internal disorder so that it doesn’t become communalized. Lt Gen Zameer Uddin Shah (retired), a former Deputy Chief of Army Staff, who was a highly decorated Indian Army officer, has come out openly to remove the Indian Army from internal security (IS) duties in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

He wrote in an analysis that “It is essential that the armed forces are kept insulated from prolonged exposure to internal disorder. It was for the ultimate good that the Army did not get embroiled in resolving the Naxal insurgency.

They should also, at the earliest, be relieved from internal security in Jammu and Kashmir.”

He said it should be done as police forces have become totally communalized, because of prolonged exposure to communal trouble.

The demand to remove the Indian Army from the Valley from IS duties is reportedly being discussed at the Indian Army’s headquarters besides among senior officers.

But the Indian establishment is not at all confident about maintaining law and order in the IOK if only paramilitary forces and police are there.

The people of the Valley are seething from anger after the revocation of Article 370 and becoming hostages at the hands of Indian forces.

The Indian government has suspended internet and mobile phone services, is holding large number of prisoners including civil society members, especially the abducted young boys, enforced Article 144, Public Safety Act and other draconian

laws, and is not allowing independent media and international human rights observers to visit the region to independently observe the situation in the Valley.

Most top level and second rung Kashmiri politicians have been arrested while mainstream leaders, including two former chief ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

The Friday congregational prayers have also been disallowed at the historic Jamia Masjid while Moharram and Eid Milad congregations have been disallowed.

On the other hand, defending the role of Indian Army in occupied Valley, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat recently said his service doesn't work in isolation, “we're working with everybody in J&K.”

Rawat claimed that the situation is "fully under control" in Rajouri and Reasi areas and Indian Army was working along with other central police forces in the region.

But two recent grenade attacks in the held Srinagar’s Goni Khan market and Kaka Sarai areas and killing of migrant labourers were an indication of the anger of local people and amply shows that everything was not under control.

Rather, the situation and calculations of Indian establishment about the revocation of articles 35 and 370 have gone haywire.

Now even a main Indian opposition party DMK has condemned the Centre for "turning Jammu and Kashmir region into a huge prison'' and demanded the release of all those arrested, including former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.

The party, which has been critical of the Modi Sarkar's action on the Jammu and Kashmir issue, demanded that the Centre "respect the sensitivities of the people."

A resolution adopted at its general council meet in Tamil Nadu capital Chennai condemned the Indian government for scrapping Article 370 and bifurcation of the region into two union territories without the approval of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and eliciting the views of the people there.

Coming from a senior Indian politician that Jammu and Kashmir region has been turned into a huge prison, with 900,000 Indian Army personnel present there, it depicts the desperation and huge miscalculation by the Modi Sarkar.